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Pastor, son, brutally beaten. Minority language Bibles bring joy. Parents shoot convert in leg.

While 80 Christians gathered on Feb. 19, 2023, to worship, a mob of Hindu extremists broke into the church and demanded proof that they had permission to be there. When the mob began to attack Pastor Zahir, his son, Ashok, defended him and also became a target. The two men were kicked, punched and beaten with a microphone stand until they were both bleeding and unconscious. Other members of the congregation were also injured as the mob ransacked the church while shouting Hindu slogans. When the police arrived, they took Zahir into custody and questioned him but refused to accept his criminal complaint against the attackers. Both Zahir and Ashok have recovered physically, though Ashok continues to experience pain. Pray for the wellbeing of this family and church amid persecution. “Please pray for the vandals,” Ashok said. “Pray that they bend their knees in front of Jesus.”


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In Mali, Bibles are scarce and difficult to obtain outside of the capital, especially in minority languages. Front-line workers have been partnering with VOM for several years to get Bibles of various languages and types, including children’s illustrated Bibles and audio Bibles, into the hands of Christians scattered across the vast nation. During one recent distribution, 50 full Bambara-language Bibles and 50 Boomu Bibles were distributed along with 250 New Testaments. A brother named Matthew received his with joy, saying, “I am glad to have the Bible in my mother tongue. It will do good for my family.” One pastor gave a Bible to a local judge. While doing so, the pastor read Deuteronomy 16:18–20, which says that judges should judge the people fairly without taking bribes or showing partiality. The judge responded by saying, “Pastor, you have given me the greatest gift, and this Bible teaches me.”

Click here to find out about Christian persecution in Mali and learn how to pray.


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“Please pray that my parents will calm down and surrender to the Lord,” requested Amir, an Iraqi convert to Christianity. He recently learned that his enraged parents had shot his brother-in-law in the leg in retaliation for Amir and his family converting to Christianity and fleeing the country. Other members of Amir’s family have had to flee for their lives after converting from Islam. Despite the pressure and danger, Amir prays that more family and friends will come to know Christ as their savior. He also hopes that someday churches will be allowed to exist openly in every part of Iraq, including in Karbala, a city considered sacred in Shia Islam. “I hope someday we can go back and worship the Lord freely there,” he said.


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