Missions Catalyst 01.20.10 – World News Briefs

In This Issue: Hostages in Yemen, Cooperation in Haiti, and More

  • YEMEN: Kidnap Victims Alive
  • EGYPT: 100+ Teenagers Arrested
  • UZBEKISTAN: Court Overturns Fines
  • ARABIAN PENINSULA: “I Love the Book”
  • WORLD: Abraham’s Other Descendants
  • HAITI: Cooperative Efforts

Missions Catalyst is a free, weekly electronic digest of mission news and resources designed to inspire and equip Christians worldwide for global ministry. Use it to fuel your prayers, find tips and opportunities, and stay in touch with how God is building his kingdom all over the world. Please forward it freely!

World News Briefs, edited by Pat Noble, are published twice a month.

YEMEN: Kidnap Victims Alive

Source: Middle East Concern, January 11, 2010

In recent months we have requested prayer following the [June] kidnapping of nine foreigners in Saada, northwest Yemen, three of whom were murdered shortly after. Those missing are a German couple, their three children, and a British man.

We are pleased to report that a Yemeni government official has announced that the government has seen proof that the missing six are alive. Precise details have not been disclosed. However, a recent video showing the three young children has been confirmed. This has led some to speculate that the children are being held separately from the adults.

The government has given assurances that, together with German and British investigators, it is continuing to work for their release.

>> Full story with prayer points.

>> See also Why Southern Yemen Is Pushing for Secession (Christian Science Monitor). Learn more about the people groups of Yemen and how to pray for them at Pray4Yemen.

EGYPT: 100+ Teenagers Arrested

Source: ASSIST News, January 13, 2010

Egyptian State Security has intensified its intimidation of the Coptic Church and Christians in Nag Hammadi and neighboring Bahgoura by carrying out random arrests of Christian youth.

Anwar Samuel, a head teacher from Nag Hammadi, told Freecopts that State Security came to their home at 4 a.m., looking for his nephew, who happened to be in Kuwait.

“Instead they arrested my three other nephews and took them away in their pajamas.” He said they have been subjected to electric shock torture.

Coptic News Bulletin contacted several families who confirmed that males as young as 16 were taken away by the police. Families told how the police tricked their sons into going with them by telling them that Bishop Kyrollos wanted them to do so for their safety.

Numerous members of families have been arrested, mostly at dawn without warrants. More than 100 Christian youth have been arrested without charge.

>> Full story with picture.

>> See also Signs of Rising Sectarian Tension, with map and pictures (IRIN), and Egypt: Why Christian-Muslim Clashes Are Different This Time (Christian Science Monitor).

UZBEKISTAN: Court Overturns Fines

Source: Baptist Press News, January 5, 2010

A court in Uzbekistan has overturned massive fines levied against three Baptist Union leaders in late October but upheld their criminal convictions, which Uzbek Baptists claim were based on fabricated evidence. An order barring the three from holding responsible positions in the Baptist Union for three years also remains in place.

Baptist Union President Pavel Peichev, union accountant Yelena Kurbatova, and Baptist layman Dmitri Pitirimov were relieved [that] the fines – which equaled 260 times the monthly minimum wage – were overturned but told the Forum 18 news service they planned to appeal the December 4 ruling in Tashkent criminal court.

“Although we won’t now have to pay the massive fines, we still have a criminal record,” Pitirimov said. “Pavel can’t be leader of the Baptist Union anymore – that’s clear. Court executors will enforce this. Yelena won’t be able to have anything to do with finances, but accounting is her only profession. This is serious for the Baptist Union and serious for them.”

>> Full story.


Source: Praying Through the Arabian Peninsula Weekly Update, January 1, 2010

Mohammed, a student, came in last week to check on his grades. While he was talking to the professor, “Yaser,” another Arab student previously unknown to the professor, walked in the door. On the professor’s desk he spotted an Arabic Bible, which the [believing] professor is in the habit of reading daily.

Yasser said, “Oh, a Kitab Al Sherif (an Arabic Bible).” “Yes,” the professor replied. “I like to read it in the morning, because I love the book, and at the same time, can develop my Arabic.” Then Yasser reservedly showed the professor his arm bracelet, which had a small, wooden cross on it.

Surprised, the professor blurted out, “Oh, you’re a believer!” Yasser seemed to nod very slightly, but quickly left the office.

The professor looked out the door after Yasser, “Uh … are you with Mohammed?” “No,” they both replied. The professor added a quick comment, “Well, come back and see me when you can.”

So, there’s the mystery. Pray that God will guide Yasser back to the professor. Pray for boldness, wisdom, and security, too.

>> Full story.

WORLD: Abraham’s Other Descendants

Source: Charisma Magazine, January 8, 2010

Although it takes a back seat to rumors of war, a tsunami of faith is quietly overtaking the Muslim world. Islamic adherents are laying aside their allegiance to Muhammad to follow Jesus Christ, despite the social ostracism, persecution and possible martyrdom that converts to Christianity face. Propelled by dreams, visions, and miracles, this wave of revival is bringing vast numbers of Muslims – some say millions – into God’s kingdom.

Tom Doyle, the Middle East director for Dallas-based e3 Partners, an independent missions agency, says his group planted 127 churches last year in the region, a significant upswing since the start of the decade.

“We’ve seen 1,000 Muslims come to Christ this year in Syria alone,” Doyle says. “All the partner ministries we work with say this is the new revival.”

>> Full story.

>> See also the December 2009 Global Conversation’s topic Muslim Followers of Jesus? (Christianity Today).

HAITI: Cooperative Efforts

Source: CrossGlobal Link, January 15, 2010

In an effort to connect reputable organizations involved in Haitian relief work with donations of resources, CrossGlobal Link has established a web-based clearinghouse for organizations responding to the crisis.

At Haiti Hub, organizations that have relief and development connections in Haiti can list their needs and also locate and communicate with churches, individuals, and organizations that have resources to offer.

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