VOM-USA Prayer Update for June 1, 2013
The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
Vietnam—Pastor Beaten to Death in Prison
Sources: VOM Sources, Christian Solidarity Worldwide
Vietnamese church leader Hau Nyak from Dak Nong province died in prison on March 17 after being severely beaten by police officials. Hau and his brother were reportedly arrested on March 15, one day after the arrest of Hau’s wife and sister-in law, and told to bring bail for their wives’ release. The reason for the women’s arrest is unclear, as police did not present an arrest warrant. On March 17, Hau’s brother heard the sounds of a violent beating coming from Hau’s cell. As Hau was removed from his cell, his brother-in-law saw that he was “completely limp, as if he was dead, with purple marks on his throat.” On March 18, police claimed that Hau had died from putting his hand into an electric socket. The local church community described Hau as a courageous and compassionate person who defended the church he helped to build and refused to pay bribes to officials.
Iran—Pastor Arrested and AOG Church Raided
Sources: VOM Sources, Farsi Christian News Network
Pastor Robert Asserian, of the Assemblies of God church in Tehran, was arrested and taken to an unknown location on May 21, after a large detachment of Islamic Security agents raided the church and arrested everyone present. Security agents first raided Pastor Asserian’s home, confiscating many of his belongings. They then searched the church, seizing books, documents and some equipment. The arrests and raid are thought to be in retaliation for the church’s refusal to close its doors after Islamic officials offered to release Pastor Farhad and his wife (arrested in December 2011) if the church would close. A source from the church said, “The pressure has become unbearable; the government authorities constantly threaten the church leaders and their families with imprisonment, unexplained accidents, kidnapping and even with execution. We cannot go on like this.”
Nigeria—Pastor Murdered by Muslim Militants
Source: VOM Sources
On May 14, Pastor Faye Pama, Secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) Borno State and Senior Pastor of Rhema Assembly Church, was murdered by Boko Haram militants. The attackers reportedly followed Pastor Pama to his home in Maiduguri after he left a Bible study at his church. The gunmen dragged Pastor Pama out of his house and shot him to death in front of his 17-year-old daughter as she pleaded for his life. Pastor Pama was a husband and father of four children, ages 19, 17, 11 and 6. He served in ministry leadership for more than 26 years and believed that Muslims could be won to Christ only by showing them love, rather than through fighting. The Muslim militant group Boko Haram has reportedly killed more than 4,000 people since 2009.
Pray for widows and fatherless children who will be ministered to at the Life Center Safe House during their grieving and healing process. While at the Life Center, widows are trained to become the financial provider for their family and children attend school and church on a regular basis. They also help with chores around the home and are enrolled in a counseling program to help them deal with the loss of their fathers.