Persecution & Prayer Alert

"God does not come to us in nicely defined, rationally
explained, thought categories. (He) does not fit Himself into
our theological textbooks.... He is near, yet transcendent;
clothed in human form, yet holy; more terrifying than can be
imagined, yet compassionate; invisible, yet revealed;
judging, yet merciful; sovereign, yet humble...."

~ S. Moen 


North Africa: Captain on Trial for Throwing Migrants Overboard

Source(s): Christian Today


The Mediterranean Sea.
Photo: Wiki Commons / Andreas Meck

A boat captain faces a prison sentence of up to 90 years after being charged in Spain with the murder of six Christian migrants by allegedly throwing them overboard. According to the indictment against him, the captain and a colleague attacked the six Nigerian Christians because they believed the passengers' prayers had provoked a storm during the voyage from North Africa.

The inflatable boat had about 50 migrants aboard when it left Morocco in December of 2014 to make the 14-kilometre voyage to Spain. Police state in the indictment that the attackers pulled back slats and beat the Christians, then threw them into the "raging sea" where they were lost. One body was found a few days later off the coast of Granada.

The captain, named as Alain N.B. from Cameroon, has denied all charges. He was one of two men arrested in connection with the incident; the second man died before the start of the trial. Prosecutors in the Spanish city of Almería have requested 15 years for each of the six offences. If convicted of all charges, Alain will be serving 45 of the total 90 years behind bars.

So far this year, more than 300,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea in order to reach Europe, after fleeing countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and Nigeria. Another 3,000 died while attempting to make the crossing. (For a report on a similar incident involving the persecution of migrants, click here.)

Please pray for the grieving families and friends of the six Nigerian Christians whose lives tragically ended while at sea. May they continue to sense God's comforting presence and strength. Likewise, let's uphold the loved ones of the many other migrants who perished while crossing the Mediterranean Sea in their attempts to seek refuge. In addition to praying that justice will prevail during the upcoming trial, please intercede on behalf of the accused captain who is, from an eternal perspective, spiritually lost and destined to perish unless he genuinely repents and turns His life over to God. May Alain experience our Lord's unconditional love and, as a result, receive His mercy and salvation.

Philippines: Fatal Gunshots Fired by Motorcyclists

Source(s): VOM Australia, Release International

A dedicated church elder from Sultan Kudarat, Philippines, was brutally murdered by two men on September 11th. Witnesses say Perfecto Padilla, 52, was resting outside his house in a hammock when two militant Muslim men came by on motorcycles and began firing what was believed to be a 45-calibre pistol from about five metres away. Perfecto was struck by seven bullets in his chest, thigh and other parts of his body. The assailants quickly fled the scene.

Perfecto's daughter Naomi ran to her wounded father, crying and screaming for help. A pastor was nearby, visiting a church member, when he heard the screaming and promptly came to assist. Noting the seriousness of Perfecto's wounds, Pastor William borrowed a tricycle so he could immediately take him to the hospital, but the wounded man died on the journey. Perfecto is remembered for his dedication to the church and desire that more people come to know Christ.

Perfectos' two children, Naomi (12) and Joseph (10), are now left alone without parents. Since their mother went to work overseas many years ago, they have lost contact with her. Our local ministry partner immediately tended to them after being informed of the tragedy. VOM is providing financial assistance for the children so they can receive necessary care, rebuild their lives, and have a hopeful future. More on the persecution of Christians in the Philippines is available here.

Thank you for joining us in praying that Naomi and Joseph, who are deeply grieving the sad loss of their loving father, will experience the compassionate care, comfort and provision of their Heavenly Father who longs to meet their every need. Ask Him to strengthen their faith so that as they grow and mature, they will be able to build on their deceased father's spiritual legacy. May there be an end to the tensions between Christians and militant Muslims in the Philippines, particularly the Sultan Kudarat area, so that land disputes will be resolved and people can live in safety and harmony.

Laos: Young Persecuted Christian Now Trains Teachers

Source(s): icommittopray.com

A young Christian woman who was disowned by her parents because of her faith is now visiting churches in Laos this month to train Sunday school teachers. After becoming a Christian at the age of 14, Sonxi was beaten by her parents, denied food, and locked away in her room -- all in an attempt to prevent her from attending church.

When the abusive parents realized that none of these punishments was able to weaken Sonxi's faith, they threatened to force the young teen into a life of prostitution. As a result, she ran away from home and was eventually disowned by her parents. The Voice of the Martyrs ministry has since come alongside the abandoned girl, making it possible for her to receive practical skills training in sewing and, later on, with the required assistance to attend Bible school.

We are thanking God that today Sonxi vibrantly shares her faith and is involved with the training of new Christian teachers. May He wonderfully bless her life and ministry, granting her more opportunities to reach out to others and -- in His perfect timing -- even her unsaved family.

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