Sunday, July 12, 2009

This week in persecuted church history (July 12-18)

Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.
Hebrews 13:7b (ESV)

July 12, 2004: Chinese authorities raid a leadership retreat , arresting over one hundred church leaders. More than two hundred military police and Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers surrounded the "Retreat Center for Railroad Workers" located in Section 5 of Liu Gong Town, Chang Ji Zhou (district) in Xinjiang in Western China, arresting everyone gathered there. No arrest warrants or official identification papers were shown by officers as they carried out the raid.

July 13, 1234: Dominic, founder of the Dominican order, is canonized by the Roman Catholic Church. His original intent was the establish an order that would counter false teaching through persuasion and preaching rather than persecution.  Sadly, the Dominicans eventually became the chief agents of the Inquisition. 

July 16, 2007: Eman Muhammad el-Sayed (26), a Christian convert from Islam, is attacked by her male Muslim family members in Alexandria, Egypt and arrested by the police who then tortured her for eight days.

July 17, 180: Seven men and five women who had been captured carrying "the sacred books, and the letters of Paul, a just man" are tried before Roman proconsul Saturninus. Since none would renounce their Christian faith, all 12 were beheaded.

pakistan_parvez_masih_06 July 17, 2003: Court proceedings begin against Pervez Masih, a schoolmaster of a Christian school charged under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy law. Pervez has been in prison since April 1, 2001 when the schoolmaster of a neighbouring Muslim school filed blasphemy charges against him, saying that two students had heard Masih blaspheme Mohammed.  He is eventually acquitted and released from prison in April 2006.

July 17, 2008. Iranian police raid a church meeting in the home of Abbas Amiri and his wife, Sakineh Rahnama. The elderly couple are beaten in the raid and die days later (Abbas on July 30 and Sakineh on August 3).

July 18, 64: The Great Fire of Rome begins. To direct suspicion away from himself, young Emperor Nero blames the city's Christians. A persecution followed in which Christians were (among other punishments) burned alive.

July 18, 2004: Five men armed with machine guns overpower a security guard at the Efatha Presbyterian Church in Palu, Indonesia during an evening service and open fire. The gunmen then flee, leaving the pastor dead and four others injured; one critically. Rev. Susianty Tinulele died instantly with gunshot wounds to her head.

(sources: Christianity Today, The Voice of the Martyrs)

Prayer: “Grant that we, who now remember these before thee, may likewise so bear witness unto thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of glory that fadeth not away; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” – taken from The Book of Common Prayer, Canada (1962)

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