Thank you for your prayers for ourpersecuted brothers and sisters inChrist, which make such a differenceto them. We sometimes have tochange or omit their names forsecurity reasons, and we have onlylimited space to share their stories.But the Lord knows the people andplaces we are praying about. Thankyou for your understanding.
As widely predicted, the MuslimBrotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Partyemerged from Egypt’s
rst parliamentary electionssince the revolution with the largest share of the vote (around 40 per cent). The success of the more hard line Sala
st al-Nur Party, whichachieved around 25 per cent, took commentatorsby surprise, as did the weak support for thesecular, liberal voices that had hailed therevolution. The election results are an indicationof the strength of Islamic fervency in Egypt and donot bode well for the country’s sizeable Christianminority, who have come under increasing attacksince the fall of President Mubarak. Pray that thenew Egyptian order will protect all of its citizensand promote genuine freedom and equality.
Between 11 August and 24 December 2011, eleven Christian children were seized in aseries of kidnappings in Nag Hammadi, Egypt.The captors demanded ransom payments – ashigh as 630,000 Egyptian pounds (£68,000;US$104,000; €82,000) – for the return of thehostages; some families were forced to hand over all they had to the assailants. A failed attemptwas made by the security forces to arrest theringleader and his gang, after which he allegedlythreatened to carry out a massacre in NagHammadi. Pray for all the families who have beenaffected by this distressing spate of kidnappings,that the Lord will comfort them and help them torebuild their lives.
Eritrea is ranked among theworld’s worst persecutors of Christians. Onlyfour Christian groups are of
cially recognised,and members of non-registered groups arerelentlessly harassed. All their churches havebeen closed; some of their leaders and membershave been imprisoned for more than eightyears; and they lose their jobs or are preventedfrom leaving the country. Even the recognisedchurches are subject to extensive control. Thegovernment sees Christians as a threat tonational unity because they give their ultimateallegiance to God. Pray for brave EritreanChristians who serve the Lord at the risk of their liberty. Ask Him to strengthen those who areimprisoned in appalling conditions, and that theymay soon be released.
Sunday 4The Iranian authoritiesraided a Christmas service at achurch in Ahwaz on 23 December2011, detaining everyone in thebuilding, including the children.The youngsters were severelydistressed by the incident, duringwhich the security agents had theirfaces covered. The majority of thecongregation were interrogated andthreatened; they were eventuallyreleased once their personal detailshad been recorded. Four – thesenior pastor and his wife, and twoother church leaders – were heldin custody. The pastor’s wife wassubsequently released, but, at thetime of writing, the whereaboutsand condition of the other three wasunknown. Pray that the children will
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