Susan Ithungu, a teenager who was tortured by her father because of her Christian faith, began a new school term this past month with VOM’s help. Susan suffered permanent damage to her legs as a result of being kept in a tiny room for three months by her father. After multiple surgeries and a year in the hospital, she is now able to walk with crutches. A VOM contact recently accompanied Susan as she returned to school for a new term. Though she’s 15, Susan will be studying at the fourth-grade level; she is far behind because of the torture and subsequent medical treatment. An older Christian woman and a pastor are taking care of Susan. Despite the challenges she faces, Susan moved her things into the school with a broad smile. “Thank you for your love, care, and help for me,” she wrote in a letter to her supporters. “I am happy to have friends that God has sent to help me.” Pray for Susan’s success in school, for her health and that her faith will remain strong.
Egypt—Christians Hopeful After Change in Country’s Leadership Source: VOM Sources
Egyptian Christians are elated that President Mohammed Morsi, who was backed by the Muslim Brotherhood, was forced out on July 3, 2013, according to our contacts in Egypt. Millions of Egyptians, both Christian and Muslim, took to the streets from June 30 to July 3, urging President Morsi to step down. “At 8:30 p.m., while we were waiting in the streets shouting against Dr. Morsi, the army leaders made the decision that Dr. Morsi was not the president anymore,” our contact wrote. “We were crying and laughing, greeting each other in the street, kissing and hugging each other.” Before the protests, several Christians received letters warning them not to join the protests. Christians hope the new leadership will stop the outpouring of violence that has been directed toward them by radical Muslims in the past year. Please continue to pray for Egypt.
Iran—Pastor Released Under Gag Ordered Sources: VOM Sources, Mohabat News
Pastor Robert Asseriyan, a leader of the Central Assemblies of God (AOG) church in Tehran, was released from prison on July 2 after spending 43 days in jail. It appears that Pastor Asseriyan has been released on bail, but authorities have warned him and his family not to discuss his release or his upcoming trial. Their silence is a condition of his release. Pastor Asseriyan was arrested on May 21 during a prayer meeting at the church. Before arresting Pastor Asseriyan, authorities raided his home, where they confiscated a computer and several books. They closed the church the day after his arrest. Continue to pray for Pastor Asseriyan and the AOG church as they struggle to remain one of the few churches in Iran providing Farsi-language services.
Pray for an indigenous evangelism and discipleship network supported by VOM. The workers target unreached areas of Jordan where there have been several attacks on Christians in recent years, including killings.