PRAYER NEEDED: new African church under threat from Islamic extremists

Pastor Mustafa of Bibles for Mideast oversees 37 underground Assembly of Loving God house churches all across Africa. Thousands of believers—all converts from Islam—gather every Sunday for worship services.

The new Christians face unending hardships due mainly to persecution from Muslim religious leaders and extremists. Yet, by and through the power of the Holy Spirit, their churches continue to grow.

Besides holding gospel and prayer meetings and organized fasts, members engage in personal evangelism, visiting homes in their neighbourhoods and distributing Bibles and gospel tracts.

Just last month, a new ALG church began in a Central African country under the ministry of Bibles for Mideast. Pastor Azeez* and his wife minister there. They started the church with three days prayer and fasting, holding gospel meetings each evening with Pastor Mustafa preaching. Several others, including young Lydia and Yakoobi, shared their own powerful testimonies. 

[Lydia’s remarkable 3-part story of dying and being resurrected after a forced FGM here: URGENT CALL TO PRAYER for young Christian victim of female genital mutilation; Doctors confirm death of young Lydia … BUT GOD!; Jesus and Salvation in Lydia’s West African Town.

You can read the story of Yakoobi’s dramatic conversion here: God restores and redeems: an astounding update of attack on the African church]

The Holy Spirit powerfully moved on the meetings. Nearly 200 people accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

The families of this province consider FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) of vital importance for girls.** Lydia shared her own experience of FGM which was forced on her by extremists (see link above). After slipping into a coma, doctors declared her dead … BUT GOD. The Lord Jesus Christ raised her from death and completely healed her.

"Because of Lord Jesus, I am living now and I cannot be silent about HIM and HIS salvation" she proclaimed to those gathered.

Her incredible testimony proved a challenge to many.  Numerous parents decided they would no longer allow FGM for their girls.

On hearing of the new church and the goings-on, the Imam of the local mosque and other leaders have made it into a huge controversy. Threatening to kill Pastor Azeez and his family unless they leave the area, they are also visiting the homes of new believers and condemning Christianity with the teachings of Islam. They wanted to forcibly perform FGM for the girls of six families, but all boldly refused.

"We now believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior,” they told the men. “He was crucified, died and rose from the dead for our salvation. We believe He will come again in the clouds to take us to Heaven. So we do not want to go back to your barbaric customs."

Please pray for Pastor Azeez, his family, and all the believers in the new church. They have changed their worship place and times for meetings tomorrow due to safety concerns. May our almighty Savior continue to fight for, protect, and guide them.

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*
Name changed for security reasons
** While outlawed in most African countries, many governments fail to enforce laws banning the internationally condemned practice.  Even worse, six countries do not even criminalize FGM (Chad, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Sudan).

UPDATE!
We are thanking our Lord that almost all the new church members attended a spirit-filled worship service in another secret location on Sunday. All palpably felt divinely protected. In fact, from beginning to end, they report they heard “a mighty sound like many waters outside of the house” they met in. The sound, they say, was definitely not there before they met, nor after!