VOM-USA Prayer Update for Feb. 24, 2009
TURKEY – Christian Bookstore in Turkey Vandalized – Compass Direct News
On Feb. 12, a Turkish Bible Society bookstore in the city of Adana was vandalized by Muslim extremists for the second time in a week, Compass Direct News reported. Security cameras showed two Muslim youth vandalizing the storefront of the Soz Kitapevi bookstore. They were kicking and smashing glass in both the window and the door. The door frame was also damaged. On Feb. 7, the glass of the front door was smashed and the security camera mangled. In November, a man reportedly entered the bookstore and began making accusations the bookstore was linked to a Unites States intelligence agency and said, “You work with them killing people in Muslim countries, harming Muslim countries.” Pray for the safety of the bookstore and its owners and workers. Ask God to protect believers in Turkey and that these acts of vandalism will not develop into more serious attacks.
CHINA –House Church Leaders Arrested – China Aid Association
On Feb. 11, 60 house church leaders, including two South Korean pastors, were arrested by Chinese authorities while attending a seminar in Wolong district, Henan province. According to China Aid Association, 30 police officers disrupted the meeting, arrested the Christians and confiscated phones, books and money. Authorities forced the believers to register with the government and pay a fine. Elderly believers were released. Meanwhile, on Feb. 14, the South Korean pastors were deported from China for “engaging in illegal religious activities” and have been banned from entering the country for five years. On Feb. 16 two more house church leaders were released after authorities received calls from foreign journalists. It is believed that four leaders remain in detention. Pray for the release of those detained. Pray that Christians in China will continue to stand firm in their faith in the face of opposition.
Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council Rejects Draft Religion Law – Forum 18 News
UPDATE: On Feb. 11, Kazakhstan’s Constitutional Council (KCC) declared a recently proposed religion law unconstitutional, according to Forum 18 News. The KCC’s decision was based on the law’s violation of several constitutional articles, including Article 14.2, which states “no one shall be subject to any discrimination for reasons of origin, social, property status, occupation, sex, race, nationality, language, and attitude towards religion, convictions, place of residence or any other circumstances.” President Nursultan Nazarbaev has one month to respond to the KCC’s decision. Any changes he proposes to the law must be supported by a minimum of two-thirds of the KCC to take effect. Praise God this draft law has not been approved. Continue praying that believers in Kazakhstan will be able to worship freely. Ask God to protect and encourage them.