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Religious Liberty Prayer: April 2007 Update

April 24, 2007

**WELCOME to the 10 intercessors who have joined the list this month.**


Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin | No. 426 | Wed 25 Apr 2007

DURING APRIL WE PRAYED FOR:

, where elections for state governors were held on 14 April
and for president on 21 April.

* UPDATE: The ruling party\'s candidate, Yar\'Adua (formerly the
governor of the northern Sharia state of Katsina), has
apparently won the election with 70 percent of the vote, but
there have been widespread claims of electoral fraud and
mismanagement. Opposition groups are not recognising the result
and the two main challengers, Muhammadu Buhari and Vice
President Atiku Abubakar, have declared the vote unacceptable.
Niger Delta militants have vowed to make the region
\'ungovernable\'. According to ISN Security Watch, \' [is]
teetering on the edge of a major crisis, [and] analysts fear the
ramifications will go far beyond the country\'s borders.\'

GAZA , where Islamic militants bombed the only Christian
bookshop, a ministry run by the Palestinian Bible Society.

* UPDATE: On Saturday 12 April Muslim extremists destroyed parts
of Gaza\'s American International School by detonating bombs
throughout the premises before the students arrived. The
school\'s principal, Ribhi Salem, believes the militants want to
destroy \'our way of life, the way we think, the way we see
things, our values and principles.\'


\'Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put
your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Saviour and my
God.\' Psalm 42:5 (also v11)


OTHER ISSUES DURING APRIL

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* PHILIPPINES: HOSTAGES BEHEADED; BOMBS EXPLODED

The al-Qaeda-linked Islamic terror group Abu Sayyaf is based in the
mountain townships of Indanan and Parang on the southern Philippine
island of Jolo , Sulu province, Mindanao . Since August 2006 the Abu
Sayyaf has been under fire from a US-backed Philippine military
offensive. Two of its top leaders and up to half its jihadists are
reported to have been killed. On 16 April the Abu Sayyaf kidnapped
seven men, including two teenagers. They demanded 5 million pesos
(US$105,000) ransom and when that was refused they beheaded the
hostages, all of whom were \'Christian\'. On 19 April they had the
severed heads delivered to army outposts in Parang and Indanan.

Also in Sulu, on 13 April the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF)
declared a \'jihad\' and fired mortars at Philippine military
positions, triggering a military response that has left some 45,000
civilians displaced. On Wednesday 18 April two motorbike-riding
jihadists died while transporting a time bomb to a busy
intersection of Cotabato City , Mindanao . They had been delayed by
roadblocks and their bomb exploded as they passed a vacant plot. On
Sunday 22 April a time bomb exploded on the edge of Midsayap
township, North Cotabato province. A 20-year-old woman hit by
shrapnel was the only person wounded as the motorbike-riding
militants ditched the bomb prematurely due to roadblocks. Embassies
are warning that a serious terrorist attack may be imminent.
Christians are highly vulnerable, especially to kidnapping and
terrorism.


* : THREE BIBLE HOUSE WORKERS MURDERED

On Wednesday 18 April a group of young Turkish Muslim nationalists
entered the Zirve Publishing House (which publishes and distributes
Bibles) in Malatya, eastern , and murdered the three
Christians working there. The believers were found bruised and
bound to chairs, with multiple stab wounds on their bodies, and
with their throats cut. Two of the victims were young Turkish
converts from Islam while the third was a German citizen. Twelve
Muslim youths are facing charges with five held in custody. The
brutal nature of the crime has shocked and revolted many in ,
causing some shame and soul-searching. Pray for God to comfort his
Church, enlighten Turks to truth and bring good from this evil.

Over recent years several issues have driven much of \'s
middle class towards nationalism and the masses towards Islamic
fundamentalism. On top of this, some politicians have been
exploiting for political gain the nationalist and Islamist myth of
the \'missionary\' threat to Turkish national security and identity.
Meanwhile \'s pro-EU, secular, liberal democrats are concerned
about the rising hostility both within their country and against
their country. has only about 100,000 Christians (mostly
ethnic Armenians) in a population of 74 million. During May
\'s parliament will elect a new president. Please pray for
.

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We usually provide a summary to use in news-sheets unable to
run the whole of an RLP. As a summary is not practicable with
this monthly update posting we suggest one or more of the above
items be used instead.

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The WEA Religious Liberty Commission sponsors this
RL Prayer List to help individuals and groups pray
specifically and regularly for religious liberty
issues, and in particular to uphold the Church
where it is suffering persecution.

RL Prayer is moderated by Ron Clough, a commissioner
of the WEA RLC and convener of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.