In Bangladesh, Christians comprise less than 1% of the population. Unlike many other Islamic nations, it is not illegal for Muslims to convert to Christianity. However, since Islam is the state religion, the prime minister recently announced that anyone who makes offensive comments against Islam will be prosecuted. Followers of Jesus are pressured by their families and militant Islamic groups to renounce their faith. Mainline churches have been closed, and so many believers meet secretly in house churches. Due to their being a powerless minority, Christians are often physically attacked over land disputes and business dealings while officials look the other way. Please pray for grace for our persecuted brothers and sisters to shine as lights for Christ as they follow the way of the Cross.
In order to Sinicize Christianity, the Chinese regime is retranslating the Bible for their own political purposes and compelling house church leaders to pledge loyalty to the Marxist government.
Pastor John Cao (a Chinese-American who previously pastored in North Carolina) was arrested in 2017 on charges of illegal border crossing. Prior to his arrest, Pastor John, a leader in the house church movement, led efforts to take Chinese believers into Burma to build 16 Christian schools for more than 2,000 children. Now serving a 7-year sentence in prison, his health has suffered. Please intercede for God’s strength and grace for Pastor Cao, his American wife and two sons, and other believers in China who suffer for the Gospel’s sake.
Nigeria is one of the most dangerous nations for Christians. Muslims comprise about half of the nation’s population, and several radical Islamic terrorist groups have vowed to eradicate Christianity from Nigeria through “religious cleansing.” In 2014, Boko Haram killed more people in Nigeria than ISIS did in the Middle East. Thus far in 2018, more than 1,400 Christians have been murdered by Muslim terrorists, including 233 Christians that were brutally killed one weekend in June. Christian girls continue to be abducted by Boko Haram and made child brides with the attempt to force them to convert to Islam. Please pray for special grace for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Nigeria and that they will shine as lights for Christ as they follow the way of the Cross.
The government of Somalia claims that all Somalis are Muslim because its constitution makes Sunni Islam the state religion. The radical Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab is waging a campaign against Somalis who are secret Christians, executing them by beheading. In addition, just being a Christian woman invites abuse. One report documents that daily six women are raped or forced into arranged marriages because of their faith. Please pray for Gospel light to shine in Somalia and for Christians, isolated and in great need of fellowship and discipleship, to persevere in following Jesus.
Just some friendly reminders about upcoming events and ways you can get involved: 1. FMI's Dispatches from the Front DVD sale is going on through January 15th! $50 for the whole set of 6 DVDs or just $10 each! Order on our website or at Amazon.com.
2. FMI's Frontline Experience conference registration is now open for FX-WEST 2014 on March 28-29th in the Denver area! Register by February 15th and receive a discounted rate! More information and how to register at www.frontlineexperience.org.
3. Don't forget to take a minute to speak out on behalf of persecuted Christians who have no voice of their own! Please contact Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking him to schedule a floor vote for S. 653, The Near East and South Central Asia Religious Freedom Act. The bill, which appoints a Special Envoy to monitor persecution of believers in Muslim countries, passed overwhelmingly in the House of Representatives last September, and now the Senate needs to act. Call 202-224-3542, email (www.reid.senate.gov/contact), or send a tweet to @SenatorReid (mention #scheduleS653vote).