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South Africa: agitation and frustration

Cyril Ramaphosa won the May elections on a reformist ticket against ANC’s corrupt old guard. Now he is dealing with a corruption row over land reform in the countryside and xenophobia in the towns. When he took over he pledged to bring ‘ethics’ into politics. But for much of his short tenure, Ramaphosa has fought a campaign addressing financial scandals. His first move as president was spearheading controversial reforms which would advance land transfers to the black majority. But many black people don't yet know how to farm,so they need the white commercial farmers to train and help them. Recently, cities have experienced violent mobs looting shops and torching vehicles owned by foreign nationals, in a wave of xenophobic attacks. Angry residents are calling on the government to deport undocumented migrants. Nigeria sent an envoy to South Africa to express her displeasure over the treatment of her citizens, and Ethiopia's embassy advised its citizens to close their businesses. See also

Pray: for white commercial farmers and black farmers to be able to work collaboratively, for criminality and xenophobic violence to be removed from the cities, and for fair and honest documentation in both cases. (Micah 6:8)

More: www.aljazeera.com/programmes/talktojazeera/inthefield/2019/08/land-expropriation-eyes-south-african-farmers-190829143259189.html

Met Police pay damages to street preacher

In March Prayer-Alert intercessors prayed for an inquiry into the unfair arrest and abuse of Pastor Oluwole Ilesanmi, a street preacher. Now, supported by the Christian Legal Centre, he has been offered £2,500 in exemplary damages from the Metropolitan Police in relation to his false arrest, imprisonment and unlawful detention. Also a petition with over 38,000 signatures has now been given to the Home Secretary calling on her to investigate the guidance and training given to police officers nationwide on the freedom to preach in public. May this petition now be acted upon. See

Praise: God for the justice given to Pastor Oluowe, may this case set a precedent for policing procedures. (Isaiah 43:19)

More: https://www.christianconcern.com/our-issues/freedom-of-speech/met-police-pays-damages-nigerian-street-preacher-wrongful-arrest

Cameroon: Christian majority flee Boko Haram

Bishop Bruno Ateba of Maroua-Mokolo said that over 100,000 Christian Cameroonians have been made refugees within their own country as a result of a rise in attacks by Boko Haram. 70% of the population is Christian. The bishop said tourism has ceased and life has come to a standstill because of the terrorist crisis. Suicide bombings in Maroua, in the far north, killed over 30 people and injured hundreds. The recent suicide attacks were carried out by two young girls, forced by Boko Haram to conceal bombs under their burkas and detonate their weapons in public places. In an appeal to international governments, Bishop Bruno said, ‘Help us to achieve peace. The international community has all the resources to put an end to the terrorism of Boko Haram.’ In a letter to all the faithful of his diocese, Bishop Bruno called them to pray and be watchful.

Pray: for God's protection over the land, and for international security support on the Nigerian border. (Psalm 91:1)

More: www.sconews.co.uk/news/47172/christian-majority-in-cameroon-flee-boko-haram-attacks/

Christians persecuted in 3 of 4 nations globally

'Have been harassed in more countries than any other religious group'

There are some 197 countries around the world.

And in 144 of them, Christians are persecuted, according to a report commissioned by the British government.

There is widespread evidence showing that “today, Christians constitute by far the most widely persecuted religion,” the report said.

It found that “Christians have been harassed in more countries than any other religious group and have suffered harassment in many of the heavily Muslim countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”

Nigeria: Trump Honours Muslim Cleric Who Saved 262 Christians From Death

"The Trump administration honored a Nigerian Muslim Imam last week among its first-ever International Religious Freedom Award winners for his efforts that saved hundreds of Christians during a 2018 terrorist attack," reports LifeSiteNews.

"Imam Abubakar Abdullahi of Nigeria selflessly risked his own life to save members of another religious community, who would have likely been killed without his intervention," the proclamation from the U.S. Department of State said.

More than 60 dead as Boko Haram extremists target funeral in Nigeria

The latest atrocity is believed to be in retaliation to an incident when villagers fought off a Boko Haram attack two weeks ago.

The attack on civilians is the deadliest in the region so far this year.

Eleven other people were wounded during the midday attack in Budu near Maiduguri on Saturday, according to Muhammad Bulama, council chairman of the Nganzai local government area.

Bunu Bukar, secretary of self-defence group Borno Hunters Association, said the extremists were on motorbikes and opened fire on villagers.

He added that his colleagues had recovered nearly two dozen bodies.

Nigeria: pregnant mother among five Christians killed

Muslim Fulani herdsmen are attacking churches in north-central Nigeria and crippling productive activities. Attacks have heightened, with one village or another attacked nearly every day. The most recent attack reported in the media was in Jos where a pregnant mother of two and three other Christians were killed by Fulanis. They also attacked other Christian communities, burning down 75 houses with food stores and two church buildings. The herdsmen beheaded a church elder after killing him. ‘We have been experiencing daily attacks by these Fulani herdsmen in our communities, most especially on Sundays during worship hours or Thursdays when church activities are held,’ said a pastor. The herdsmen also destroyed farm produce worth millions of naira, and a lot of domestic animals were killed in the attacks. Christians make up 51.3% of Nigeria’s population; Muslims account for 45%.

Pray: for God to protect vulnerable villages and comfort all who have lost loved ones, livelihoods and homes. Pray also for the Fulani to be challenged by the Gospel so as to come to Christ. (Psalm 94:19)

More: morningstarnews.org/2019/07/pregnant-mother-among-five-christians-slain-in-north-central-nigeria/

Nigeria suicide blast kills 30 at video hall in Borno

At least 30 people have been killed in a triple suicide bombing outside a video hall in north-eastern Nigeria, emergency service officials say.

Another 40 were injured in the attack in Konduga village in Borno State, the officials said.

There are conflicting report about whether the blast occurred while people were watching football or a film.

Militant Islamist group Boko Haram is being blamed for the attack. There was no immediate comment from the group.

Formed in Borno State, the group has waged a brutal insurgency across the north-east for a decade.

Niger: Boko Haram violence against Christians

Boko Haram warned Christians, ‘You have three days to go or you will be killed!’ So rural families fled to Diffa city. Islamist militias have killed dozens and displaced thousands in the Diffa region of Niger, according to UN officials. There are an estimated 200,000 displaced people in Niger:  those displaced internally, and also many who are fleeing the Boko Haram insurgency in Nigeria. Niger’s church ministers working close to zones of conflict are now taking refuge with other Christians in the relative safety of Niamey, the capital. This means that no minister now lives in the premises of the church in these dangerous areas. An observer said, ‘I do not know how the services take place every Sunday, but the churches are not closed’. Earlier this month the governor of the Diffa region ordered churches to close due to the threat of terrorist attacks.

Pray: for adequate policing so that this spike in violence ends. (Psalm 91:4)

More: http://barnabasfund.org/en/news/%E2%80%9Cyou-have-three-days-to-go-or-you-will-be-killed%E2%80%9D-boko-haram-tells-christians-in-niger

Nigeria: Christian persecution growing

Mrs Adeleye and her stepson, Destiny Paul, were driving home from church on 9 June when Fulani herdsmen blocked the road with cows. She tried to turn their car and escape but they attacked, damaged her car, and abducted them both the boy. They later demanded N10 million ransom from her husband. The police said they had swung into action, and would soon get the victims free, unhurt. Attacks on Christians in Nigeria are growing in ferocity and frequency according to Father John Bakeni, a priest who works with survivors of extremist violence. He said, ’The ongoing conflict with Boko Haram and attacks by predominantly Islamist Fulani shepherds have instilled great uncertainty and fear in us Nigerians. We consider each day we live in safety a blessing, because we do not know what will happen the next day.’ He added, ‘It is very difficult to be a Christian in this part of the world, but our faith encourages us to bear witness to the Gospel bravely.’ See

Pray: for the people in rural areas, no longer able to cultivate their fields. Pray that the government will be more successful against the extremist groups. (Psalm 103:5,6)

More: http://acnuk.org/news/attacks-on-nigerias-christians-are-growing/

Story that inspired a ministry

‘My husband Todd and I were serving at an orphanage. The kids hadn't had meat in a year so we made them hamburgers. I noticed the pre-schoolers kept coming back for more before disappearing. I was curious, so I followed them. The children were hiding the burgers underneath their mattresses for another day. I called my husband over, and that was a defining moment for both of us. We couldn't un-see that scene, we knew that we were called to ministry.’ In 1997 Beth and her husband saved, took a year's leave of absence from work and moved to Mexico to start their orphanage. Today, Back2Back Ministries is an international orphan care ministry serving abandoned, orphaned and impoverished children in Mexico, Nigeria, India and Haiti.

Praise: God for Beth and Tod’s obedience to His call on their lives. (Zechariah 4:10)

More: https://www.gospelherald.com/articles/71980/20190515/found-global-orphan-care-ministry-shares-heartbreaking-story-inspired-mission.htm

Changing face of mission

In the eighteenth century mission agencies were established, recruiting missionaries and mobilising mission across continents. Later, a new generation of pioneers took the gospel into regions of unreached people. But Christians realised that many were still isolated from the gospel by cultural and language barriers. Then mother tongue evangelists appeared. Work progressed, identifying more unreached peoples and taking the gospel to them. Globally, churches became significant missionary senders. Former pioneer areas like South Korea, Nigeria, India, Brazil and the Philippines sent missionaries into the world. Today, local churches have cross-cultural opportunities on their doorstep. Translators are using modern technology to interpret the gospel into other languages in a matter of months. The same work previously took years to complete. Satellite TV broadcasts into closed countries, and the Church continues to rise to the challenge of taking the gospel to the whole world.

Praise: God for amazing growth of cross-cultural ministry opportunities and resources. (Matthew 24:14)

More: http://docs.google.com/document/d/10wQTR3ROs9vTVCzaPvNVAzpk8GkjJOeVXJzQtDKuWdA/edit

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