But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict.
Islamic extremists have beheaded two boys in Somalia because their Christian father, 55 year-old Musa Mohammed Yusuf, refused to give them information about an underground church leader, according to Compass Direct News. The extremists from the group al shabaab killed 11-year-old Abdi Rahaman Musa Yusuf and 12-year-old Hussein Musa Yusuf, after abducting them in front of their mother. The terrorists are currently looking for Yusuf in Kenyan refugee camps. Yusuf was a leader of an underground church in Yonday village, 19 miles from Kismayo, Somalia. On February 20, the extremists interrogated Yusuf about his relationship with Salat Mberwa, the Christian leader who discipled him in the faith and led an underground fellowship with 66 believers. When Yusuf told them he did not have any connection to him and knew nothing about him, they left and vowed to return the next day. Yusuf fled immediately and the next day the extremists killed his sons. Yusuf’s wife and 7-year-old son have joined him in the refugee camp in Kenya where Mberwa and other believers are helping them. VOM encourages you to pray for Yusuf and his family as they have lost their sons. Pray God comforts them during this difficult time, and provides the family with other believers who can encourage them with scriptures and songs.
TANZANIA — Church buildings burned down in Zanzibar — Compass Direct News
Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
On June 28, two church buildings on the outskirts of Unguja Township on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar were burned by suspected Muslim extremists, according to Compass Direct News. A flier stating, "We don't want churches on our street. Today we are going to burn the church, and if you continue we are going to burn your house also," was left at the home of the man who donated the plot of land for The Evangelical Assemblies of God church building. The church was burned. The Pentecostal Evangelical Fellowship in Africa church building, only a few miles away, was also torched. The week before, an assistant sheikh approached the church leader and told him that the building, which was in the final stages of construction, would be destroyed unless the construction was stopped. Pray that increased persecution will result in increased boldness among believers in Zanzibar. Pray that the passion of God's people in Zanzibar will be a light that draws others to Christ.
CHINA — Chinese couple sentenced for "engaging in illegal religious activities" — China Aid Association
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.
Officials arrested Pastor Dou Shaowen on June 14 along with other believers during a house church raid. He was given a one year-sentence of "re-education" through labor, according to China Aid Association. Pastor Dou's wife, Feng Lu, received the same sentence. While Pastor Dou is imprisoned in a labor camp, authorities have permitted Feng Lu to serve her sentence at home so she can care for their 12-year-old daughter. However, officials informed her she will be sent to the camp if she is discovered engaging in further "illegal religious activities." The believers who were given 15-day administrative sentences following the June 14 house church attack have not been released at last report. Pray for this family, especially their child. Ask God to encourage and protect them.