VOM-USA Prayer Update for March 1, 2013
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
Tanzania—Pastor Killed in Clash over Islamic Food Laws
Source: VOM Sources
Muslim extremists killed a pastor on Feb. 11 during an attack on a group of Christians who had violated Islamic law by opening their own slaughterhouse. Pastor Mathayo Kachili of the Tanzania Assemblies of God church was beheaded, and two Muslims also died from injuries sustained in the fighting, according to a VOM contact. Christians in the mainland village of Buseresere were attacked after they slaughtered several animals to sell in a local market. In Tanzania, animals killed for human consumption must be processed at an approved slaughterhouse according to Islamic law. Christians have long complained of being shut out of the industry. A freelance journalist told a VOM contact that fighting between the Muslims and Christians lasted all day. At least two pastors were arrested, and police were searching for several other pastors.
Syria—Christians Face Increasing Violence
Source: VOM Sources
VOM contacts in Syria report an increase in violence with a corresponding decrease in basic services, all under the ominous “promise” from opposition fighters of a new Islamic regime. “They are dreaming and planning to make Syria like Afghanistan,” wrote a VOM contact. “Threatening Christians of killing them or of the Islamic law is now daily in the opposition news. [They are] advising Christians to prepare themselves for the new Islamic regime.” The VOM contact said three families from his church have had to relocate because of the violence and that while attempting to check on them, he was nearly hit by a sniper’s bullet. He canceled his own plans to leave the city because of rampant kidnapping, especially of Christians, along the way. Two priests were kidnapped on Feb. 11. Our contact, who has been without electricity for four days, closed his letter by saying, “Thank you for your prayers; they are key to our resistance.”
Saudi Arabia—Ethiopian Christians Arrested in Private Worship Service
Source: World Evangelical Alliance
On Feb. 8, Saudi authorities in Dammam, capital of the Eastern Province, arrested 53 Ethiopian Christians who were attending a worship service in the private home of a fellow believer. Three church leaders were among those arrested. During a hearing in an Islamic court, authorities alleged that the church leaders were converting Muslims to Christianity. Two of the Ethiopian Christians, who have residence permits, are likely to be released, while the others will probably be deported.
Pray for those involved in distributing Farsi Bibles in Iran via smuggling and clandestine printing operations.