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IDOP 2006: Persecution Widespread and Intensifying

November 3, 2006

******** PARTICIPATE IN IDOP - 12 / 19 NOVEMBER 2006 ********
The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
For resources, visit http://www.idop.org
*************************************************************

Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin - No. 402 - Wed 01 Nov 2006

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IDOP 2006: PERSECUTION WIDESPREAD AND INTENSIFYING
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Christian communities in the world today are facing genocide (Iraq,
Papua), mass imprisonment with extreme violence (Eritrea, North
Korea), escalating violent persecution (India, Sri Lanka) and
mounting government repression (Iran, Belarus). Many Christians
live perpetually at risk from repressive authoritarian forces or
Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist pogroms. Persecution of Christians is
widespread and intense as a quick tour through some of this year\'s
news headlines will demonstrate. These actual 2006 headlines from
the sources indicated and found on the internet are of course only
the smallest tip of the iceberg.

AMERICAS

Cuba Jails Evangelical Church Leader (Compass Direct [CD] 3 Mar).
Broken-hearted missionaries leave Venezuela (CNN 13 Feb).

AFRICA

Algeria bans Muslims from learning about Christianity (Arabic News
21 Mar) Algeria: severe new penalties for \'proselytising\' (WEA
RLC 24 Mar). Worshippers attacked in Egyptian Coptic churches
(The Ind. 15 Apr). Egypt Jails Christian Convert from Islam (CD
18 Oct). Sudanese Church Damaged by Arson Attacks (CD 3 May).
Anglican Bishop in Nigeria Survives Fourth Attack [Kaduna] (CD 20
April). 15 dead in Nigeria as protesters attack Christians
[Katsina] (CTV 18 Feb). Eritrean Religious prisoner count tops 1900
(CD 8 Sep). Two Eritrean Christians Tortured to Death (CD 18
Oct). Eritrean Police Arrest 150 More Christians (CD 30 Oct).
Thousands in Somalia rally for holy war (CNN 14 Aug). Muslims
Attack Christians in Henno, Ethiopia (ICC 19 Oct).

MIDDLE EAST & PERSIA

Christian neighborhood of Baghdad bombed (CNN 4 Oct). \'In 20 years,
there will be no more Christians in Iraq\' (Guardian 6 Oct).
Decapitated Syrian-Orthodox priest laid to rest in Mosul, Iraq
(AINA 12 Oct). Iraq: Christians live in fear of death squads (UN
IRIN 19 Oct). Two West Bank churches torched (Aljazeera 16 Sep).
Saudi Police Arrest Four East African Christians (CD 16 Jun).
Christian arrested and imprisoned for his Faith in the North of
Iran (voxdei 25 Jul). Iran\'s intelligence agents arrest daughter
of murdered priest (Iran Focus 3 Oct). Catholic priest shot dead in
church in Turkey (Reuters 5 Feb). Catholic priest knifed in Turkey
(BBC 3 Jul). Converts in Turkey Charged under Speech Law (CD 1
Nov).

EUROPE

Belarus KGB pressures Christian churches and communities (Axis 20
Mar). Radical Belarus: 19th Day of Hunger Strike - Protestants\'
Health Declines (C97 24 Oct). [New Life\'s hunger strike has been
temporarily suspended while court action progresses.] Islam Takes
Root in the Balkans (World Press 3 May). Kosovo church demolished
(B92, 12 May).

CENTRAL ASIA

Kazakhstan - Unregistered Protestants face fines for worship
(Forum18 News 8 Sep). Kyrgyzstan - Intolerance against
Christians highlighted by murder (F18 17 Feb). Turkmenistan -
Police beat Baptist with Bible and threaten to hang her (F18 29
Jul) Uzbekistan - Protestants face guns, beatings, fines and
deportation (F18 6 Sep).

SOUTH ASIA

Afghan Clerics Demand Convert Be Killed (AP 23 Mar). Pakistani
Woman Raped for Leaving Islam (CD 23 Jun). Pakistan: Fifth church
attacked within two months (AsiaNews 4 Apr). Christian
missionaries detained in Jammu & Kashmir (ICNS 14 Feb) Attacks
against Christians Rise in Karnataka, India (CD 11 Sep). Family
in India Driven from Village for Embracing Christ (CD 27 May). Sri
Lanka: Pastor beaten up (NCEASL 9 Feb). Christian churches come
under attack in Sri Lanka (Tamilnet 17 May). Church Burned Down in
Bangladesh (CD 10 Apr).

EAST ASIA

Itinerant House Church Pastor Murdered in Laos (CD 6 Jan). Another
Christian dies in a Vietnamese prison (ICC 11 May). North Korea -
Religious freedom non-existent (F18 29 Mar). Disabled Anhui
House Church Pastor Sentenced to Two Years for Printing Christian
Literature (CAA 21 Oct). Chinese Authorities Demolish Church, Beat
Protesters (CD 4 Aug). A Church Leader [Zhang Rongliang] in China
Draws 7 Years (NYT 10 Jul). 30 House Church Leaders and
Christians Arrested in Sichuan Province (CAA 30 Jun).

SOUTH EAST ASIA

Sulawesi [Indonesia] Christian priest killed (BBC 17 Oct). Mob
Forces Church to Close in West Java, Indonesia (CD 28 Mar).
Papua [Indonesia] asylum seekers \'fleeing persecution\' (ABC 31 Jan)
Malaysia: Once Muslim, Now Christian and Caught in the Courts
(NYT 24 Aug).

IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES

Mother killed after teen rejects Islam (The Australian 12 Oct).
Catholic convert, held in NZ jail, fights return to Iran (NZ Cath.
24 Oct).

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Today, nearly sixty years after the creation of the United Nations
and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, discrimination
against and persecution of Christians is only increasing. We simply
cannot put our faith in human institutions. Mankind\'s problem is
not human will - that needs only to be directed - but human nature
which needs to be supernaturally transformed. That is why the
Church at prayer is far more powerful and effective than any human
institution. On Sunday 12 November, the International Day of Prayer
for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), we unite for extraordinary prayer
on behalf of the suffering Church. Lord, revive your Church to love
and pray for each other and for the nations, for the kingdom and
the glory of God. Amen.

For resources to help you pray for God\'s persecuted Church see the
WEA IDOP website < http://www.idop.org >.

~~~~

SUMMARY TO USE IN BULLETINS UNABLE TO RUN THE WHOLE ARTICLE:
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PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS WIDESPREAD AND INTENSIFYING

Christian communities today are facing genocide (Iraq, Papua), mass
imprisonment with extreme violence (Eritrea, North Korea),
escalating violent persecution (India, Sri Lanka) and mounting
government repression (Iran, Belarus). Many Christians live at risk
from repressive authorities or Islamic, Hindu or Buddhist pogroms.
We cannot put our faith in bodies like the UN with its Universal
Declaration of Human Rights. Mankind\'s problem is not human will -
that needs only to be directed - but human nature which needs to be
supernaturally transformed. Thus the Church at prayer is far more
powerful and effective than any human institution. On Sunday 12
November, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church
(IDOP), we unite in extraordinary prayer on behalf of the suffering
Church. Lord, revive your Church to love and pray for each other
and for the nations, for the kingdom and the glory of God. Amen.

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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 convenor of the Australian EA RLC.
Elizabeth Kendal researched and authored this message.