Pastor's Blog

A Church in Pain Posted 9.26.2013

Today  it is one year since Saeed Abedini was incarcerated because his faith was considered a national security risk to Iran.  Saeed is an American pastor in an Iranian prison.  This week, would you in any group in which you meet, please take some time and pray for pastor Saeed.  What is amazing is that he is not alone in suffering for his faith.  Here are some fresh stories of believers suffering.


MOROCCO.  Mohamed el Baldi, a Moroccan Christian from the town of Ain Aicha, has been fined and sentenced to two and a half years in prison for sharing the gospel. Mohamed, age 34, was arrested after an August 28 raid on his house in which his Bible and other Christian materials were confiscated. Mohamed was mistreated during the first night of his arrest. At a court hearing on Sept. 3, he was ordered to pay 5,000 dirhams (about $600) for “shaking the faith of a Muslim.” Propagating Christianity is prohibited under the Moroccan penal code. By law, the maximum punishment is three to six months in prison with a fine of 200 to 500 dirhams.


EGYPT.  Christians in the city of Dalga have been forced to pay a tax, called “jizya,” to the Muslim Brotherhood to prevent attacks by the group. The nearly 20,000 Christians in Dalga lived in peace with their Muslim neighbors until President Morsi was removed from office on July 3. Since then, Christians have had to pay the Muslim Brotherhood anywhere from 200 to 1,000 Egyptian pounds ($30 to $150) per day to prevent attacks by the group’s Islamist members. Christians report that neither police nor government officials nor the Egyptian army will protect Christians in the area. More than 150 Christian families have fled Dalga because they could not pay the jizya tax, which is now being required of non-Muslims in other areas as well. On Sept. 12, Emad Lotfy Demian, a 50-year-old husband and father of five, and his cousin Medhat Demian, a 37-year-old husband and father of three, were murdered by members of the Muslim Brotherhood after refusing to pay a jizya of 10,000 pounds ($1,500).


NIGERIA.  Government authorities in northern Nigeria’s Borno state plan to demolish 25 churches and schools, ostensibly to make room for new housing. However, no plans for the housing development have been produced. Christian leaders believe this is another attempt by local governments in northern Nigeria to persecute the Christian minority. The proposed demolitions would compound security challenges that Christians already face from the militant group Boko Haram. “We have seen the eviction notice from Borno state government,” said Dr. Asake, general secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria. “We are Nigerians, and there are other places where the state government can develop. The areas earmarked for demolition are already developed with churches and schools. Christians have already suffered enough in Borno state.”


May we walk with passion such a passion for Jesus that we will pray earnestly for the church around the world.  And may we endure our trials with grace worthy of the Savior.



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