‘Blessed Are Those Who Mourn’ Interview

I caught up with Release International’s Peter Smith to talk about his recent trip overseas to meet with partners and believers, an experience that both ‘moved and humbled’ him. In the interview Peter mentions Pakistan’s blasphemy laws which are at the root of much of the suffering and persecution of Christians and other minority groups….

BISHOPS’ PLIGHT A MICROCOSM OF SYRIA’S

Syrian Christians request prayer for their country on the third anniversary of the abduction of two Bishops of Aleppo. On 22nd April 2013 Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim of the Syrian Orthodox Church and Bishop Boulos Yaziji of the Greek Orthodox Church were stopped by armed militants while travelling north of Aleppo. The militants abducted the bishops…

IRAN: A WOMAN’S BRAVE DECISION TO RETURN TO PRISON

I wonder what it was that made Maryam Naghash-Zargaran decide to return to Iran knowing that she would certainly end up in an Iranian prison cell. I wonder if this dear sister in Christ might have read verse 3 in Hebrews 13 and decided that this was the best way for her to identify, and…

RESOURCES FOR CHURCHES

Will your church support persecuted Christians who are responding to hate with love? Every day Christians around the world are facing persecution for following Jesus. In Nigeria recently 700,000 members of the Church of the Brethren have been displaced by violence and more than 8,000 have been killed. In China, Azerbaijan, Eritrea and North Korea…

BLASPHEMY!

‘Something that you say or do that shows you do not respect God or a religion’ according to the Cambridge English Dictionary. Jesus was charged with this crime and crucified because of it (Matthew 26:65) and at this present moment there are many whose charge, sentence and innocence mirror that of their Lord’s for the sake of…

IRAN: IMPRISONED MOTHER’S STORY – THE POWER OF PRAYER

21 April 2016 Being incarcerated for your faith is one thing, but how do you prepare your child for the day that it happens? An Iranian mother in full-time ministry shares her story. ‘I knew the day would come… The day they would ring my doorbell and take me and my husband to prison. Although…

ERITREA: IMPRISONED FOR OVER A DECADE

Although the East African nation of Eritrea has a population of just 6 million, this tiny country is one of the leading sources of refugees in Europe. There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is a lack of religious freedom. In 2002 the Eritrean government outlawed the freedom of worship outside of Islam…

‘LOVE IN SPITE OF’

Many of my friends refuse to believe in a God who allows pain in the world. Many of my Christian friends find it difficult to hear the stories of the persecuted church when it involves a pastor, church leader or church member being arrested, imprisoned and brutally beaten because of his or her faith; perhaps…

ISTANBUL RELEASES U.S. STREET EVANGILIST FACING DEPORTATION

Christians in Turkey are very happy and thankful to God that American evangelist, David Byle, has been released from an immigration facility in Istanbul after receiving a deportation order for being a ‘danger to public order’ and a flight risk. There was no indication of what the ‘danger to public order’ accusation was based on, Byle’s…

AZERBAIJAN: PLEASE LIFT UP SHIMON IN YOUR PRAYERS

TRUMPED UP CHARGES Please pray for an Azeri brother who is in prison in Georgia on what we strongly believe are false charges that he was in possession of drugs. ‘Shimon’ (not his real name) was arrested last May. Our partner said: ‘His health is very bad and he needs urgent help – medical, spiritual…

ERITREA: HAILE NAIGZHI AND FAMILY

For nine years, the wife of Haile Naigzhi – leader of Eritrea’s Full Gospel Church – waited bravely with her children for her husband’s release. He was arrested in May 2004 alongside at least five other prominent church leaders, after the Eritrean government’s contentious decision to outlaw many religious groups in 2002. But the family’s difficulties…

IRAN: AN APPEAL FOR PRAYER FROM PRISONER EBRAHIM FIROUZI

17 April 2016 Ebrahim Firouzi, a prisoner in Rajai-Shahr Prison in Karaj in Iran, has appealed for prayer for Christians and churches in his country. The past three years has seen a well organised crackdown by Iranian authorities on the house churches in Iran, particularly on believers from a Muslim background. Ebrahim is one such…