Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
On Dec. 3, 2010, a mullah in Pakistan offered more than $6,000 (U.S.) to anyone who kills Asia Bibi, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts. In the past, Christians have been killed in jail, on their way to court and even after being released from jail. “There is threat that she can be killed even after her releasing from the jail,” said VOM contacts in Pakistan. “It’s not just a statement by mulana, but we have examples of previous blasphemy cases.” Following the mullah’s statement, Muslims protested against Asia and a proposed amendment of the blasphemy law. Protests were held in many major cities in Pakistan. Pray for Asia’s release from prison and for her safety after her release. Ask God to minister to her family, especially her children.
AZERBAIJAN — Government Considers Stiffer Penalties for Religious Activity — Forum 18 News
…so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you…
Less than two years after increasing penalties for illegal religious activity, parliamentary deputies are about to consider even harsher penalties in proposed amendments to the Code of Administrative Offences, according to Forum 18 News Service. “Minimum fines for individuals violating the Religion Law, such as by holding unregistered religious worship, could be increased fifteen-fold,” Forum 18 reported. Rabiyat Aslanova, chair of parliament’s Human Rights Committee, told Forum 18 News, “This is connected with religious communities which have failed to gain re-registration but still function. It’s so that they realize the responsibility for their actions. People are not fined just for praying to God. This is a question of national security.” Pray that these amendments will not pass. Ask God to protect believers who continue to worship him openly despite oppressive government restrictions.
CHINA — Christian Lawyer Still Missing — China Aid Association
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you…
Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng has been imprisoned by Chinese authorities for more than two years, and his whereabouts are currently unknown, according to China Aid Association. In an October radio interview, Gao’s wife, Geng He, expressed her family’s eagerness to find him. “My family only wants to get some news of him,” Geng He said. “When I talked with his sister, she said, ‘He is a member of the family. No matter what he does, such as eating the daily meals, sleeping or even taking a walk outside, anything would make us miss him. Where on earth has he gone? The entire family of mine is puzzled and we have been looking for him ever since.’” Pray that Gao will continue to look to the Lord for strength and guidance, and pray that God will comfort his family and enable them to persevere in hope and faith. Pray that the Church in China will continue to shine the light of God’s love and truth and that it will continue to grow despite opposition from some government officials.