September 2, 2021 INDIA: Brutal Attack for Not Denying Christ Sources: Asia News, International Christian Concern Pray for believers who are faithfully sharing the Gospel. On August 15th, the chief of Adnadhi, a village in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, led a mob of around 250 people against several Christians who refused to give up their faith in Christ. According to witness statements, the chief summoned the Christians to a place where the mob had assembled. When eleven of the believers arrived, they were given two options: abandon their faith or leave the village. When they refused, stones were thrown at them. Four of the attacked victims required hospitalization due to internal injuries.
The village of Adnadhi is home to 15 families who converted to Christianity about 20 years ago. Although they have faced some opposition in the past, this attack was completely unexpected. The incident was reported to police, but the authorities have refused to take any action against the attackers.
Anti-Christian attacks in Madhya Pradesh have increased since the enactment of anti-conversion laws, which officially came into force in March of this year. For more information on the persecution facing Christians in India, go to our country report.
Praise God for the steadfast faith of our Christian brothers and sisters in this Indian village. Please pray for the complete physical healing of those who've suffered injuries in this attack. Prayerfully ask the Lord to continue filling these believers with courage and strength as they remain at their village in the wake of the recent ambush. May God work within the hearts and minds of the opposing villagers, establishing His peace over this entire community.
CHINA: Raid on Home Church Gathering Source: ChinaAid On the morning of Sunday, August 22nd, police raided a gathering of members from the Chengdu Early Rain Covenant Church as they met for worship. According to the police officers, someone reported that an illegal assembly was taking place at the location. When the officers tried to enter the room, the home church group leader, Preacher Dai, asked to see a search warrant. However, the officers refused and demanded identification from everyone present.
The police did not immediately stop the Sunday service, for the group was allowed to share in their previously planned "love feast" meal gathering. Following the meal, 17 adults and 10 children were transported to the police station, leaving behind only a blind couple and an elderly woman. At least two of the members endured physical abuse while being interrogated. Those who had been apprehended were eventually released that night, except for Preacher Dai and Brother He Shan.
This is the latest of several raids on members of the Early Rain Covenant Church, as authorities seek to fully eliminate the church, which they consider a cult. The members have continued to meet in smaller groups, frequently changing locations. Since the group altered their meeting place in July, Preacher Dai's home has been closely monitored and he has faced pressure from his local community.
One opposing community leader tried to convince Dai to abandon his faith. When he realized this was futile, the disgruntled leader screamed: "Our Longteng Community does not welcome people like you. We will try every means to force you to move away in a month. We will make that happen." Additional reports on the numerous challenges facing churches throughout China are available at our country report.
Continue to prayerfully uphold the members of the Early Rain Covenant Church as they seek to follow God in the midst of a very hostile situation. Pray for wisdom on behalf of Preacher Dai and other church leaders who are seeking to provide necessary direction to their congregation members. Also remember the church's pastor, Wang Yi, and other believers in China who are currently imprisoned for their faith. May those involved with the church raids witness the love of Jesus reflected in the Christ-like response of these dedicated Christians and, as a result, also turn to the Lord in faith.
REPORT UPDATE - EGYPT: Legalization of More Churches Source: Watani
Until 2016, it was nearly impossible for churches in Egypt to obtain the required licensing to build or restore a building for worship. As a result, many structures were built without a license. With the passing of legislation in September 2016, a government committee was established to work through the large number of applications that were submitted for the legalization of unlicensed church buildings.
Although the committee received 3,730 applications, and officially began the approval procedures a year later, the process has been exceedingly slow. See this report for further coverage of this situation.
After the most recent committee decision on August 9th, more than half of the applications have since been approved, with a total of 1,958 church buildings now designated as being legally approved. Unfortunately, at the current rate, it will take more than three years to process the remaining 1,772 applications.
Though the speed of the approval process has been an aggravation for some, we can praise God for what has been accomplished thus far regarding the approval of the 1,958 churches in Egypt. Pray for patient endurance on behalf of the churches still awaiting legalization. May God make a way for the committee to expedite the process, so that the ministry of the remaining churches will no longer be impeded but rather granted the required official status to fully operate and, therefore, further bless the people of their communities.