Latest Requests

  • Sudan: Update on pastors on trial

    Posted on 25th June 2015

     

    Greetings in the name of Jesus.

     

    Christians in Sudan request our continued prayers for Michael Yat (49) and Peter Yen Reith (36), two South Sudanese pastors on trial in Khartoum who had their latest hearing today, 25th June.

     

    At today's hearing the prosecution produced one person who gave testimony, but brought no new evidence against the pastors. The next hearing is due to be on 2nd July. At that hearing the judge will allow the two pastors to speak and he can question them. Afterwards he will decide whether to drop the case against them (if he believes there is no bases to the charges), or whether to allow the case to continue.

     

    Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith were detained in Khartoum by the NISS on 14th December and 11th January respectively. They have been charged with a range of criminal offences. These include crimes against the state which are punishable by death, a life sentence or lesser detention and confiscation of property.

     

    On 4th June the pastors were transferred from a low-security prison in Omdurman to the high-security Kober Prison, where they are held in separate cells. Kober Prison administrators have denied the pastors access to their families and lawyer. The defence lawyer has been informed that the pastors were transferred because Western visitors took photographs of them, and because an interview they gave was broadcast by a Christian media organisation.

     

    Please pray:

    a. that Pastors Yat and Reith and their families will know the Lord's peace and protection

    b. that all charges against them will be dropped

    c. that church leaders in Sudan will know the Lord's wisdom in the face of increasing pressures against them

    d. that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

     

    May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations, and quoted from freely in reports citing "Middle East Concern" as the source of the information.

     
  • Sudan: pastors trial update

    Posted on 18th June 2015

    Greetings in the name of Jesus.

    Christians in Sudan request our prayers for Michael Yat (49) and Peter Yen Reith (36), two South Sudanese pastors on trial in Khartoum who had their latest hearing today, 18th June.

    At today's hearing the prosecution produced one person who gave testimony, but brought no new evidence against the pastors. The next hearing is due to be on 25th June. The prosecution said they have two more witnesses to give testimony.

    In the legal process the next step is for the judge to make a preliminary ruling on whether he believes there is any basis for the charges against the two pastors. If there is no basis, he will drop the charges and the case will be finished. Otherwise he will allow the case to proceed to trial.

    The defence lawyer believes the judge will make this ruling at the next hearing due on 25th June and, although there is not really any evidence against the pastors, the lawyer expects that the judge will allow the case to proceed to trial.

    Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith were detained in Khartoum by the NISS on 14th December and 11th January respectively. They have been charged with a range of criminal offences. These include crimes against the state which are punishable by death, a life sentence or lesser detention and confiscation of property.

    On 4th June the pastors were transferred from a low-security prison in Omdurman to the high-security Kober Prison, where they are held in separate cells. Kober Prison administrators have denied the pastors access to their families and lawyer. The defence lawyer has been informed that the pastors were transferred because Western visitors took photographs of them, and because an interview they gave was broadcast by a Christian media organisation.

    Please pray:
    a. that Pastors Yat and Reith and their families will know the Lord's peace and protection
    b. that all charges against them will be dropped
    c. that church leaders in Sudan will know the Lord's wisdom in the face of increasing pressures against them
    d. that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

    May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations, and quoted from freely in reports citing "Middle East Concern" as the source of the information.

     

     
  • Sudan: No new evidence against pastors

    Posted on 16th June 2015

     

    Greetings in the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace.

     

    Christians in Sudan request our prayers for Michael Yat (49) and Peter Yen Reith (36), two South Sudanese pastors on trial in Khartoum who had their latest hearing on 15th June.

     

    According to their lawyer, prosecutors failed to produce any new evidence, as officials from Sudan's National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) repeated statements they had made earlier in the trial.

     

    The lawyer was also able to present his defence to the court. The next hearing is scheduled for  Thursday 18th June.

     

    Pastor Yat and Pastor Reith were detained in Khartoum by the NISS on 14th December and 11th January respectively. They have been charged with a range of criminal offences. These include crimes against the state which are punishable by death, a life sentence or lesser detention and confiscation of property.

     

    On 4th June the pastors were transferred from a low-security prison in Omdurman to the high-security Kober Prison, where they are held in separate cells. Kober Prison administrators have denied the pastors access to their families and lawyer. The lawyer has been informed that the pastors were transferred because Western visitors took photographs of them, and because an interview they gave was broadcast by a Christian media organisation.

     

    Please pray:
    a. that Pastors Yat and Reith and their families will know the Lord's peace and protection
    b. that all charges against them will be dropped
    c. that church leaders in Sudan will know the Lord's wisdom in the face of increasing pressures against them
    d. that all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him

     

    May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations, and quoted from freely in reports citing "Middle East Concern" as the source of the information.

     

     
  • Iraq: one year since Daesh capture of Mosul

    Posted on 15th June 2015

     

    Greetings in the name of Jesus, the eternal Rock.

    Iraqi Christians have requested prayer for their country, as they continue to suffer the consequences of the seizure of Mosul last June.

    A year ago Daesh (so-called 'Islamic State') captured the Mosul area and gave Christians three choices: convert to Islam; abandon their property and leave the city; or be killed.

    Daesh later attacked Christian villages and towns in surrounding areas of the Nineveh Plain, the ancestral home of thousands of Christians and other minority groups. Christians were forced to leave, and fled to Kurdish-controlled areas and neighbouring countries.

    Most of them are living in difficult conditions in temporary settlements and refugee camps. Many are considering leaving Iraq. Some have been abducted by Daesh, and it is not known what has happened to them.

    Many have lost homes, property, belongings and, sadly, any hope for the future in Iraq - despite everything, many church leaders are trying to do what they can to improve the situation, encouraging Christians to stay and urging Iraqi politicians to seek a solution which will safeguard the Christian presence in the country.

    Many churches, monasteries and ancient holy places in the Mosul area have been confiscated and used for other purposes by Daesh. There has been widespread desecration and looting of furniture and paintings, and demolition of church crosses and gravestones. Precious ancient manuscripts have been burned.

    Military action to recapture the Mosul area has not been prioritised. There is no consensus about what should be done to improve security or to help Christians remain in Iraq.

    Please pray:
    a. that all areas captured by Daesh will be liberated soon, and that Christians will be able to return to their home areas
    b. that a peaceful and just political solution will be found, whereby Christians will be free to live and worship in Iraq
    c. that Iraqi Christians forced to flee their home areas will be able to witness to God's love in the places where they have sought refuge
    d. that Christians abducted by Daesh will be released
    e. for peace and justice in Iraq

     

    May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations, and quoted from freely in reports citing "Middle East Concern" as the source of the information. 

     
  • Iran: Christian's prison sentence upheld

    Posted on 1st June 2015

    Greetings in the name of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.

    In February Middle East Concern requested prayer for Farshid Fathi, who was appealing against an additional one-year prison sentence. Iranian Christians are disappointed and concerned that the sentence has been upheld.

    In February 2012 Farshid was convicted of action against national security, co-operating with foreign organisations and evangelism, and sentenced to a total of six years’ imprisonment. Originally detained in Evin Prison, he was transferred to Rajai Shahr Prison on 19th August 2014.

    On 29th December 2014 Farshid received an additional sentence of one year, following the discovery of alcohol during a raid on his ward in Evin Prison in April 2014. Security officials attributed the alcohol to Farshid, who strongly denies this claim.
     
    Farshid’s lawyer appealed against the additional sentence, but on 24th May it was reported that the appeal had been rejected and that he and another Christian prisoner (Alireza Sayyedian) had been transferred to Hall 2 of Ward 1 of Rajai Shahr Prison.
     
    According to a relative, conditions in Hall 2 are not good. The two men are now held with prisoners convicted of robbery, violence and drug-related crimes.
     
    Iranian Christians request prayer that:
    a. Farshid will not be disheartened by the failed appeal and will know peace and encouragement through God’s presence.
    b. Farshid and Alireza will be protected from harm in the new ward, will form good friendships with the other prisoners and be able to encourage them.
    c. the Iranian judiciary will be just in their assessment of appeals on behalf of Christians and other prisoners.
    d. Farshid, Alireza and others in prison for the peaceful exercise of their religious or moral beliefs will be released soon.
    e. all officials involved will love mercy, act justly, learn about Jesus and choose to follow Him.

    May be circulated to general mailing lists, outside organisations, and quoted from freely in reports citing "Middle East Concern" as the source of the information.