A Czech national who was captured and imprisoned with brutal ISIS militants recently shared the story of his harrowing ordeal and how God gave Him strength and renewed his purpose.
CBN News reports that Petr Jasek grew up in Czechoslovakia under Communist rule. As a child, his parents were persecuted for their faith. As an adult, Petr followed God’s call to serve with Voice of the Martyrs in Sudan.
While there, Petr was arrested and charged with being a spy. He was given a 20-year prison sentence and imprisoned with ISIS extremists.
“One of the ISIS members was a Libyan guy who at the age of 12 was a personal guard for Osama Bin Laden in Tora Bora and later on when he returned to Libya he was one of the murderers who slaughtered the 20 Egyptians on the Libyan shore,” Petr shared.
“He took out a fishing string, quite a strong fishing string from his pocket and he was showing how he could kill a person within a few seconds with this fishing string. He told me if I was an American or Russian that he would break my neck immediately and kill me.”
Petr was subjected to beatings and name-calling from the extremists, but God gave him the strength to stand by his faith.
After a few months of being imprisoned, Petr began to realize that God still had a plan and was making good come out of this horrific situation.
He ended up leading some fellow prisoners to Christ. “And I suddenly started to realize that there is a purpose, the Lord has a purpose for me to be in prison to share the Gospel with those people,” Petr explained.
After 14 months of being in prison, Petr was released. He credits the Czech government for negotiating his release, and also expressed gratitude to the many believers who prayed for him.
“When you come through this situation you realize that everything you have is the grace of God and it is on His strength that it is in prison, it is not your own strength that you can survive. Being humble and being faithful to the last moment, this is the moment when we can be more than conquerors when we go through difficult situations because of our faith in Jesus Christ,” Petr said.
BY VERONICA NEFFINGER AT WWW.CROSSWALK.COM
Christians in eastern India were beaten and abused and instead of receiving justice were given an order to stop worshipping.
Hindu women raided Pastor Samuel Karjee’s church in Odisha, dragged outside the 12 Christians present and handed them over to a 300-strong mob. The crowd beat them with sticks, kicked and insulted them. Police resolved the issue by closing down the church.
Please pray for justice for our brothers and sisters in Abasing village.
A 24-year-old Christian, Rajata, suffered serious internal injuries and is still receiving hospital treatment. The casualties included 13-year-old Madhusmita who was punched in the stomach. The Christians’ Bibles and devotionals were snatched.
Police did arrest 25 Hindus – and five injured Christians. They were all set free after police and Hindus reached an ‘agreement’ which amounts to a ban on church services. Four Christian detainees were bullied into signing it, despite having had no say in its wording.
Under the ‘agreement’, Christians are allowed to worship only on their own at home. Christian ‘events’ can be held only with advance permission from the police. Any further disturbances will be dealt with by local police, not the courts.
There have been no worship services in Abasing since the June 18 attack, says Pastor Samuel. ‘I can’t tell you how dry and barren we feel,’ he says. ‘Our hearts yearn to pray and worship together.’
- Lift up in prayer our brother, Pastor Samuel, and his fellow believers in Abasing. Ask God to comfort, protect and strengthen them.
- Pray that God will touch the hearts of individual police officers in the Abasing area and convict them of the need to uphold religious liberties.
- Continue to pray for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Government: pray that they will take firm action to stamp out growing intolerance and persecution. There has been a sharp rise in attacks on Christians since Hindu nationalists tightened their grip on power in March elections.
(Source: Morning Star News)
The Eritrean government started a fresh crackdown against Christians in May 2017 and it is continuing. What makes this persecution different is that whole families are now being arrested and whereas in the past most were picked up at Bible studies or Christian services now believers are being arrested at their homes.
Security officials accompanied by an Orthodox priest are turning up at homes and questioning people over their religious affiliation. All except Muslims, Orthodox, Catholic and Lutheran are liable for arrest.
So far about 160 Christians have been arrested, including families with children. In the capital Asmara 49 people were arrested from Enda Korea during a wedding celebration. Christians in the northern Red Sea region have also been rounded up.
According to our partner, 12 children, one as young as two months, are now in prison with their parents in Adi Quala. One Christian who tried to ask about the Adi Quala prisoners was also arrested.
Unbelievably more than 30 children have been left without parents or guardians and the security police are monitoring them to make sure they do not get support from the Christian community.
Christians are also being detained and sent to the desert island of Nakhura in the Red Sea, where weather conditions are extreme.
Please pray now for all those who have been affected by these arrests, especially for the children in prison and those left to fend for themselves.
Pray for an end to this cruel treatment of believers.
Join our Pray 173 Prayer Campaign to help bring freedom for long-term prisoners of faith in Eritrea.
It’s hot enough here but imagine living in Uttar Pradesh, India, where temperatures can reach 40C. Then imagine your neighbours had cut off a vital water supply… just because you were a Christian.
Our brothers and sisters in a village in the northern state are being denied access to water for their crops – to force them to deny Jesus. They have steadfastly refused.
Please pray that God will strengthen our Christian family in Jalalabad village in Ghazipur District, as they come under intense pressure to recant their faith.
Local Hindus are refusing to sell water from their boreholes to four Christian families, and their crops are dying as a result. Even local police and the village chief have not intervened to restore the water supply, despite the Christians’ appeals for help.
Neighbours accuse the Christians of converting people by force. Yet, on one recent occasion, a mob forced every local Christian to take part in Hindu rituals and declare that they denied Christ. Some younger Christians reportedly felt they had no option but to give in to these demands. Those who resisted were beaten – and now find themselves without water for farming.
‘They have all joined together and are conspiring against us,’ says one of the Christian women.
- Pray that God will strengthen and provide for His people in Jalalabad.
- Pray that Jesus will comfort and speak clearly to those Christians who felt compelled to deny Him. Pray that they will know His acceptance, just as the apostle Peter did, and will be restored in their faith.
- Ask God to build and strengthen His church in India amid mounting intolerance and hostility towards non-Hindus.
- Pray that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will take decisive action to curb Hindu extremism and anti-Christian violence.
(Source: Morning Star News)
Suzan went missing last week, as she walked to the church where she works in Egypt. Local Christians fear the 22-year-old (pictured) has been kidnapped – just like two other young women who vanished from the same Cairo suburb just days before.
Women in Al Khosous, a mainly Christian town just outside Cairo, are said to be too frightened to leave their houses: a women’s meeting at Suzan’s church, which she attended, has been cancelled.
Please pray for the safe return home of our three Egyptian sisters in Al Khosous.
The suspected abductions follow an incident in which a Muslim was accidently shot and killed during a dispute over money. A Christian man was taken into police custody and is expected to be charged with manslaughter.
Since then, there has been a sharp increase in attacks on Christians, especially women, in Al Khosous. But this persecution is nothing new: several local women have had acid thrown in their face, for not wearing veils.
Christians across Egypt remain under intense pressure. Extremists shot dead at least 29 Christians whom they pulled off a bus in Minya Province on May 26. Church bombings in Tanta and Alexandria in April, and in Cairo in December, killed at least 68 people.
- Pray for the safe return of Suzan Ashraf Rawy and the two other missing women. Pray that they would know God’s protection and that his peace will fill them and their families and guard their hearts and minds (Philippians 4:7).
- Pray for our Christian family across Egypt, that they will stand firm in their faith and put their complete trust in almighty God.
- Pray for wisdom, boldness and firm resolve for the Egyptian Government in resisting the spread of Islamist extremism in their nation and protecting the Christian community.
(Source: Morning Star News)
Eritrean security officers have arrested all members of the Kale Hiwot church in Adiquala, near the Ethiopian border, including 12 children, the youngest of whom is just two months old.
According to our partner, they were picked up one by one from their homes.
Please pray for these dear brothers and sisters especially the children. Pray that they would know God’s presence with them and that they would be freed soon.