Save me, O God, by Your name, and vindicate me by Your strength. Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, and oppressors have sought after my life; they have not set God before them. Psalm 54:1–3
CHINA — Churches Closed, Leaders Threatened — China Aid Association
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
On Aug. 5 and 6, the Chinese government shut down three house churches in Wuhan, Hubei; Sanmenxia, Henan; and Changsha, Hunan, according to China Aid Association. The churches all belonged to the China Gospel Fellowship, one of the largest networks in China, with an estimated 5–7 million members. The churches were closed after church leaders received invitations to attend the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization, a 10-day conference to be held next month in Cape Town, South Africa. According to China Aid, the Chinese Public Security Bureau obtained a list of 200 Chinese invitees and threatened some of them not to attend the conference. Thank God for the faithfulness of these Chinese believers, and pray that they will continue to meet with one another for worship. Praise God for the way he continues to grow the church in China despite government restrictions.
IRAN — Christian Prisoner’s Condition Unknown — Farsi Christian News Network
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.
Neshan Saeedi, a 27–year–old Christian, has not been seen since his arrest by government authorities in July, according to the Farsi Christian News Network. On July 24, Saeedi was at home with his wife and young daughter in the city of Ahvaz, Iran, when plainclothes security officers entered his house and arrested the family. Security officers searched the home and seized personal belongings, including a computer, CDs containing films of Christian seminars and teachings, Christian books, Bibles and family photo albums. The family was taken to the Chaharshir detention center in Ahvaz, where they were interrogated for several hours before Saeedi’s wife and daughter were released. Officers threatened Saeedi’s wife, saying if the family continued its Christian activities their daughter might be taken away. The family was accused of threatening Iran’s national security by participating in anti-government activities. They were further accused of being spies of foreign powers and of leading people to a pro-Israel ideology. The house church that Saeedi’s family attended has stopped meeting out of fear for their lives and the possibility of further arrests. Government authorities are thought to be actively seeking the arrest of two of the house church leaders. Pray for Neshan Saeedi’s physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and ask God to protect his wife, daughter and the other church leaders. Pray that God will grant courage and boldness to Iranian believers.
SOMALIA — Christian Killed, Four Children Kidnapped — Compass Direct News
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.”
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flies by day.
On July 21, Osman Abdullah Fataho, a member of an underground Christian movement in Somalia, was shot to death by al-Shabab militants in front of his wife and children, according to Compass Direct News. Christians said they think someone told the militants of Osman’s faith. According to Compass Direct, the militants entered Osman’s house and killed him before abducting his wife and four children. They later released Osman’s wife on condition that she surrender her children to be trained as militant soldiers. Please pray for Osman’s wife and children as they grieve the loss of their husband and father, and pray that the children will be returned to their mother.