Sabtu, 09 September 2017

Pashtun, Southern in Afghanistan

Pashtun, Southern in Afghanistan
Passionate is a word that well describes much about the Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan. They are said to love or hate with equal intensity, displaying fierce loyalty to friends, yet defending the right of badal - revenge or blood feuds - where enemies are concerned. Behavior expected without question includes hospitality and protection for guests, provision of refuge to a fugitive, and acceptance of a sincere offer of peace.
Ministry Obstacles
Afghanistan is not hospitable to Christian ministry of any type. Access to the people is limited.
Outreach Ideas
Believers can minister to the physical and material needs of these people who have suffered much.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the few believers among the Pashtun, that they may grow in Christ and be zealous to know and serve him. Pray for their protection.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray for stability and peace in Afghanistan, for the government to be able to maintain order and an environment where people can live safely and productively.
Scripture Focus
"For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Habakkuk 2:14

 

People Name: Pashtun, Southern
Country: Afghanistan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 6,930,000
World Population: 7,223,000
Language: Pashto, Southern
Primary Religion: Islam
Bible: Portions
Audio NT (FCBH): No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Christian Mother Who Died in Detention in Eritrea Showed Signs of Torture, Mourners Note

Christian Mother Who Died in Detention in Eritrea Showed Signs of Torture, Mourners Note

Maltreatment may have contributed to her death, relative says.
By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
Eritrean mothersASMARA, ERITREA (ANS – August 25, 2017) -- A relative at the burial of a Christian mother of three who died in detention in Eritrea has told Morning Star News (http://morningstarnews.org) that her body showed signs of torture that could have contributed to her death.
Eritrean authorities arrested Fikadu Debesay and her husband in the southern town of Adi Quala as part of a crackdown in May, when at least 122 Christians were detained for worshipping in unregistered churches. Early this month she died in detention north of the capital, Asmara, at Metkel Abiet, a camp in the Northern Red Sea Region, where prisoners are held in harsh desert heat.
“It has been very difficult consoling the children,” a relative caring for the couple’s children told Morning Star News. “They want to know what happened to their mother.”
The relative said that one of the children remarked, “Our parents were picked up by unknown people while we were praying at home, only for our mum to come back in a coffin. Where is our dad?”
Man points gun at Eritrean Christian smallerThe traumatized children are restless, have trouble sleeping at night and frequently scream, the source said.
At Debesay’s burial in Mendefera on Aug. 10, mourners noted an unusual scar on her face, as well as another scar on her left hand, “which could have been a sign of some mistreatment or intense sunburn that resulted to her untimely death,” the relative told Morning Star News.
“We request prayers and financial support for the children,” the source added.
Christians practicing their faith secretly in homes -- outside the officially sanctioned Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Lutheran denominations, along with Sunni Islam -- have been the target of arrest and imprisonment in cruel conditions in Eritrea since 2002.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki, who has headed a communist-influenced government since 1994, has imposed a “reign of fear through systematic and extreme abuses of the population that may amount to crimes against humanity,” according to a United Nations panel. Amnesty International estimates Afwerki has incarcerated 10,000 political prisoners, and that under his rule torture for punishment, interrogation and coercion in Eritrea is widespread.
Protestors against EritreaEritrea ranked 10th on Christian support organization Open Doors’ 2017 World Watch List of the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian. Three Christians died in prison in Eritrea in 2016, according to Open Doors.
Arrests are taking place monthly, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) -- http://www.csw.org.uk/ -- reported, citing the arrest of 23 Christians in Asmara during the first week of August. In July, authorities took 16 female national service conscripts in their late teens from their assignments in Adi Halo village, 20 miles from Asmara, and put them in the Metkel Abiet camp.
“Other Christians and family members who attempted to visit them were also imprisoned,” according to a CSW press statement. “The detainees’ hair was forcibly shaved off in what local sources describe as an additional sign of humiliation in a society where a woman’s hair is regarded as a sign of decency and sanity.”
Prison conditions are such that a woman rounded up from her home in Nefasit in early June was reported to have become mentally ill, according to CSW, a Christian human rights organization.
An eritrean girl with the cross“It is alarming to note that conditions and treatment in detention are so inhumane that they can cause a mental breakdown,” CSW Chief Executive Mervyn Thomas said in a press statement. “Clearly, human rights and fundamental freedoms continue to be violated comprehensively in Eritrea, and the situation of freedom of religion or belief is deteriorating.”
The number of Christians detained in desert camps and military facilities since May has risen to 210, according to CSW. Most were detained in raids on their homes, while others were arrested at prayer meetings.
“Like Fikadu Debesay, several are parents, and according to local sources, over 50 children are currently without one or both parents as a result of these raids,” according to CSW.
CSW called for the international community to maintain pressure on Afwerki’s regime until all prisoners of conscience are freed without preconditions.
In the May sweep, authorities seized 45 Christians, including elderly men and a disabled woman, from their homes in Adi Quala and transported them to Adi Aglis detention camp. The arrests left 23 children without their parents, according to CSW. In Gindae town in the Northern Red Sea Region, 15 Christians were arrested, the organization said, and in Godaif District of Asmara, 17 Christians were arrested on May 28.
A week earlier, 45 Christians, mostly women, had been rounded up in another part of the city as they gathered at a party arranged by a recently married couple, CSW reported.
In her latest report to the Human Rights Council (HRC), Sheila B. Keetharuth, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Eritrea, noted that “the practice of arbitrary arrest and detention of individuals based on their religious belief continues,” and she noted the continuing detention of Patriarch Antonios of the Eritrean Orthodox Church.
Anglican church in EritreaOpen Doors notes that some Christians have been in prison for more than 11 years, some in shipping containers amid scorching heat.
“Christians are considered ‘agents of the West’ and a threat to the state,” Open Doors reported. “Eritrean Muslims are ‘Muslim first,’ and leaving Islam is seen as a betrayal of their community. Many Christians would rather risk the deadly emigration routes via Sudan or Libya than stay in Eritrea.”
Note: Eritrea is a northeast African country on the Red Sea coast. It shares borders with Ethiopia, Sudan and Djibouti. The capital city, Asmara, is known for its Italian colonial buildings, like St. Joseph's Cathedral, as well as art deco structures. Italian, Egyptian and Turkish architecture in Massawa reflect the port city's colorful history. Notable buildings here include St. Mariam Cathedral and the Imperial Palace. In recent years, it has seen a dramatic crackdown on Christians there.
Photo captions: 1) A group of Eritrean women. 2) An angry Muslim man points his gun at an Eritrean Christian. 3) Protestors against the persecution of Eritrean Christians. 4) An Eritrean girl proudly displays the cross. (https://butlerslife.blogspot.com/). 5) In October 2005, the only Anglican priest in Eritrea, Rev Nelson Fernandez of St George’s Episcopal Church in Asmara (pictured), was ordered to leave the country. (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/). 6) Dan Wooding about to speak after receiving from his son, Peter, his recent humanitarian award in Beverly Hills, California.
Dan Wooding speaks after receiving awardAbout the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 54 years. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of numerous books and has two US-based TV programs and also a weekly radio show. Dan’s most recent honor was a top humanitarian award at a film festival in Beverly Hills, California, for his long-standing reporting on persecuted Christians around the world. It was presented to him by his son, Peter Wooding.
** You may republish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please tell your friends that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to the above ANS website and signing up there.

Thakali in Nepal

Thakali in Nepal
The Thakali community originated from the Thak Khola region of the Mustang district in the Dhaulagiri zone of Nepal, and are presently some of Nepal's most successful businessmen. Many Thakalis have resettled in Kathmandu and in southern Nepal. Thakalis outside their homeland follow a syncretic form of Tibetan Buddhism heavily influenced by Hinduism, while those in Mustang remain much more traditionally Buddhist. The Thakalis are divided into four clans, and each clan has a distinct clan god.
Ministry Obstacles
To follow Jesus is to risk losing friendships and even family. Plus, changing one's worldview radically is not easy.
Outreach Ideas
The Lord is calling people to himself in Nepal. Perhaps Nepali believers will be burdened to share what they have learned with their neighbors, the Thakali community. Pray to that end.
Pray for the followers of Christ
Pray for the followers of Christ among the Thakali community, that the Lord will send teachers and pastors to help them learn and grow, and that they will be eager to learn and follow Christ.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray that each Thakali individual soon will be privileged to hear the good news of Christ clearly, in his or her mother tongue. Pray for several opportunities for each person, since it usually requires several to really understand and believe.
Scripture Focus
"I will also make you a light for the Gentiles, that you may bring My salvation to the ends of the earth." Isaiah 49:6

 

People Name: Thakali
Country: Nepal
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 11,000
World Population: 12,000
Language: Nepali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Bible: Complete
Audio NT (FCBH): Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Egypt: Copts worship in streets after clashes over church permit

Egypt: Copts worship in streets after clashes over church permit

By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
Coptic bishop gives communion smallerEZBAT AL-FORN, EGYPT (ANS – August 27, 2017) -- Tensions between Muslims and Coptic Christians in a village in Upper Egypt have reportedly softened following recent violent clashes.
According to World Watch Monitor (https://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/), Copts in the village of Ezbat Al-Forn, in the Minya governorate, were stopped from holding a service at a private home on Sunday, August 20th, because they had no permit. Local Muslims had reportedly complained that the Copts were meeting in the home illegally, which led to the clashes.
But the Copts processed peacefully through the village streets on the next day (Monday, August 21), to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary, and all was calm, says the Egypt Independent.
According to the newspaper, the local Bishop, Anba Macarius, “said that Muslims in the village have never objected to the prayers of the Coptic Christians in any place in Ezbat al-Forn.”
The story went on to say that “he added that the relations between the people are kind and neighborly, contrary to media reports that say Muslims object to Christian prayers … [And] that prayers were held in the streets in peace and security, with no protest.”
Police stop Coptic ChristiansThe local authorities are now reportedly “considering” the Christians’ request for a license to hold religious services at the residential property, while also searching for suspects involved in the violent clashes.
The Egypt Independent added that the Governor of Minya, General Essam Bedawey, acknowledged that “there are tensions between Muslims and Coptic Christians in some areas of the governorate, and there is a comprehensive plan to address these spots.”
Bishop Macarius had previously highlighted that his parish alone, which includes only Minya city and its immediate surroundings, is home to 15 churches that have been closed by security order, and 70 villages and hamlets that have no church or any place to hold Christian worship.
In a statement issued recently, the Bishop expressed his disillusionment “at the failure of negotiations with security authorities in Minya to reopen churches closed by security order” because churches either lacked security approval or were considered offensive to Muslims and therefore a threat to social harmony.
Copts in alleywayAs World Watch Monitor has reported, Copts have experienced similar challenges in the villages of Kom El-Loufy, El-Galaa, and also in Saft el-Khirsa -- a town of around 12,000, including approximately 70 Christian families, which has ten mosques but no church.
Meanwhile, Watani reported in June that in the village of Dabbous in Samalout, near Kom El-Loufy, Copts have not been able to meet in their church since 2005.
The governorate of Minya, south of Cairo, is home to 5 million people, of whom 35-40 per cent are Copts, and has experienced the greatest number of sectarian attacks, with more than 75 targeting Christian residents in the past six years.
Photo captions: 1) Copts in Ezbat Al-Forn celebrate the Feast of the Assumption of Mary in the village’s streets. (World Watch Monitor). 2) Local police prevented the Copts from accessing the building they had been using as a church, saying they didn’t have the necessary permit. (World Watch Monitor). 3) The Copts congregate in an alleyway to pray. (World Watch Monitor). 4) Dan Wooding with the late Norm Nelson at the pyramids in Giza, just outside of Cairo.
Dan Wooding and Norm Nelson at the pyramidsAbout the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning winning author, broadcaster and journalist who was born in Nigeria of British missionary parents, and is now living in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for more than 54 years. Dan is the founder and international director of ASSIST (Aid to Special Saints in Strategic Times) and the ASSIST News Service (ANS). He is also the author of numerous books and has two US-based TV programs and also a weekly radio show. Dan’s, most recent honor was a top humanitarian award at a film festival in Beverly Hills, California, for his long-standing reporting on persecuted Christians around the world. It was presented to him by his son, Peter Wooding. He has reported from Egypt on several occasions.
** You may republish this and any of our ANS stories with attribution to the ASSIST News Service (www.assistnews.net). Please tell your friends that they can receive a complimentary subscription to our news service by going to the above ANS website and signing up there.

Mahratta in India

Mahratta in India
The main hero of the Mahratta is Shivaji. The main objective of a middle class Marathi family is a secure future for themselves and their children, so financial savings are main concerns. The cow is considered a sacred animal and is believed to have 330 million gods inside her stomach.
Ministry Obstacles
They may have little concept of a personal, forgiving God.
Outreach Ideas
Scriptural stories told in the languages of the Mahratta may have great impact in helping them understand.
Pray for the followers of Christ
There are few if any Christian believers within this large community, but pray for those that will soon emerge. Pray the Lord will provide skilled pastors and teachers for them.
Pray for the entire people group
Pray for the Mahratta community to desire to know and follow the creator God, instead of honoring the cow, part of the creation. Pray for light instead of darkness.
Scripture Focus
"He will have compassion on the poor and needy, And the lives of the needy He will save." Psalm 72:13

 

People Name: Mahratta
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 32,242,000
World Population: 32,247,000
Language: Marathi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Bible: Complete
Audio NT (FCBH): Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
Christ Followers: Few, less than 2%
Status: Unreached
Progress Level:

Help us distribute 1 MILLION BIBLES in hostile and restricted nations

Bible distribution

Help us reach our goal of distributing 1 million Bibles
They knew it was risky transporting boxes of Bibles and Christian books in their region of North Africa, but the pastor and a faithful church member chose to do it anyway. When police discovered their contraband cargo, they detained and interrogated the two Christians for several hours. The believers could face charges of proselytizing and transporting Christian materials without permission.

Another bold Christian, in Egypt, faced a potential three-year prison sentence after being arrested for distributing Bibles in a shopping area near Cairo. He was charged with “despising religion” and jailed for 15 days. Christians all over the world prayed for him during his detention.

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Packaging Bibles
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More than 550,000 Bibles have been sponsored so far this year, including children’s Bibles, Bibles for adults and Bibles for secret distribution in the world’s most restricted nations.

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Faith Moves Mt. Agou

A Christ Group in Togo meets to study God's Word


Foreign tourists enjoy the mountain air of the Agou District, seated at the base of Togo’s tallest peak. But the area is also known for sexual sin and idol worship.
It’s not the ideal place to launch a church-planting effort — but it’s where God sent our Togo pioneer missionaries to reach and disciple new believers. They just needed to find the right pastor to lead them...