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WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News - January 1, 2012

December 30, 2011

Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands toward your Most Holy Place. Psalm 28:2    

* World Evangelical Alliance is a global ministry working with local churches around the world to join in common concern to live and proclaim the Good News of Jesus in their communities. God is glorified and the nations of the earth are forever transformed.

The purpose of the WEA Religious Liberty Prayer Release is to keep you informed and mobilized in prayer and intercession for the needs of justice and religious liberty in the Church around the globe, so that we can stand together for the work of the Kingdom and the healing of the Nations. The Prayer Release is comprised on the basis of different credible Christian based resources.

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Christians fined for attending worship meetings in KAZAKHSTAN[i] 

December 13, A Christian Baptist leader, Nikolai Popov from the town of Balkhash in Karaganda was imprisoned for two days for refusing to pay fines imposed for leading worship meetings without compulsory state registration. Another Christian has been fined as well for attending a meeting for worship while another awaits trial for the same offence. The new Religion Law along with an Amending Law considerably broadened the range of "offences" for exercising the right to freedom of religion or belief, as well as increasing punishments for this. In Kazakhstan all religious groups are required to register with the government. Under Administrative Code Articles 374-1 and 375, local authorities can penalize activities of unregistered organizations with fines or detention. Increased Islamist dissent has caused the government to adopt repressive religion laws. These laws subsequently have an effect on the newer and more active Christian denominations and have been used to limit, restrict and even persecute Christians.  

Prayer points:

Pray that authorities will cease their harassment of unregistered church communities.

Pray that Christians in Kazakhstan will be able continue to minister the gospel despite harassment.

Pray that believers will stand firm in their faith in spite of persecution.  

Christian baptized abroad imprisoned in IRAN[ii] 

December 14, An Iranian Muslim convert to Christianity, Alireza Seyedin, 31, was sentenced to a six year jail term for holding his baptism in Turkey by branch 28 of the Revolutionary court of Iran. Seyedins lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadhkah, in an interview has stated that his client had been imprisoned owing to being convicted on charges of propaganda against the regime and acting against national security. The judge who gave out the sentence had reportedly stated that by having his baptism in Turkey, Seyedin had propagated against the regime since there were sufficient priests in Iran to carry out the baptism. Furthermore Mr. Seyedins lawyer had said that The judges interpretation was that by having his baptism in Turkey, my clients intent was to express the lack of freedom in Iran. Also Mr. Dadhkah stated that his client had been charged for posting videos of the baptism on the internet as well as holding interviews regarding it which the judge interpreted as against national security.  Alireza Seyedin who runs a house church in Iran was first arrested in 2010 but was released on $50,000 bail. 

Prayer points: 

Pray for Alireza Seyedin that he would stand firm in his faith during this difficult time.

Pray that he will be released and exonerated from all charges.Pray for Gods comfort upon the family of Alireza Seyedin.

*  Pray for believers in Iran that they would grow stronger in their faith and continue to spread the gospel amid persecution. 

Persecution of Christians expected to continue in NORTH KOREA[iii]

December 20, Following the announcement made by authorities of the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, many Christian organizations have expressed their concern over the nation's persecuted Christians. Its estimated that there are 50,000 to 70,000 Christian prisoners in North Korea, which has regularly being listed in the U.S. State Department's "countries of particular concern" with regard to religious freedom. Due to the country's political and cultural seclusion and state-controlled media, statistics on its religious breakdown vary. Self-reporting from the North Korean government to a United Nations Human Rights Commission in 2002 said there were 12,000 Protestants and 800 Catholics in the nation of 24 million people. However a report on global Christianity released by the Pew Forum estimates that there are 480,000 Christians in North Korea.

Christians in North Korea are routinely arrested for practicing their religion, according to human rights organizations.  Furthermore for eight years, North Korea has held the top spot on Open Doors' list of nations with the worst treatment of Christians.  

Prayer points:

Pray for Gods protection over all Christians in North Korea.

*  Pray for believers in North Korea that they will stand firm in their faith.

Pray for the release of imprisoned Christians in North Korea.

*  Pray for more freedom of religion and for the spreading of the gospel in North Korea. 

Prayer Alert Christmas carnage in Nigeria; 5 Churches bombed

Pray for believers in Nigeria after Christmas day church bombings left 45 people dead and 73 others injured.   

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[i] Source: FORUM 18, available at:
http://www.forum18.org/Archive.php?article_id=1646

[ii] Source: Iran Human Rights, available at: http://www.iranhumanrights.org/2011/12/seyedi/

[iii] Source: Huffington Post, available at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/19/kim-jong-il-dead-north-korea-christians_n_1158943.html