Christians in a remote village of Uzbekistan are being beaten, publicly humiliated and chased out of their homes and jobs for converting to Christianity. A local strongman is orchestrating harsh opposition to the small congregation in Janbashkala village, near Turtkul in south-western Uzbekistan. Tokhtabay Sadikov has pressured local police and civic officials, the prosecutor's office, the secret police and Muslim clerics to impose punishing measures against every villager known to have "abandoned the Muslim faith of their parents." The water supply to Christian homes in the village has been cut off, and the church of nearly 100 has dwindled to 20.
Pray God will give Christians in Janbashkala supernatural courage, boldness in their faith and love for their Muslim neighbours. Pray the Lord will honour the commitment of faithful believers with His presence and guidance. Pray this overcoming remnant will lead many to Christ.
(ASSIST News Service)
Three people died during a riot outside a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt. The riot was in protest of a play accused of offending Islam. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reports police used sticks and tear gas to hold back a crowd of around 5,000 protesters, who marched on St. George's church. Dozens of people were injured in the crush. Police report one man inhaled tear gas, was trampled and later died. October 19th, a nun was stabbed by a Muslim, who protested the sale of a DVD of the play, staged at the church in 2003. The demonstration was the latest in a series of incidents at the church related to the 2003 performance of the play entitled, "I Once Was Blind But Now I See." The drama tells the story of a poor young Copt who is drawn to Islamist militants who then try to kill him. Coptic Christian leaders report the play depicts the dangers of extremism, not of Islam. The church's director, Rev. Augustinous, denied the play was offensive to Islam because its Christian hero is ultimately saved by a Muslim friend. Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 70 million people. Egypt's majority is Muslim.
Pray the publicity surrounding this event will lead many Muslims to view the DVD and question the tenets of their faith. Pray Coptic Christians will be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit as they deal with fanatic Muslims. Pray the Lord will surround Coptic Christians with His love and mercy and protect them from harm.
Christians in the rural areas of Kano are afraid to send their children to public schools, fearing they will be forced to convert to Islam. Students are being forced to study Arabic, Islam, and say Islamic prayers. Moreover, Christian leaders report the government refuses to grant churches permission to establish schools in rural areas. "The strategy is to force Christians to send their children to public schools so they can be forced to become Muslims," said Rev. Murtala Marti Dangora, secretary of the Kano district of the Evangelical Church of West Africa. Rev. Dangora, a former Muslim, said there are still numerous cases of persecution in the state; in one case, 15 Christians were forced to flee Banda village because of Muslim antagonism. Another Christian leader noted that Christians in Kano state have lost religious liberty and are seen as second-class citizens.
Pray Christians worldwide will lift these members of the Body of Christ before His Throne. Pray God will hear their cry and work a miracle of His grace to allow believers in Nigeria to worship freely. Pray many Muslim authorities will seek the true God who loves them and grieves for their lost souls.