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WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News: India, Ethiopia, Uzbekistan

December 16, 2014

WEA Religious Liberty Prayer News

11 December 2014

RLPN: 2014/08


"The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want."

Psalm 23:1
 
Dear Friends in Christ,
 
The 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 resources. 
 
Indian Christians hold a candle light vigil, suspecting foul play behind the fire that destroyed the St. Sebastian's Church in New Delhi, India. Associated Press/Photo by Tsering Topgyal

Fire destroys St Sebastian’s Church in New Delhi, INDIA

6 December, St Sebastian's Church located in the Dilshad Garden area in east Delhi, India was burnt badly in a fire on 1 December. Church officials, however, believe that the church was a target of arson.
 
The fire destroyed much of the building, including its prayer hall, altar and statues. According to reports, the damage is estimated to be around USD 245,000.
 
Following the incident, Christians protested outside the police headquarters in Delhi. In response, authorities set up a Special Investigation Team to inquire into the incident.
 
Prayer points:
  • Pray for the leaders and the congregants of the St Sebastian church in Delhi that they would remain calm and trust in the Lord during this difficult time;
  • Pray that authorities would carry out an impartial investigation into the incident;
  • Pray that persecuted Christians in India would stand firm in their faith in spite of the growing pressures.
Source: EFI Persecution News
 
Christians fined for meeting together in UZBEKISTAN

3 December, It is reported that 4 Christians were fined by an Uzbek court recently for allegedly holding a religious meeting without state permission on 5 September. 

According to reports, the court also ordered that 2 Bibles, 2 Christian songbooks, a personal diary, a video-cassette and 26 DVDs confiscated at the location of the meeting be destroyed.

Denis Absattarov, whose home was raided, stated that a Bible in Uzbek, a video-cassette tape and a personal diary discovered by the police did not belong to him or his friends but were rather planted by the police.

Any religious activity without state permission is forbidden in Uzbekistan.

Prayer points:
  • Pray that the Christians fined would not be discouraged but would continue to stand firm in their faith;
  • Pray for God’s protection and wisdom upon the country’s Christians;
  • Pray for greater religious freedoms in Uzbekistan.
 
The demolished Heaven's Light Church in Harar, Ethiopia.

Church demolished in ETHIOPIA
 
9 December, According to reports, local authorities demolished a church in Harar, Ethiopia on 28 November after complaints were made against the church by a local Muslim.

Following the complaint made, authorities warned the congregation that the church would be demolished, if worship services were not halted. 


Prior to this incident, Heaven’s Light Church in Harar operated unnoticed for 5 years. 

As a result of all land in Ethiopia being publicly owned, churches are unable to legally purchase and build permanent places of worship. Rather, churches are forced to lease land for a limited period of time, after which they have to renegotiate the lease or vacate the premises and demolish any amendments or additions to the land.

Prayer points:
  • Pray for the pastor and congregants of Heaven’s Light Church, that God would comfort them during this difficult time;
  • Pray that they would be able to meet for worship;
  • Pray for legal reforms that would enable all churches to operate lawfully in Ethiopia.
 
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Give us your feedback at: wearlc@worldea.org

The purpose of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission is to promote freedom of religion for all people worldwide as defined by Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights, and in accordance with Scripture. Our aim is to help all people, but especially Protestant Christians, to exercise their faith without oppression or discrimination.