Headliners for the week of 10 July, 2020

Police begin Bible launch investigations

South Korea (MNN) -- What began as an activity restriction in South Korea is turning into an assault on religious freedom. In early June, police stopped Voice of the Martyrs Korea from sending Bibles across the border to North Korea. Today, the ministry and its co-founder, Eric Foley, face criminal investigations. One began this week, and the first evaluation shows no misconduct. Ask the Lord to sustain Foley and VOM Korea. Pray justice will prevail as the investigations continue.

Call to action

  • As they face an uncertain future, ask the Lord to sustain Foley and the VOM Korea team. Pray justice will prevail as investigations continue.
  • Pray for Christian ministries operating throughout South Korea. Pray ministry leaders will have wisdom and discernment.

Closed Kenyan markets leads to human trafficking

Kenya (MNN) -- Efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 have closed public spaces around the world. That’s causing unexpected problems in Kenya, where farmers rely heavily on markets to sell their goods. Without money coming in from market day, they’ve resorted to selling young girls into human trafficking and forced marriages. Pray for Kenyan families facing dire moral and economic crises. Ask God to bring hope and safety to girls trapped in these human trafficking rings.

Call to action

  • Pray for Kenyan families facing unthinkable choices.
  • Ask God to protect girls sold into human trafficking.
  • Thank Him for the hope He can provide even the most desperate families.

The new Iranian persecution law no one knows about

Iran (MNN) -- In the middle of a pandemic, many Christians have only been able to communicate via digital means. Now, a new law in Iran may prevent believers from even that contact. Any religion, counseling, or teaching that contradicts Islam in any way could be labeled as criminal. Unfortunately, even local Iranians don’t always know these laws are being enacted. Pray that Iranian officials will make less exclusive decisions, and pray that the body of Christ would stay informed about the reality of persecution.

Call to action

  • Pray for Iranian believers seeking freedom in a more restricted world.
  • Ask God to move local officials to peace and collaboration rather than persecution.
  • Thank Him for the work of groups like Heart4Iran attempting to spread word of this new law.

Hagia Sophia, foreign Christians targeted in Turkey

hagia sophia

Turkey (MNN) -- Religious freedom is fading in Turkey. One of the world’s oldest churches, the Hagia Sophia, currently functions as a museum in Istanbul. President Erdogan wants it to be converted into a mosque. Turkey’s highest court was supposed to announce its decision a few days ago. Instead, the court delayed until July 17th. Middle East Concern’s Daniel Hoffman says at the local level, criminals have targeted churches more than once in recent weeks. Pray for strength as believers continue Gospel work in Turkey.

Call to action

  • Under the current regime of President Erdogan, secularism has steadily diminished and the country is accepting a more pronounced Islamic influence. Pray the rights of religious minorities, like Christians, are protected.
  • The Turkish government has not generally targeted Christians in particular, but the strong religious nationalism in Turkey leaves almost no space for Christians to proclaim an alternative message. Pray Christians have freedom to share their beliefs.

Chinese Communist Party threatened by growth of the Church

China (MNN) — Early Rain Covenant Church is an underground church in China, but one that had been getting very active online. They caught the attention of the Chinese government, who raided the church in 2018. One of the elders, Qin Defu is still being held in prison. So why is this Church such a threat to the Communist Party? Greg Musselman of Voice of the Martyrs Canada says, “Really what the government is looking to do is if you were Chinese, you'd go along with the communist government, their ideology, the church, and Christianity is often seen as Western. But it's also seen as being not conforming along to Chinese culture. So, the fact that the churches are in existence and have grown by, you know, millions, that is probably the greatest revival in all history.” Musselman cites studies saying there could be as many as 200 million Christians in China by the year 2030. Again, [with] COVID-19, we've seen how this has been used all over the church, whether it's North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, India, and you know, even in China. Christians, because they're not followers of the state ideology, they're being withheld food and aid.” Pray for Christians suffering in China, that they would know they are not alone, and that Christ would comfort them.

Call to action

  • Pray that Qin Defu would be released from prison back to his family.
  • Pray that Christ would comfort his people in China.
  • Ask God to continue building His church in China, against the opposition from the Communist Party.