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Church closure in Nepal

Intensifying pressure from Hindu locals recently led to the forced closure of a church in Nepal.

For two months, a group of Hindus disrupted services and members of the church eventually abandoned their building, resorting to meeting in their own homes. However, the Hindus publicly threatened any Christian found meeting anywhere. Attendances began to dwindle due to fear, and at the beginning of November, the church disbanded entirely.

Opposition to Christianity has been growing in recent years, accelerated by the passing of anti-evangelism laws. Please continue to pray with us for our partner Bishnu and others in Nepal as they proclaim the Gospel, plant churches and bring aid to needy people across the country. Pray too for AsiaLink staff members currently travelling on an outreach trip in the nation.

Myanmar aid worker arrested

A Chinese-American pastor has been arrested in China and sentenced to seven years in prison.

The pastor was picked up crossing the border between Myanmar and China, returning home after ministering to refugees in Wa State. Pray for this man and his family at this time.

We are mindful of the similarities between the work of this pastor and our own partner, who also works with refugees in Myanmar. Just a few weeks ago, in an area where our partner works, 15 Christians were arrested for providing aid to refugee camps.

Thousands of people continue to struggle after fleeing their homes to escape the violence perpetrated by the country’s national army. Pray for those bringing both practical aid and the Gospel and, in particular, our partner and her network.

Unrest in Pakistan after Asia Bibi ruling

Asia Bibi's acquittal of blasphemy in Pakistan triggered large-scale protests, with extremists demanding she be put to death alongside the three judges who set her free.

Pakistan flagHer ordeal started in 2009 after two fellow farmworkers refused to drink from the same container as a Christian, and later said Bibi had insulted the Prophet Muhammad. The claim led to her arrest and death sentence on blasphemy charges.

Rights groups have said Pakistan’s blasphemy law is often used as an excuse to settle scores, or as a weapon against religious minorities.

Since the acquittal, Bibi has been in hiding in the capital Islamabad and has been refused asylum in the UK. If she is found by the extremists hunting for her, they will almost certainly kill her. Please continue to pray for her and her family as well as other Christians in Pakistan. One AsiaLink partner has expressed concerns about the increasing antagonism towards believers in the wake of the court ruling.

Source: AP NEWS

Pastors refused travel in China

Earlier this month, 100 underground church leaders and members were prevented from leaving the country to attend a training event.

State security at airports in Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou issued the travel bans on the grounds that the would-be participants of a conference, run by a Baptist church in South Korea, were "likely to damage national security."

One pastor involved with teaching at the event said the church members were turned back at the airport and refused permission to board their flights. The intention of the conference was to train underground church members for ministry.

Pray for those involved with training and teaching Christians in China for future ministry - that they will have safe and fruitful opportunities to do so.

Source: Radio Free Asia

14 Days of Prayer for North Korea

14 days of prayer for North Korea bookletIt can be hard to know how to pray for an entire country. It’s especially difficult when it comes to praying for a nation as dark and as closed as North Korea.

Following on from recent visits by AsiaLink staff, we have published a fourteen-day prayer guide to foster prayer for this nation and our work within it.

If you would like to receive a copy (or several copies!) you can order here or get in touch with us by phone on 01772 681618 or 028 933 42920.