Praise & Prayer

Praise—Canadians welcome refugees: The Mahmoud Erfani family was joyfully welcomed by relatives and church representatives to refuge in Canada, 3-1/2 years after the former Muslims fled persecution in Iran. As “apostates” who had left Islam to become Christians, the Erfanis had been evicted from their home on a former church compound in Mashhad and faced growing harassment by secret police in the months before they fled to Turkey. After months of petitioning the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Canadian Embassy granted them residence visas last August. Among those welcoming the family to Canada were relatives and friends from their native Mashhad who are also converts from Islam to Christianity.

Compass via Religion Today Summaries

Praise—Turks allow Scripture handouts: For the first time in 13 years of distributing New Testaments, Christian workers in Istanbul, Turkey, were given freedom to hand out the Scriptures on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve without harassment from authorities. In the report, received at the U.S. office of Turkish World Outreach in Grand Junction, Colo., a Christian worker said it was an “exhilarating experience to distribute New Testaments even when the police came—to not be stopped, arrested, or taken in by them.” Fifteen workers distributed more than 3,200 New Testaments in six hours on the main street of Istanbul. “The street police came four times to check and were amazed that we had permission,” the worker said. “Some of the on-duty street police took New Testaments. One said, ‘Islam has done nothing for us.’”

Assist News Service via HCJB World Radio

Praise—Mothers reach mothers in Nepal: An elderly widow from a church-planting ministry based in northern India recently led a team of mothers on a ministry trip through the Himalayan mountain area of Nepal, their ancestral homeland. The leader reported: “We went as far as we could by vehicle; then we walked from church to church. I taught the women and the mothers from our home church shared their testimonies. In one place the mothers were very old—one was 90. In every place, we had wonderful fellowship and the women received a special blessing from God.  We slept in the churches at night and held our meetings during daylight hours.  We didn’t have any night meetings as the political situation (activity of rebels in the area) is very unstable…but praise God that we were able to encourage them. These days the Lord is blessing not only the mothers but also the youths and fathers. Please pray for us.”

Missions Insider

Praise—Many Afghanis open for the gospel: “Preaching and following Jesus is somewhat dangerous in a Muslim culture,” according to Fahmir (name changed), a former mullah in Afghanistan. “A friend and I mingle with the people, drink tea and keep an eye out for others who are open for spiritual things. We then spend more time with them, discovering who is open for the gospel. In one area, we had two hundred contacts, and can now go to start a house church. People in Afghanistan have had enough of the Taliban and Muslim extremists….They are ready for Jesus Christ and the gospel.”

Source: ‘Fahmir’ in ‘Offene Grenzen’ 1/03, www.offenegrenzen.ch

via Friday Fax

Pray—InterVarsity Too Christian for Rutgers: Rutgers University is kicking InterVarsity Multi-Ethnic Christian Fellowship off its New Brunswick, N.J., campus because the group stipulates that its leaders must be Christian. The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-family legal foundation, has filed a lawsuit demanding reinstatement for the IV chapter.

Based on a CitizenLink report

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