Fellow Believers Suffering Persecution Around the World
In the last four years, we have had 43 church planters killed in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran. Last week in Pakistan, one was killed and another, Brother Hafiz, was captured by an extremist group hostile to the Gospel. We do not yet know whether he has been tortured and/or killed.
Please pray for Brother Hafiz and the family of this most recent martyr. Pray that they will experience the Lord’s peace that surpasses understanding and that they will continue to have the courage and wisdom to model the love of Christ in these circumstances. Pray that they will even be able to “rejoice and be glad” for suffering for the name of Jesus and His message, and that they will remember that “great is [their] reward in heaven” (Matthew 5:11-12). Pray also for their captors and killers, as we are commanded (Matthew 5:44), and that we will see conversions like that of the Apostle Paul among the very leaders of these extremist groups.
Besides Pakistan, our fellow workers in Christ are experiencing particularly aggressive persecution in Afghanistan, Iran, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and parts of India. Pray for the believers working in all those countries for the Lord and encountering not only spiritual opposition, but also physical violence and attempted intimidation. Pray that “words may be given [to them] so that [they] will boldly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which [they] are ambassadors in chains. Pray that [they] may declare it fearlessly, as [they] should” (Ephesians 6:19-20). Pray also for national, regional, and local government officials in those countries, that those who follow Christ might “live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (1 Timothy 2:2).
By your prayers and your giving, please continue to support those who are living much of what the Apostle Paul experienced after he had participated in Stephen’s murder — they are persevering “…in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses; in beatings, imprisonments and riots; in hard work, sleepless nights and hunger; in purity, understanding, patience and kindness; in the Holy Spirit and in sincere love; in truthful speech and in the power of God; with weapons of righteousness in the right hand and in the left; through glory and dishonor, bad report and good report; genuine, yet regarded as imposters; known, yet regarded as unknown; dying, and yet living on; beaten, and not yet killed; sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, and yet possessing everything” (2 Corinthians 6:4-10).