Morocco--Secret Christians Arrested
Source: VOM Contacts
Police have arrested three secret Christians and apparently gained information about other secret believers in the country. On March 1, two young men were visiting with an older believer from another city in a public cafe when police arrested the three. The two young men were released later that night, but the older believer remains in custody. The families of the two young men were not aware of their sons' conversion to Christianity, and one of the young men was expelled from his home when his family learned of his Christian faith. In addition to the three arrests, police visited the home of a Christian leader in Rabat, but the family did not let them in. Pray for these two young men as well as the older believer still in custody. Also pray for protection of those whose names have been provided to the police.
Turkey--Church Attacked Amid Increasing Harassment
Source: VOM Contacts
A church in Turkey has experienced increased harassment in recent weeks, possibly as a result of the Quran burnings at an American military base in Afghanistan. On Sunday, March 4, police notified the pastor of Samsun Agape Church that someone had attacked the church building. The attacker kicked in the church door to get inside, where guests from Romania were staying. He also damaged the church sign before being detained by police and a neighbor. Several policemen were injured in a struggle with the attacker. Christians in Turkey are often perceived as traitors and supporters of the West. "These types of incidents discourage new believers and drive them to fear," the pastor said. Pray for the protection of Turkish believers, and pray that those who persecute Christians might receive the truth in miraculous ways.
Kurdistan--Christian Teacher Killed by Student
Source: VOM Contacts, Kurdistan News Agency
A student at a private Christian school in Kurdistan shot to death his American teacher before killing himself. The incident has prompted the Ministry of Education to review the programs of private schools in the region. Bayar Sarwar, 18, shot 33-year-old American gym teacher Jeremiah Small four times on March 1 as he prayed before class. Although the motive for the shooting is unclear, the Kurdistan Teachers Union believes the student was agitated by the teacher's promotion of Christianity. Without elaborating, police said only that there was some kind of issue between the student and teacher. Jeremiah Small was from Washington state. He was buried March 6, 2012, in Kurdistan. Please pray for his family and for peace in Kurdistan.
Pray for Pastor Yang Xuan and his wife, Yang Caizhen. VOM has provided emergency aid to their family since the house church leaders were arrested in November 2009. Yang Caizhen was released last year, but her husband remains in prison.