Persecution Fridays: Indonesia – Pastor Arrested

November 18, 2011 at 10:05 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Indonesia: Pastor Arrested

After closing the Indonesia Pentecost Church (Gpdi) in Sumedang, Indonesia, for using an illegal building permit, authorities arrested the church’s pastor for forcing others to attend church. The church was built more than 24 years ago, and it has experienced threats only within the last few months.

“This church building is a permanent building, and it has been there for more than 24 years,” said Theophilus Belo, director of Jakarta Christian Communication Forum (FKKJ). “During that time, everything was going well. But on July this year, this congregation got a problem. Their church has been closed by local administration.”

On Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, a local administrative group threatened to close the church. The church had previously received a letter urging them to stop Christian activities, and the district head of Jatinangor in Sumedang, Nandang Suparman, said the church building had no legal building permit.

“Until today we have not yet received their building permit documentation application,” Suparman said. “We have checked if they are already submitting it from a district administrative level. On May this year, if I’m not mistaken, we sent them a letter to urge them to start applying for their building permit. We are already giving them a chance to start applying, but they don’t do it.”

Suparman urged the church to move its services into a church building belonging to the Institute of Public Administration (IPND). “I’ll talk with the leaders of IPND that this congregation is permitted to use their institute’s church building,” he said.

The Indonesian Christian organization Kabar Gereja reports that the IPND cannot accommodate the congregations of any more closed churches. At least 14 churches have been relocated to the IPND’s church building.

Gpdi’s pastor was put on trial on Oct. 3 at Sumedang Government Court, and he faces up to three months in prison for forcing others to attend church. The church’s closure adds to the long list of churches that have been closed by Indonesian authorities. Other church leaders have also been arrested after their churches closed, according to Kabar Gereja. According to the FKKJ, at least 30 churches have been closed or burned in Indonesia in 2011.

Persecution Fridays: Turkmenistan

October 29, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Turkmenistan: Pastor Sentenced

On Oct. 21, Pastor Ilmurad Nurliev was sentenced to four years in prison after being convicted of large-scale swindling, according to Forum 18 News Service. Pastor Nurliev, who leads the Light to the World Pentecostal church in Mary, Turkmenistan, was arrested two months ago after being accused of swindling money from several people in his congregation. Pastor Nurliev’s wife and many church members have insisted that the charges were fabricated to punish the pastor for his work with the unregistered church. The court also ruled that Nurliev be treated for a drug addiction while in prison. Believers vigorously deny that Pastor Nurliev is a drug addict in need of treatment but stress that he is diabetic. Pastor Nurliev’s wife and congregation are very concerned about his health. Pray that God will protect him and that he will receive proper treatment for his diabetes. Also pray that Pastor Nurliev’s family and church members will be strengthened during this time, and pray that his sentence might be reduced.

Persecution Fridays: Pakistan

September 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Pakistan: Church Property Burned

On Sept. 19, Islamic extremists broke into the Philadelphia Pentecostal Church in Sharif Town, Karachi City, Pakistan, and set fire to Bibles, hymnals, a musical instrument and a table, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

The church, which is led by Pastors George Rakha and Peter Shahzad, was established six years ago and is actively involved in Muslim evangelism. “At 4 a.m., some fanatics broke the lock of the church door and entered the church,” VOM contacts reported. “They burned three crosses, nine Bibles, five books of worship songs, a table and a musical instrument Tabla [local drum].”

On Sept. 20, the Christian community displayed a banner protesting the burning of their Bibles. Christians believe this incident was a reaction to an American pastor’s widely publicized threat to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11. Christian leaders in the U.S. spoke out against the pastor’s plan to burn the Quran, and he ultimately decided against it. But it seems that no Muslim leaders spoke out against the actual burning of Bibles in Pakistan.

VOM encourages you to pray for believers in Pakistan who courageously live for Christ in the midst of opposition. Pray that believers’ testimonies and love for Christ will draw their Muslim neighbors into fellowship with Christ.

Persecution Fridays: Turkmenistan

September 10, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com 

Turkmenistan: Pastor Faces Charges

Pentecostal pastor Ilmurad Nurliev faces criminal charges of “large–scale swindling,” according to Forum 18 News.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and possible confiscation of property. Pastor Nurliev was arrested at his home in southeastern Turkmenistan on Aug. 27. Three women who previously attended Nurliev’s church wrote statements stating the pastor took money from them. Nurliev’s wife and other church members vigorously deny these charges, saying police pressured the three to write the statements and that they now regret doing so. Another church member was threatened that if she does not testify against Pastor Nurliev, her husband, who is not a church member, will be fired from his job.

The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray that the truth of this case will become known. Ask the Lord to comfort and sustain Pastor Nurliev and his wife, Maya. Please pray for wisdom and guidance for all of those who are involved in the case. Pray the church in Turkmenistan will be strengthened in spite of hostilities.

Newslinks 08/15/10

August 15, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

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Another Democrat facing ethics charges
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Newslinks 07/11/10

July 11, 2010 at 11:55 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

Atheists put billboard on Billy Graham Parkway
A statewide coalition of atheists and agnostics has placed billboards in six North Carolina cities, including one along the Billy Graham Parkway in Charlotte.

Euthanasia weighs evenly on U.S. morality scale
Gallup’s most recent “Values and Beliefs” survey shows an even split among Americans on the issue of doctor-assisted suicide.

Reformed churches merger approved
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Sunday’s Newslinks 01/24/10

January 24, 2010 at 9:36 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

4 More Malaysian Churches Attacked; 1 Vandalized
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(CNSNews.com)
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