06 24 Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
Sudan: Meriam Ibrahim Detained at Airport — from World Watch Monitor https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2014/06/article_3194858.html/ and Open Doors USA
One day after being released from prison, Meriam Ibrahim has been arrested again, according to several news sources.
Citing unnamed sources, the BBC reported: “About 40 security agents detained Mrs. Ibrahim – along with her husband Daniel Wani and two sons – at the airport, the sources said.”
Bloomberg reported that Ibrahim and her family were attempting to take a flight out of the country. That was affirmed by Tina Ramirez, president of Hardwired Inc., a nonprofit organization that trains young people to advocate for freedom of conscience and belief.
“The (U.S.) State Department said that they were held reportedly for not having the proper documentation to leave the country,” Ramirez wrote in an email to World Watch Monitor. “State and the embassy are working on it to get her on a plane to South Sudan where they will complete the paperwork for the family to travel to the US.”
Meriam, a Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death for refusal to deny her faith, was originally set free on Monday following weeks of international media attention on her case.
“Meriam’s case has been an incredible example of the power of international pressure,” says Kristin Wright, Director of Advocacy at Open Doors USA. “We are so grateful for the thousands of individuals who participated with Open Doors in calling for Meriam’s swift release and for all the prayers offered on her behalf.
“But our elation at her release is now tempered by her detention at the airport today. Our hope now is that the detention of her family is just temporary and they will be able to leave the country as soon as possible.”
On June 12, Open Doors USA co-sponsored an event in front of the White House, calling for the administration to speak out for Meriam.
Within hours of the event, the U.S. State Department issued a statement on Meriam, calling for her release.
Ramadan 2014: Ramadan Starts Saturday; Open Doors Prayer Resources Available
Ramadan is a highly-anticipated time of the year for most of those adhering to the Islamic faith. During the month-long celebration Muslims remember the first revelations of the Prophet Muhammad, as well as re-examine their own lives. Most Muslims fast in the daylight hours during Ramadan, which starts on Saturday, June 28 and ends July 27.
This time set aside for Muslims can also be an opportunity for Christians in the West to not only pray for believers in Muslim-dominated countries, but also for the entire Islamic world. As a result, Open Doors USA is launching a prayer campaign during the month of Ramadan.
Each day Open Doors will urge Christians to be “one” with persecuted believers by praying for them and using Scripture. There will also be information provided about these Muslim-dominated countries from Open Doors’ 2014 World Watch List, which highlights the countries where Christians face the most severe persecution.
Open Doors USA Director of Ministries Michele Miller states: “Love, joy and peace are some of the ‘fruit’ found in Galatians 5:22-23. During the month of Ramadan, the most holy month on the Muslim calendar, Open Doors is asking Christians in the West to pray for the ‘Fruit of the Spirit’ to be evident in Christians around the world.
“For 30 days, join in praying for Muslims to encounter Christ and for God’s holiness to pierce the spiritual darkness.”
Open Doors is offering free prayer resources for believers to join in praying for persecuted Christians during Ramadan. You can sign up for these daily updates by going to http://lp.opendoorsusa.org/ramadan/2014/.
Malaysia: No Change on ‘Allah’ Use Situation
On Monday, Malaysia’s highest court refused the Catholic Church’s request to challenge a court verdict that banned the word “Allah” or God from being used in its publication, the Herald Weekly.
The dispute began in 2008 when the newsletter was banned by the Home Ministry of Malaysia from using the word. The Catholic Church contested the rule and won back its constitutional right in 2009, only to lose it again after the Court of Appeal overturned the decision in October 2013.
In several states, Christians are prohibited from using over 30 Arabic words outside the Muslim context. Nine of those words, including Allah, are found in local language Bibles. They are mainly used by believers in East Malaysia, who make up two-thirds of the Christian population.
Although “extremely disappointed,” the Christian Federation of Malaysia (NECF) wrote in its media statement that it considered the court decision “as being confined to the specific facts of that particular case, and otherwise maintain that the Christian community continues to have the right to use the word “Allah” in its Bibles, church services and Christian gatherings in its on-going ministry to Bahasa Malaysia-speaking congregations, as it has done all this while.”
Please pray that the Christian community in Malaysia will remain steadfast in its faith and courageous in the face of prolonged adversity.