Five Christians Charged with Blasphemy ? VOM Sources
Five Christians have been charged with blasphemy under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws 295-A and 295-C, in Toba Tek Singh, Pakistan. Daniel, an 11-year-oldChristian boy, refused to play with his Muslim friends, resulting in them beating him. When Daniel’s family confronted the attackers, the Muslims called the police and made a false report saying they had blasphemed the name of the Holy Prophet. Now Daniel’s family-Rashid Masih, Salamat Masih, Sahba Masih Motta, Bao Masih and Sheela Masih-is living under threat of attack by Muslim extremists. The Muslim family told other Muslims at a religious gathering that the Christians had disgraced the Holy Prophet, tore a holy sticker and beat it with a shoe. This has led to tension in the city. Christians in the area fear Muslim extremists will attack the family. There was fear there would be attacks during celebrations leading up to Easter Sunday. If convicted under blasphemy laws 295-A and 295-C, the family faces three years imprisonment, a fine and the death penalty, or life imprisonment and a fine. Pray God protects these believers and provides a way of escape for them. Psalm 41:2-3
House Church Pastors Arrested ? China Aid Association / VOM Sources
LIAONING PROVINCE ? On March 14, local police arrested 54-year-oldhouse-church leader, Gu Changrong, in Fushun City, Liaoning Province, after she shared her faith with the secretary of the Communist Party in her village. According to China Aid Association (CAA), Yu Mingfu called the police and accused Gu of “poisoning Communist Party members with the Christian message.” According to Gu’s relatives, she has been sentenced to one-year of re-education through labor for “using evil cult organizations to obstruct the exercising of state laws.” The family has not received a formal notice of her sentence since her arrest, according to CAA. Gu is serving her sentence at Ma San Jian Labor Camp, which is known for its harsh treatment and torture against thousands of imprisoned Falun Gong members.
ANHUI PROVINCE ? Recently two house-church leaders were arrested for distributing Bibles and leading a Bible study in Anhui province. According to China Aid Association (CAA), on January 4, Pastor Chen Jiaxi, of Chencun village was arrested for distributing free Bibles and other Christian literature to house-church members, while Pastor Chen Lianmin of Ma An Shan city was arrested on February 23, for leading a Bible study attended by high school students. “Chen Jiaxi has been charged with ‘illegal business management’ and his relatives believe he will be put on trial soon. Chen Lianmin has been released, but his computer and other Christian literature were confiscated,” CAA said. The Voice of the Martyrs’ sources working in China, report that Chen Jiaxi will be sentenced to three years in prison. Pray God comforts the families and congregations of the arrested house-church leaders and ask God to encourage the pastors. 2 Corinthians1:5 -7
Pastors Arrested ? VOM Sources
In the city of Varanasi, Rajendra Chawhan, a pastor and evangelist, has been working to reach non-believers in an area outside Varanasi. He has been holding prayer meetings that have grown to more than a thousand believers and this has angered radical Hindu groups. The pastor has been arrested and beaten several times. Following a recent prayer and healing service, Pastor Chawhan was beaten by Hindu extremists and taken to the police, who arrested him. This was the sixth time he had been arrested. Some Christians went to jail to protest his arrest and were beaten by extremists, while the police turned a blind eye. Pray God encourages, protects and gives wisdom to this pastor, and for his ministry to expand in the midst of these tough times. Ephesians 3:14-19