Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles. For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. Ephesians 4:1–3PAKISTAN — Minorities Minister Assassinated — VOM Sources
- 1 John 5:14
- Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.
Pakistan’s only Christian cabinet member, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated by gunmen on March 2, 2011. Pamphlets attributed to Al-Qaeda and a branch of the Pakistani Taliban were distributed at the scene of the ambush, warning that anyone who supports a repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy law will be killed. Shahbaz was the only remaining government advocate for Christian Asia Bibi, who was sentenced to death last November under the blasphemy law. “The fanatic Muslims targeted Shahbaz Bhatti because he spoke boldly against the blasphemy law,” said a VOM staff member in Pakistan. Shahbaz was a committed Christian who stood for what he thought was right and trusted the Lord with his life. Pray for those who continue to support Asia Bibi and call for a repeal of the blasphemy law. Ask God to protect them and to strengthen their faith. Pray that the Pakistani government will not yield to extremist pressure and that it will repeal the blasphemy law.ETHIOPIA — Rioters Burn Churches and Christians’ Homes — VOM Sources
- Galatians 6:2
- Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Muslims in Ethiopia’s southwestern city of Jimma burned two churches and the homes of a pastor and an evangelist on Wednesday, March 3. They also severely beat a Christian convert. In the Asendabo district of Jimma, a Muslim mob burned two churches and a pastor’s house after leaving their daily teaching at the mosque. Local police stood by and watched until federal police arrived to stop the violence. A second mob, in Jimma’s Dido district, left their mosque chanting “Allahu Akbar.” When the mob met Awel Abajebel, a Christian who had converted from Islam, they beat him so severely that he was thought to be dead. In a third attack that day, Muslims in the Kersa district burned the home of evangelist Isa Abagojam. More than 90 percent of the population of Jimma is Muslim. In some districts, Muslims chant “Allahu Akbar” in the evenings to warn Christian converts from Islam that they plan to kill them. A VOM contact reports that Muslims in nearly every district of the city are collecting funds to “protect their religion from the Christians.” Please pray for two Christian workers in the area who minister to more than 5,000 Muslim background believers, and pray for God’s protection of all Christians in Jimma.SOMALIA — Al-Shabab Kills Christian Convert — International Christian Concern
- James 5:16
- Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Members of the Islamic radical group al-Shabab killed a Christian convert in the Somali capital of Mogadishu on Jan. 26. The Islamists murdered Abdirahman Hussein Roble after accusing him of spying and committing fitna. Fitna is an Islamic term used derogatively to describe Christian evangelism among Muslims. Two eyewitnesses notified Abdirahman’s widow and relatives of his death on Feb. 9. Abdirahman, who became a Christian in 2009, was the father of two children. He is the 24th Christian to be killed by the Somali Islamists since 2009. On Jan. 29, another Christian convert escaped from a makeshift detention center run by al-Shabab. “Hassan” is the first Christian to ever escape from the group. He was abducted on Jan. 8 in the Afgoye district, west of Mogadishu, and repeatedly interrogated about his faith and ministry. Hassan escaped while his guards were attending evening prayer. Pray that all Somalis will resist the extremist nature of al-Shabab, and ask God to give Christians living there courage and boldness.