Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Prayers

Prayer Digest appeals for a few prayers this holiday season for believers in Christ who, unlike most reading this blog post, will not have a peaceful Christmas to look forward to.

* Christians in Syria are suffering theft and violence at the hands of radical Muslims under cover of the civil unrest. The 1.5 million Christians in Syria, including 100,000 Christian refugees from Iraq, are fearful for their future.

* Jameel Sawan, preacher, evangelist and champion of minority rights, was shot dead in Pakistan. He had a shop in Karachi, but spent much of his time pastoring Christians and sharing the gospel with Muslims. He leaves a wife and five children.

* Authorities continued their crackdown on religious freedom in Kazakhstan. Increased harassment is reported. A teenage girl was knocked unconscious by a policeman in a raid on a church meeting.

* At least 45 Christians were killed in Plateau state, Nigeria. Thousands of Christians have left the area. ‘We have no guns to fight back,’ said one. ‘Muslims have guns, and they have their soldiers fighting for them, so we have no choice but to leave.’

* MacArthur Arbado, a Baptist church elder in the Philippines, was shot in the leg, back and abdomen before being decapitated by attackers, believed to be members of a separatist Muslim group. He leaves a wife and 13 children.

* Rioting broke out last week in Iraqi Kurdistan, previously a safe haven for Christians. In one town, gangs set fire to more than 30 shops and bars and damaged three hotels, most of them Christian-owned. In another town, two Christian areas were attacked. Christians have received death threats.