With permission we again bring extracts from Spiral Magazine (August 2017 issue) published by the Parish of South Gillingham.
Summer is a time of rest and refreshment for many Christians in Western churches, but this is not so for millions who live in many other countries. They are often harassed, ridiculed or denied education or jobs, resulting in very little money to support themselves or their families. Let us not forget to uphold them in prayer as they continually face these difficult circumstances; for we trust in a great God who, as we see below, answers our faithful prayers.
Mali: Six hostages abducted at various times by jihadist groups affiliated to al-Qaeda have appeared in a jihadist video, just hours before France’s president Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Mali. The six are 82-year-old Christian surgeon, Ken Elliott, from Australia; a Colombian nun, Gloria Argoti; Swiss missionary, Beatrice Stockly; a Romanian mining engineer, Iulian Ghergut; South African Stephen McGowan, and French aid worker Sophie Pétronin, the head of an NGO that works with children. The abductors want their governments to negotiate their release. Please pray that the six hostages would be released soon and their families would be comforted during this ordeal.
Iran: Pastor Victor Bet Tamraz was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment, Amin Afshar Naderi to 15 years and Hadi Asgari to 10 years for many charges including ‘organising and creating house churches’, ‘conducting evangelism’, and ‘Bible printing and distribution’. Three others were sentenced to 80 lashes for drinking communion wine. Please pray for the success of their appeals, for courage and endurance for the hundreds of Iranian Christians in jail or facing a jail sentence and that international pressure will be applied on the Iranian government to allow religious freedom.