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Virus Hasn’t Stopped Attacks — Or Aid

[Photo: A woman in northern Nigeria who received food aid at a VOM distribution]

Do you wonder what’s happening in other countries during the COVID-19 outbreak? Daily activities in many countries have stopped or slowed down because of the global pandemic. But the virus has not stopped violent Muslims from attacking Christian villages in northern Nigeria.

Workers from The Voice of the Martyrs have learned of attacks on 15 cities in two Nigerian states since January 8. More than 400 families have been driven out of their homes.

The virus has also not stopped VOM workers from delivering aid to persecuted Nigerian Christians. “We continue our commitment to serve the persecuted in the midst of the pandemic,” said VOM’s regional director for Africa.

Under lockdown rules, workers have been able to distribute food on the three days a week when travel is allowed. Safety measures protect the people receiving the aid.

Please say a prayer today for Nigerian Christians and for those who bring them aid.


Laos: Waiting for Surgery

(Source: icommittopray.com.)

After John’s parents died, foster parents took him into their home. John was not a Christian, and neither were his foster parents. But John had a Christian friend. His friend shared Christian music and videos with him.

After listening to the music and watching the videos, John wanted to learn more about Jesus. He found a pastor in another village who explained the gospel to him. John trusted in Christ as his Savior!

John was happy in his new faith. But his foster parents and others in the village began to complain, curse him, and treat him badly. “Stop believing in God, because this is not the religion of our ancestors,” some said. “Christianity is a religion of foreigners.”

John’s foster parents even told him they were sorry they took him in after his parents died. They also said they would not pay for the surgery that he needed for an injured leg. John told them he would continue to love and respect them, but that he could not give up his faith. He said he would wait for surgery until he can afford to pay for it himself. “I will believe in Christ until I pass away,” he told them.

Find out more about Christians in Laos here and here.
[Photo: John. His eyes are covered to protect his identity.]


Pakistan: New Struggles for Mehak

Churches in Pakistan often post guards outside their worship service to protect the worshipers. But the guards can’t always stop attacks.

In 2013, guards were posted at All Saints Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, when radical Muslims attacked the church. The attackers’ bombs injured many at the church, including 4-year-old Mehak.

Mehak has been in the hospital many times for surgery to heal her injuries. Recently she began having seizures. The doctors found that she has small blood clots in her brain. Please pray for her complete healing.

(Photo: Mehak)


India: Obstacles to Christian Kindness

(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length and clarity)

Photo: Girl in India

The government of India ordered a lockdown throughout the country because of the coronavirus pandemic. “This lockdown had no warning,” said Brother Bennie, a recent guest on VOM Radio who is part of a ministry that spreads the gospel in India. “People were stuck where they are. For example some of our pastors’ kids are in a Christian boarding school. They are stuck at school, and the situation has become very bad.”

The Salvation Army
Christians in India are trying to help those in need around them. “We are seeing believers doing their best,” said Brother Bennie. “When William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, saw homeless people under the London Bridge, he told his son, ‘Do something.’ They came up with the plan to give soup, soap, and salvation. That is how their ministry started. We as a ministry have that desire to help.”

“[Christian believers] are feeding people who are going through town,” said Brother Bennie. “They are helping people who are stranded by giving them groceries and vegetables from their field and things….Believers are trying to reach out to neighbors and their loved ones.”

Opposition
But Indian Christians are facing obstacles to their kindness. Radical Hindus believe that the Christians are using their gifts of food and aid to try to bribe people to become Christians. They want to stop the Christians who are helping the needy.

“There are people who hate to see what we are doing,” Brother Bennie said.”

Brother Bennie requests that Christians “join us in praying for the suffering from this coronavirus, and those who are ill and those who are trying to help those people.”

To Do
Learn more about William Booth and the beginning of the Salvation Army here.

Read about Christians in India in Bold Believers in India, available in the Downloads section.


The End of Ramadan

This week, Muslims will end their month-long observance of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting. Toward the end of Ramadan, Muslims observe “the Night of Power.”

The Quran, the Muslim holy book, says, “The Night of Power is better than a thousand nights” (Quran 97:3-4). Muslims believe that an angel visited their prophet, Muhammad, on that night many centuries ago. They hope that truths will also be revealed to them on the Night of Power.

This week, Christians around the world will pray:
*That through Jesus, Muslims will find the truth they seek
*That Christians will help Muslims understand more of the truth about God and Jesus.

You can learn more about Islam in the book, Learning About Islam, available in the free Downloads section.