November 27, 2007
"I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
(Philippians 4:12-13) TURKMENISTAN
Pastor Released from Prison - VOM Sources / Forum 18 NewsOn November 9, Baptist Pastor Vyacheslav Kalataevsky was released after eight months in prison. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, Kalataevsky and his family are thankful for the prayers and support of believers around the world. Forum 18 News reports government officials have warned Pastor Kalataevsky not to meet for worship with fellow believers. Pastor Kalataevsky told Forum 18, "Officials summoned me for what they said was a conversation, but at the end presented me with a pre-written statement saying that I agreed not to meet with my fellow believers. All it lacked was my signature, but I refused to sign it, both on my behalf and on behalf of my wife." The Forum 18 report added, "Although Kalataevsky's congregation does not oppose state registration in principle. Officials kept telling him that his congregation does not have enough adult citizen members to apply for registration. They added that unregistered religious activity, including people meeting together for worship in homes, is banned." Praise God for Pastor Kalatatevsky's release from prison. Ask God to protect his family and congregation as they face scrutiny and pressure from the government. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 54:17
Imprisoned Pastor Required to Pay for Necessities in Prison - VOM Sources / Forum 18 NewsPastor Zaur Balaev's friends and family are said to be "shocked" by the financial demands he is facing in prison. According to VOM sources, Pastor Balaev is required to pay for hot water to wash or do laundry and cook his food. His family is allowed to visit him only after paying "a considerable amount." Zaur's wife was allowed to stay with him for three days for his birthday, but as she was leaving the prison, she said, "I am shocked by the conditions and the sum spent, because I was forced to pay for everything." According to Forum 18 News, officials deny payment was demanded. "The state pays for everything, including food," said Mehman Sadykov, spokesperson for the Justice Ministry. "Such reports don't correspond with reality." Pray for strength for Balaev and his family during this time. Pray their appeal will be successful. Pray that Balaev will be a testimony to other prisoners, demonstrating the love and power of Christ. Philippians 4:19; 3 John 2
Christians Attacked, Church Building Destroyed - VOM Sources
On November 18, Pastor Siddarama Gokhavi (60) and six other Christians were beaten by Bajrang Dal activists who attacked them as they were worshiping in Ananda Nagara, Karnataka. The attackers vandalized the building, burned Bibles and chanted slogans against Christians. The militants included a senior police officer. Pastor Gokhavi and his wife, Rekha, were injured in the attack, along with five others. The attackers accused the Christians of coercing Hindus into becoming Christians. Praise God there were no serious injuries in the attack. Pray those responsible for the attack will come to recognize the love and grace of God and turn to Him in faith. Pray for the continued ministry of this house church. Psalm 91, Romans 8:11
- On November 19, Hindu militants attacked a church, tied up and beat the pastor unconsciousness, and burned down a recently constructed church building in Manduwa in Chhattisgarh State, India. There are no reports on the present condition of Pastor Sudharu. The Hindus accused the church of being involved in the conversion of tribal people in the region. According to reports, missionaries in this remote area face regular threats from Hindu militants. Pray for the continued witness of this church. Pray for healing for Pastor Sudharu as he recuperates from the assault. Psalm 23, Psalm 107:20