Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. (Hebrews 13:3)
As we enter this season of Holy Lent, let us not forget those suffering for cause of Christ around the globe. In Malaysia, Pastor Raymond Koh, a vibrant and joyful witness for Christ, was kidnapped on February 13. The kidnapping, which was caught on a security camera, occurred in broad daylight on a busy street. Pastor Koh’s kidnapping is the latest in a series of persecutions directed against followers of Christ in Malaysia.
In May of 2007, Lina Joy converted from Islam to Christianity. After a ten-year legal battle, she was denied by the Malaysian Federal Court the right to change her National Identity Card from Muslim to Christian. And in 2014, the Selangor Islamic Authority seized 321 Bibles containing the word “Allah” from the Malaysian Bible Society, enforcing a previous year’s court order that had forbade Christians using word “Allah,” for God. (“Allah” has been used by Christians for centuries in the Middle East and South East Asia as an acceptable designation for God.)
In the midst of these difficulties, the prayer of Malaysian believers has been that God would use these persecutions for the Gospel to spread. And since Raymond’s disappearance, their prayer (and our prayer) has been for Raymond’s safety and release. To this end, a petition has been started which you are invited to sign and forward to others. Click here.
Half-way around the world in Turkey, an American Pastor, Andrew Brunson, was summoned to a local police station under the assumption that he
would be granted his residence permit. Instead, he was arrested on charges not revealed to him and then denied access to a lawyer or contact with the American Embassy.
On December 8 Andrew was transferred into prison where he remains today. His charges are still sealed—even his lawyer cannot see them. Many organizations such as the ACLJ and Samaritan’s Purse have publicized this case. A White House petition needs 100,000 signatures to require the White House to make an effort to free Pastor Andrew.
So as we pray for God to bring many to Himself in Turkey, please also pray for God to comfort for Andrew and Norine. Please also sign the petition (and forward it to others) today. Click here.
Thank you…and may God grant each of us a holy and blessed Lent!