CHINA: Pastor's Life Threatened by Government OfficialSource: ChinaAid
The Living Stone Church in Guiyang City has faced repeated persecution from Chinese authorities. Imprisoned on December 9th, 2015, Pastor Yang Hua suffered mistreatment until his release in June 2018 (see this report). After his release, he continued to serve the church despite ongoing opposition. Another pastor of the church, Su Tianfu, was imprisoned in May 2018 for one year and then served six months of house arrest.
On May 23rd, 2021, Pastor Yang was arbitrarily detained at a local police station and questioned by a government official, who has since been identified as the district Secretary of the Central Politics and Legal Affairs Commission. During the interrogation, the official appeared to have lost his temper. Knocking Pastor Yang down, he yelled, "Believe it or not, I can beat you to death." As Pastor Yang got to his feet, he responded: "Whatever you want to do is fine. I will not fight back."
The enraged governmental leader continued to violently beat and choke the pastor. Eventually, Pastor Yang was taken to the nearest emergency room by ambulance. At last report, he remains hospitalized but is in stable condition.
Please pray that Pastor Yang will experience full physical healing from his injuries. Despite the fierce opposition he has endured at the hands of China's governmental officials, may he continue serving God with unwavering zeal and determination. Prayerfully remember the ongoing ministry of the Living Stone Church, asking the Lord to sustain and strengthen the other congregation members so they too can remain faithful to Him in all circumstances. NIGERIA: Pastor and Young Son Killed by Fulani Herdsmen Source: Morning Star News
Leviticus Makpa, 39, served as a pastor and church planter in Niger State, Nigeria. On May 21st, he sent a text message to an associate, Folashade Obidiya Obadan, stating that Fulani herdsmen had surrounded his house and mission compound. The next day, Folashade learned that Pastor Leviticus, along with his toddler son, Godsend, had both been tragically shot and killed. The pastor's wife and daughter managed to escape. A funeral for the two slain family members was held on May 23rd.
According to another associate, Samuel Solomon, this was not the first threatening encounter posed to Pastor Leviticus by the Fulani militants. During a previous attack, the pastor hid in a cave until the bandits left; yet the incident didn't deter him from continuing in ministry. "How many of us can do this?" asked Samuel in his tribute to the slain pastor. "He knew his life was at stake, but [the] burden for souls wouldn't let him run away from the [mission] field."
According to Open Doors' World Watch List, more Christians were killed for their faith in Nigeria last year than any other country. The West African nation also led the world in the total number of kidnapped Christians. For more information on the extreme dangers facing Christians in Nigeria, go to our country report.
Pray for peace and strength on behalf of Pastor Leviticus' wife and daughter. May those around them embrace these grieving loved ones with the compassion and care that comes from the "God of all comfort" (2 Corinthians 1:3). Continue to pray for peace, stability and safety throughout the nation, asking God to grant the authorities the ability and willingness to rein in terrorist groups like the militant Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram. MAURITANIA: Christian "Hit List" Posted OnlineSource: Mission Network News Pray that the Spirit of Christ will draw Mauritanians to Himself.
According to Greg Kelley from World Mission, Islamic extremists in the Northwest African nation of Mauritania have created an online hit list containing the names of Christian leaders. Describing this action as a "call to warfare," the mission representative has expressed great concern over what he perceives as a green light for opposing militants to kill Christians.
The church in Mauritania is very small; one estimate suggests that the population is comprised of 400 to 1,000 ethnic Mauritanian Christians, along with a few thousand expatriate believers. In addition, there are strict laws against evangelization, and conversion from Islam is punishable by death. Additional information on the subject of Christian persecution in Mauritania is available at our country report.
Prayerfully uphold each believer in Mauritania who is willing to take a stand for Christ amid such tremendous oppression, asking the Lord to grant them the wisdom, strength and courage they need daily to remain faithful to Him. Pray that His abiding presence will be experienced in both meaningful and tangible ways as they continue serving Him and sharing the Gospel with those in search of spiritual truth. May all the Christian leaders on the "hit list" not only be encouraged by God's reassuring presence and peace, but also by the fact that their names are recorded somewhere far greater --- in the "Lamb's Book of Life"! INDIA: Christian Shot by Hindu Nationalists Source: International Christian Concern
A 52-year-old believer was shot dead during an attack on a Christian family by militant Hindu nationalists in India's Rajasthan state on May 18th. According to local sources, three other members of the family were seriously injured after being beaten with a gun, swords and sickles.
During the assault, the assailants attempted to shoot Pastor Ramesh Bumbariya, but the gun failed to fire. They later pointed the gun at Pastor Ramesh's father, Bhima, who was killed from the gunshot wound. Pastor Ramesh was then knocked to unconsciousness. While members of the family who were injured in the attack had been transported to the government hospital in Ugaipur, their entrance was refused because of the COVID-19 crisis. They eventually found help at a nearby private hospital.
This is not the first time Pastor Ramesh has been attacked for his faith. Due to his work as a church planter, through which he started several house churches in different villages, he has experienced great persecution. Looking back at this most recent incident, he was able to say with conviction: "I believe God has a definite purpose in keeping me alive. I will carry on the ministry God has given to me." In a recent video interview, VOMC's Greg Musselman spoke with Abhijit Nayak about the challenges facing Christians in India at this time. To view the interview, go to VOMCanada.com/video/abhijit-nayak.
Please pray for the physical recovery of Pastor Ramesh and others of his family who were injured in the attack. Also ask the Lord to strengthen this family emotionally and spiritually as they come to terms with the tragic loss of their loved one and the trauma of the attack. Pray that the death of Bhima will not be in vain, but that the Lord would use his life's witness to bring spiritual blessing and renewal among the entire area so that many more names will be added to the "Lamb's Book of Life" (Revelation 13:8; 21:27).