WIFE AND DAUGHTER… FACE DEATH THREATS FROM THEIR MUSLIM FAMILY
For some time he had heard rumours about his sister. Now, it was official. Upon learning of his sister’s decision he was livid. How dare she bring shame to their Muslim family? It has to end now and I’m just the one to do it as he told family members and friends that if his sister ever returned to Pakistan he would search for her until he found her. Then angrily he declared he would kill her.
What awful deed had his sister Saphia committed? She had become a Christian along with her 16 year old teenage daughter Rose.
Just several weeks ago I was contacted by a pastor friend from a Canadian Church who shared his church’s desire to sponsor this Muslim Christian family (Abdul and Saphia) from Azerbaijan who were to be deported at the end of August. Though it is now September…
YOUR SUPPORT IS DESPERATELY NEEDED
The following message was written by their 16 year old teenage daughter Rose...
“My family is facing deportation and religious death threats. We live in Azerbaijan, but my mother is from Pakistan and my dad is from Bangladesh. Because my mom converted from Islam to Christianity, she has received death threats from her family in Pakistan.
Pakistan is known for religious violence. Extremists there kill their own family members in the name of religion and ‘honor.’
Meanwhile, my father, my three-year-old brother and I could be deported to Bangladesh.
We face threats there too, because I also converted to Christianity. Under treaty law, Azerbaijan should not deport us. It has signed the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol. It is obligated by the principle of ‘non-refoulement’ to not return anyone to a country where that person has reason to fear persecution.
But Azerbaijan has still said they will deport us. This will separate our family and put us all in danger…. All we want is to stay together and live anywhere that is safe. Please sign this petition to help save me and my family!”
AMAZING THINGS HAPPEN WHEN WE PARTNER TO SEE GOD AT WORK
Here’s how you can help.
1. We need you, your friends and church friends to sign a petition in support of Abdul and Saphia and their two children, 16 and 3 years of age, asking that Azerbaijan treat them as refugees. Your signature could save their lives! If you go to our AsiaLink website (asialinkministries.org) you’ll see a link where you can sign your name to the petition.
2.Pray that God would give this family favor with the Azerbaijan government! in bringing the Wahed family to Canada. Also, pray that if the family is deported, that Saphia will be protected from family members who have threatened to kill her.
Bro Hamid, our Asialink Pakistan Director, is working to arrange a safe place for Saphia if she is deported to Pakistan. Saphia’s husband Abdul though a Muslim is okay with her decision to become a Christian. Pray for him!
Thank you for making a lasting difference! Your generosity is changing lives!
Yours for Asia’s Harvest,
(Reverend) Dale R. Hiscock
PS: We just learned last week Saphia and her family were told by Azerbijian officals that they were 99.9% sure the family would be deported.
Then miraculously, 2 days later on September 6th Saphia wrote… “I’m so happy that God melted their heart. Immigration gave us 1 month extension. Thank you everyone for praying for us and remember us in your prayer in future. THANK YOU JESUS TO BE WITH US AND SHOWING US YOUR MIRACLES.”
MONDAY / Hong Kong - CHINA DISREGARDS “ONE COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS” AGREEMENT
Home to 850,000 Christians,12.4 percent of Hong Kong’s population, some 1,500 churches and 35 Bible Colleges, Hong Kong has long been a vital centre for Christian media and ministry into China.
Earlier this year, protests broke out in Hong Kong against a proposed extradition law. According to Helen Raleigh, writing for the National Review, Hongkongers “right-fully feared” that if the bill were passed into law, “the city would be forced to turn over to China anyone President Xi Jinping’s regime deems a ‘criminal,’ including human-rights activists, political dissidents, and others who pose a threat to the Communist party”. And that includes any Christian or religious person they consider a threat.
This encroachment of Hong Kong rights set off massive demonstrations with as many as 2 million people participating.
“In short,” Raleigh writes, “Beijing is no longer committed to the “One Country, Two Systems” frame-work (as agreed). The extradition bill was a trigger and a final wake up call for Hongkongers.” As the situation continues to escalate, Chinese troops are now massing on the border of Hong Kong. One Hong Kong observer writes “No matter how the current crisis concludes… it will mark the end of Hong Kong as we know it.”
When asked about his other concerns he replied… “Chinese troops are massing over our border. Once they come in, we can be cut off from the rest of the free world and it will be all over… We are living increasingly under an Orwellian-style surveillance state,” he continued, “so if you see the news you see that’s why many protesters wear face masks.”
He further states there are fears that Hong Kong’s police have already been infiltrated by Chinese military forces. “Many (Hong Kong police officers) are heard speaking Mandarin,” the dialect of mainland China — “and they do not have a police identification number.”
• Pray that China would meet with leaders of the protests to under-stand their concerns and would honour the “One Country, Two Systems” framework.
• Pray that freedom, peace and calm would return.
• Pray that Hong Kong would see revival.
TUESDAY / China - LANDLORDS UNDER INCREASING PRESSURE FROM GOVERNMENT
China’s new religious laws have raised the level of fear as anyone renting a facility to a house church can be punished with a steep fine – up to $40,000 CAD. The measure, supported with much publicity, has left many churches homeless.
A Christian from an impoverished house-hold used to host small religious gatherings throughout the year. When she saw banners displayed throughout the city threatening to impose huge fines, she stopped, fearing that she would be unable to find the money to pay the fine.
A member of a house church commented “We have the largest number of house churches in Henan province. The government is implementing such severe measures in its crackdown to eradicate house churches completely”. As a result they are left with no place to meet.
• Thank the Lord that nothing can come against the work of His Holy Spirit in building His church.
• Pray the believers will creatively find other ways to meet.
• Pray they will continue to be faithful!
WEDNESDAY / China - UNREACHED PEOPLE GROUP - JONE TIBETAN PEOPLE OF CHINA
On the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau live 130,000 Jone (Joe-nee) Tibetans whose Buddhist traditions separate them from the knowledge of Christ. As farmers, they live mostly in villages in the county of Jone in southwestern Gansu Province, with a small number living in northern Sichuan. They have lived in that area for more than 600 years.
The name Jone may be derived from the Tibetan language, meaning “two pine trees.” In fact, Jone was an independent kingdom until 1928, when a Chinese general seized their lands and the ruling Jone prince was forced to step down.
Jone princes were chosen by succession, traditionally serving also as lama of the Jone monastery, which once housed nearly 4,000 monks and included 172 buildings. When a prince had two sons, the eldest ruled the people and the second son served as lama. But today, no princes reign and no strong religious sites remain.
Early in the 1900s, missionaries lived in Chinese towns near the Jone and found their prince amiable, but they lacked workers to reach out to them with the Gospel. About 200 Jone Tibetan Christians are reported to live in Lintan County, northwest of Jone, and a church was built in 1997. It is said that a family sold their television and another woman her hair to help with the construction fees. But today, little evidence remains among the Jone Tibetans of Christian work among them.
Their language is related to Khampa Tibetan and other dialects in the area. Many younger students are learning Chinese and Amdo Tibetan these days, but the elderly still primarily speak Jone Tibetan. No Bible exists in their language.
• Pray God will raise up laborers from nearby Chinese cities and churches who will share the Good News with the Jone.
• Pray for God to open the hearts of the Jone to receive the Gospel when it is preached to them.
• Pray God will revive the work among the Jone Tibetans and begin a church-planting movement among them.
THURSDAY / North Korea - ARREST OF CHRISTIANS INCREASES THIS YEAR
In recent years, the frequency of people being exposed for secretly carrying out religious activities has increased as the North Korean police monitor telephone conversations and increase its surveillance of people illegally crossing the border with China.
One source said, “There have been numerous reports that there have been more Christian arrests and detentions in North Korea this year. The recent arrests were executed by suddenly bursting in on the scene with specific information on religious activities.”
Another source stated, “At the China border… surveillance by Chinese police and North Korean security officials has increased, so there has been a rapid increase in the repatriation of those who participated in religious activities (in China) and (their) detention in (North Korean) concentration camps.”
Since North Korea regards religious activities as a political conspiracy to overthrow the state, most of those involved are sent to political concentration camps.
• Pray for those arrested that they would be strengthened and encouraged while in prison.
• Thank God for those in China who are sharing the gospel with North Koreans.
• Pray for their protection.
FRIDAY / Vietnam - NEW BELIEVER TORTURED FOR FAITH
Village leaders tortured a Hmong Christian recently in an attempt to force him and his wife to renounce their new Christian faith. After the couple refused to abandon their faith in Christ, the villagers hung the man upside down over a fire of spicy chillies. The acrid smoke burned his skin, throat and eyes, until he eventually agreed to renounce his faith. The couple has since fled to another village where they are able to openly follow Christ.
• Pray the Lord may help this couple overcome the trial they have suffered. May they experience great love and support from their Christian family.
• Thank the Lord the couple now have an opportunity to openly live out their faith.
• Pray He will use them as a strong witness for the Gospel. for their faith.
SATURDAY / China - PASTOR STILL BEING HELD IN PRISON
Continue to pray for Pastor Wang Yi who is being held by authorities since his arrest in December 2018. Both he and his wife are accused of subverting state power and potentially face a 15 year prison sentence.
Communist authorities have now appointed attorneys of its own choosing to defend Pastor Wang Yi.
Members of his church released the following statement, “We have recently learned, through various channels, that Chengdu authorities intend to disregard the attorneys appointed by Pastor Wang Yi and his family members and to appoint and authorize other attorneys to defend him against his will.
We strongly oppose the government’s actively or passively appointing attorneys for Pastor Wang Yi (regardless of whether they are Christians), especially seeing that Pastor Wang Yi and his mother have already appointed attorneys to represent him. Even if his self-appointed attorneys are not able to represent him in this case, we would rather Pastor Wang Yi present his defense himself. We do not approve of any actions taken in his defense by state-appointed attorneys.”
• Continue to Pray for members of his congregation that are under constant harassment from the authorities forcing many families to move from their homes and hopefully find another place to live. Some have been forced to move 3 times in the last several months.
• Pray that God would strengthen Pastor Wang and his congregation with scriptures and memories of God’s past faithfulness to him. (Psalm 51:10).
• Pray he will have proper legal representation.
• Pray for the many other pastors and Christians who have been arrested and imprisoned.