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Weekly Edition (27-Jan-2007)
“I am called by God to be a pastor to the people in Uzbekistan, I am on a pilgrimage without a home, a church or status – but with God.” Pastor Dmitry Shestakov
Table of Contents
CM Persecution Update
Editor’s Note:
Christian Monitor will begin publishing a summary of persecution news in order to promote active prayer for those suffering for their faith. It has been a long7 months since our last newsletter publication and the Lord has burdened our hearts to restart this valuable prayer tool for our readers. We welcome your comments and requests and ask for continued remembrance of those under persecution for His sake.
New Round of Arrests
The first week of January led to the arrests of 68 Christians in the nation of Eritrea. Government officials acted with haste in expanding the persecution of Christians in three separate incidents.

1. On January 5th officials in the village of Keren apprehended 8 government workers belonging to the Medhane Alem and subjected them to interrogation. Officials sought to determine the names of local Christian leaders. Medhane Alem operates as the renewal movement of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

2. On the same day, 25 Christians in the city of Assab contended with removal from homes, schools and workplaces. Incarcerated in a military camp, these 25 Christians have been pressured to recant their faith in Jesus Christ.

3. On January 4th military commanders of the Sawa Military Center conducted a search of the personal effects of many students, discovering 250 Bibles. Commanders arrested 35 students and placed them under harsh military punishment.

Pray for a bold witness for the Lord and perseverance in the faith as these prisoners of the faith remain in custody. (Source: Compass Direct News and the IRD)
Christians Remain a Threat
On January 24th police raided a house church meeting in Zhangchong Township, Jinzhai County, Anhui province of China. All attendees were photographed, questioned and identified prior to release. Police took three leaders of the house church into custody for further interrogation. After interrogation police warned the leaders to never hold meetings without official permission. Confiscated items included Bibles, hymnals, a blackboard and acoustic equipment.

This latest round of harassment follows several incidents of persecution this year already. At the beginning of January police detained several Christians following a house church raid in Henan Province. The local police proclaimed the gathering cultic and illegal.

On January 1st in Hebei Province, several Christians gathered for a New Year’s Bible study. Police forced the meeting to end, detaining and interrogating several members, before their release. The leader of the group, Professor Geng Sude endured several hours of questioning before his release.

On January 4th police raided another house church gathering. The police detained three Christians for questioning and released them same day. Brother An Wenqing, a seminary lecturer faced further detention and interrogation for 14 hours before police freed him.
Pray for Christians in China perceived by their government as a threat to communist ideology and control. Through continued persecution the church is growing and the faithful are willing to endure much hardship in order to walk out a life of faith in Jesus. (Source: China Aid Association)
Secret Police Arrest Pastor
On January 21st Pastor Dmitry Shestakov endured arrest in Adijan, Uzbekistan during a secret police raid of his church service. Police asked him to step outside and escorted the 37 year old Pastor to the local police station where he remains in detention.

Pastor Shestakov has been subjected to harassment since May of 2006 because of the growth of ministry in reaching out to ethnic Uzbeks. In June of 2006 the pastor and his family escaped into hiding to avoid further persecution. Burdened for the lost, the family returned to a neighboring city continuing the ministry in secret. In his words, “I am called by God to be a pastor to the people in Uzbekistan, I am on a pilgrimage without a home, a church or status – but with God.”

After his return and arrest, Pastor Shestakov faces a charge of “incitement of national, racial and religious enmity”. Pastor Shestakov could receive up to 5 years in prison if convicted on the charges.

Pray for Pastor Shestakov and his family as they endure the trials of persecution for their commitment to preach the Gospel of Jesus. Pray authorities would pursue justice and truth with high regard.
In Short….
•Christians in Bethlehem are increasingly vocal regarding persecutions endured. During the last few years over 160 documented attacks against Christians have caused many to leave the city.

•Christians in Burma are crying out for assistance while undergoing a campaign to wipe out Christianity in Burma. A document , titled “Program to Destroy the Christian Religion in Burma,” was shown to the U.K.-based Telegraph newspaper by human rights groups and provides evidence of a campaign to persecute.

•India continues to be a focus for Christian Monitor. Several incidents happened this week confirming a concerted effort by radicals to eliminate the spread of the Gospel.

Continue to pray and remember those who suffer for their faith. Prayer is a selfless act benefiting persecuted Christians and those willing to pray. For more information visit www.christianmonitor.org.
Rosalie Naglich
2 Samuel 24:24 And the king said unto Araunah, Nay: but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.

We hear these words 'everything has a price'. Jesus paid a price for our salvation when He shed His blood on the cross. Salvation was free to us, but it cost Him everything. He laid His life down and the Holy Spirit is calling His people into the throne room to lay down our busy life and wait on Him for direction in prayer.

Satan has come to massage our carnal desires so that we will miss the will of God. He wants to bring life to our fleshly desires that will draw us away from the things of God. In other words, everything does have a price and when we yield to carnal desires rather than obeying the call to prayer, we are not counting the cost.

It takes time to pray, sometimes at great sacrifice in many households. We cannot compare our lives to others, but we can be obedient to the voice of the Spirit when He draws our hearts and woos us into the throne room for fellowship with Him. We need to become desperate for His presence. If we don't spend time with God, we won't take time to pray for others. Our Heavenly Father has need of us to lay our lives down and take time to pray.
Our prayer...
Father, I pray today for countries to be open to the Gospel. I pray for witnesses to be bold, protected, and fruitful. Send out laborers. Prosper those that will give to further the Gospel. Teach us how to deny ourselves so that we might meet a need of someone else. I remind You that whatsoever things I desired when I pray, to believe that You will answer. So I bring before You the nations and ask that You would send the rain of Your Spirit and draw people unto You. I pray for a visitation of the Lord Jesus Christ to those that need to know Him in reality. Hear the cries of Your people behind prison walls, those that are lonely, discouraged, and separated from their families. Bring comfort and encouragement. All for Your glory, Jesus, all for Your glory!