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Pray for the Daughter of an Imprisoned Vietnamese Pastor

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Vietnam – The daughter of Dinh Diem, a house church pastor in Vietnam who was imprisoned, is in need of your prayers. She was admitted to the hospital a few days ago due to a heart attack and is now facing death.

Dinh Diem was born in the Son Ha district of the Quang Ngai province. He converted to Christianity in 1968. His family has four sons, and he is the youngest. All of his brothers are pastors and member of the ECVN (Evangelical Church of Vietnam) in Son Ha. Dinh Diem stepped out and became a pastor of the Lutheran Union Church Vietnam led by pastor Dinh Van Chinh, who was imprisoned in 2012 and sought refuge in the United States in 2017.

The situation seemed to get worse for Diem since pastor Dinh Van Chinh was jailed. The government in Quang Ngai planned to repress the church where Diem is pastoring and to arrest Diem as well. The local police kept inviting him to their office and harassing, even threatening his family. Catholic priest Dinh Huu Thoai wrote in one of his Facebook posts about the experiences of Dinh Diem, saying that, “For many years, the Pastor (Dinh Diem) was often harassed by the Quang Ngai police, forced to work, and his house was always surrounded by police, preventing him from traveling and preaching.”

On January 5, 2018, Pastor Dinh Diem was arrested and prosecuted by the People’s Procuracy and the Investigation Security Agency – Quang Ngai provincial police. He was sentenced to sixteen years in prison for “activities opposing the Socialist Republic of Vietnam” on July 12. Quoting from the indictment, Pastor Dinh Diem had joined the “Provisional National Government of Vietnam” in the US led by Mr. Dao Minh Quan, and was appointed to be “Interim Chairman of the Interreligious Council in Vietnam.”

Pastor Dinh Tan Vinh, his oldest brother shares with us, “Dinh Diem did nothing to rebel against the government or to harm to the community, but they still arrested Diem and accused him of acting against the state. When the police came to arrest my brother, they even beat my nephew badly when the boy was trying to run to my house to let me know about the situation. He was just a little boy.”

Pastor Diem is being held in Thanh Chuong prison, Nghe An province. As reported on Vietnamese People Evangelical Fellowship, his health condition is not good because he is often threatened and tortured by the officers of Thanh Chuong prison. They attempt to force him to admit guilt to the charges against him. The pastor firmly refuses to do that because he thinks the government intends to criminalized a religious matter.

After Diem was jailed, his wife had to face alone a very difficult time both emotionally and financially. She takes care of their 18-year-old daughter, who has mental disabilities, and their 14-year-old son who is still in school. Recently, our local contact pastor Vinh, who is Diem’s brother, told us the difficult situation of Diem’s family. Several days ago, the daughter had a heart attack and almost died. She was brought to the hospital and diagnosed as having heart disease. They had to transfer her to Hue hospital and to operate on her heart there. Diem’s wife is greatly concerned for her daughter and is unsure of how she will pay for the cost of the surgery.

We would like to share this story and ask for prayer and support for this family.

Pray for peace, comfort, and strength from God to the daughter and the family
Pray for God’s provision for the family in their time of needs
Sources:persecution

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North Korea is facing a severe food shortage

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Addressing a meeting of senior leaders, Mr Kim said: “The people’s food situation is now getting tense”.

He said the agricultural sector had failed to meet its grain targets due to typhoons last year, which caused flooding.

There are reports that food prices have spiked, with NK News reporting that a kilogram of bananas costs $45 (£32).

North Korea has closed its borders to contain the spread of Covid-19.

Trade with China has plummeted as a result. North Korea relies on China for food, fertiliser and fuel.

North Korea is also struggling under international sanctions, imposed because of its nuclear programmes.

The authoritarian leader of the single-party state talked about the food situation at the ruling Workers’ Party central committee which started this week in the capital Pyongyang.

During the meeting, Mr Kim said that national industrial output had grown by a quarter compared to the same period last year.

Officials were expected to discuss relations with the US and South Korea during the event but no details have been released yet.

In April, Mr Kim made a a rare admission of looming hardship, calling on officials to “wage another, more difficult ‘Arduous March’ in order to relieve our people of the difficulty, even a little”.

The Arduous March is a term used by North Korea officials to refer to the country’s struggle during the 1990s famine, when the fall of the Soviet Union left North Korea without crucial aid.

The total number of North Koreans who starved to death at the time is not known, but estimates range up to three million.

It is highly unusual for Kim Jong-un to publicly acknowledge a food shortage. But this is a North Korean leader who has already admitted that his economic plan has failed.

The problem for Mr Kim is that when he took over from his father, he promised his people a more prosperous future. He said they would have meat on their tables and access to electricity. This has not happened. Now he’s having to prime the population for more hard work.

He is trying to tie this into the global pandemic, and state media reported that he pointed out to party officials that the situation across the world is getting “worse and worse”. With so little access to outside information, he can paint a picture of things being bad everywhere – not just in sealed off North Korea. He also described efforts to beat Covid-19 as a “protracted war”. That signals that border closures are not easing any time soon.

That is the concern of many aid organisations. The sealed border has prevented some food and medicine getting through. Most NGOs have had to leave the country, unable to get staff and supplies in or out.

Pyongyang has always called for “self-reliance”. It has closed itself off, just as it may need assistance and it is unlikely to ask for help. If it continues to push away all offers of international assistance, as ever, it may be the people who pay the price.

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Christian pastor killed over outreach to Muslims: ‘Today Allah has judged you’

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A radical Muslim has confessed to police in Uganda that he killed a 70-year-old pastor earlier this month because of Allah’s word to kill all infidels who mislead Muslims by sharing the Gospel.

The accused, identified as Imam Uthman Olingha, told police he killed Bishop Francis Obo, senior pastor of Mpingire Pentecostal Revival Church Ministries International in Odapako village Mpingire Sub-County, on June 11, Morning Star News reported.

Olingha was one of the Muslim extremists dressed in Islamic attire who stopped Pastor Obo and his wife on their way home from a market at about 8:30 p.m., his wife, Christine Obo, said.

“Olingha openly confessed to police that he can’t regret that he killed the bishop because he did it in the cause of Allah’s word to kill all infidels who mislead Muslims. He added that Allah will be with him in jail, but the kafiri (infidel) deserved the killing.”

One of the attackers told the pastor, who oversaw 17 churches across the region and had been sharing Christ with Muslims, that he was an “infidel” who caused Muslims to leave Islam and “blasphemes the words of Allah,” and that, “Today Allah has judged you.”

A week before the murder, the couple had invited a former Islamic teacher to testify on how he became a Christian at their church, Christine Obo recalled. Area Muslims were also upset with the church because it offered the former Islamic teacher a pig as part of a micro-enterprise livestock project that helped raise funds for the church, she added.

Describing the incident, she said, “As I moved a few meters in a hurry trying to save my life, I heard a little noise and wailing from my husband and realized that his life was in danger.”

When she reached home, she was trembling and unable to speak, she said, and her children took her to a hospital. When she regained consciousness the following morning, she told her oldest son and his siblings to go to the site.

“Reaching there, they were shocked and fearful as they found a big number of Christians and relatives gathered around the dead body mourning their bishop after being murdered by Muslims,” Obo was quoted as saying.

According to World Watch Monitor, a homegrown Islamist rebel movement organizing in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo has emboldened Ugandan radicals to persecute Christians.

Voice of the Martyrs earlier noted that Uganda’s history has made it vulnerable to the influence of Islam as “Arab countries also continue to invest significant resources into furthering Muslim interests in the country.”

In Uganda, persecution is mainly seen in the form of local Islamists persecuting Christians, mostly in areas where “radicals have been steadily encroaching.”

“Radical Islam’s influence has grown steadily, and many Christians within the majority-Muslim border regions are facing severe persecution, especially those who convert from Islam,” a Voice of the Martyrs factsheet explains. “Despite the risks, evangelical churches in Uganda have responded by reaching out to their neighbors; many churches are training leaders how to share the Gospel with Muslims and care for those who are persecuted after they become Christians.”

Last December, a mob of Muslim extremists in Uganda reportedly killed 41-year-old former imam Yusuf Kintu a week after he converted to Christianity.
Sources:Christian Post

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