Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
Bangladeshi Christian Locked Up, Beaten by His Own Brothers
Bangladeshi believer Nur Hossain was held up by his own brothers on Aug. 13 for choosing to follow Isa (Jesus). A day before, they had requested 30-year-old Hossain to return to their hometown and asked him to retrieve his personal belongings. Hossain obliged, oblivious that it was a trap. “His brothers beat him and locked him up in a room,” said a local source, unnamed for security reasons. “They waited to see who would come to his rescue, so they could find out the person who brought Hossain to Christianity.” Under such dire circumstances, Hossain was compelled to give the name and mobile number of his pastor. His brothers lost no time and called the pastor. They wanted him to come and rescue Hossain. The pastor immediately contacted an Open Doors worker and pleaded for prayers on behalf of Hossain and his family. “Pray for God to strengthen Hossain who remains locked up,” said the Open Doors’ worker in Bangladesh. “Pray the pastor who is trying to get the police to help.” It was not the first time that Hossain has had a brush with his brothers.
Eritrean Authorities Arrest 30 More Christians
Eritrean authorities arrested 30 members of the Church of the Living God gathered for prayer on the evening of Aug. 24 in the Kushet suburb of the capital Asmara. The group includes 12 women. Sources say they are held at Police Station 5 in Asmara and are under pressure to recant their faith. Since the beginning of the year the religious atmosphere in Eritrea has deteriorated with authorities arresting at least 261 Christians. Human rights organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have reported that the government of Eritrea continues to incarcerate prisoners under inhumane conditions. Officials continue to deny access to organizations like The Red Cross to investigate the state of prisons. “The Church in Eritrea is deeply saddened by the continued scrutiny and distrust from the government and highly appreciates the prayers of our brothers and sisters around the globe,” commented an Open Doors source who remains anonymous for security reasons.
Syrian Pastor Pours Out His Heart in a Poignant Prayer
The eyes of the world are focused on Syria. Open Doors received the prayer of a pastor, one of our partners in Syria in the relief work there. It is a moving and heart-breaking prayer. It gives insight in the suffering of the people that have decided to stay in Syria.
I weep for my country! I am so sad and speechless…
They advise me to leave my country…to emigrate. I respond saying:
I’m staying…for the church of Jesus…that the message of Jesus may remain a light guiding those who are lost and afraid.
I’m staying…because the harvest is plentiful…and the suffering is huge…a deep wound, a sense of despair. I’m staying…to follow in the footsteps of my Master who went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil. I’m staying…because I’m busy in the ministry of saving souls (or can someone like me run… Lord give me strength).
- That the cup of war be taken away from our country of Syria.
- That the Lord may crush the conspiracy of the evil ones…and their war plans…and consider their threats.
- That He may send the power of His Holy Spirit on His church that it may reach out to the suffering souls…who – harassed and helpless – are like sheep without a shepherd.
- That the Lord may give us to speak with great boldness and that many wonders and signs be performed. And souls return to Christ, and there be singing and praises.
- That the Lord may send more help that the house of the Lord may have food to satisfy the needs of the internally displaced…hundreds of whom are without any shelter.
- That the Lord may send more support for the wounded and the sick who need surgery, medication and healing.
- That the Lord may send those who can help us build a center for children affected by the war, that we may be able to take care of those who have lost their supporters, and enable them to get back on their feet.
- That the Lord may send those who can help our children who are now disabled, and have special needs.
O Lord, hear and answer my prayers.