Help set the captives free! Our brothers and sisters need your prayers
Asia, Andrew, Jiang and Leah… all four are being held in captivity, simply because they are Christians. Please stand with us in praying for their release.
Pakistani Christian Asia Bibi (pictured) will have to wait for a ruling on her final appeal today against a death sentence for blasphemy – after a panel of Supreme Court judges postponed their ruling. They heard Asia’s defence challenge statements for the prosecution but did not issue a ruling or give any indication of when they would do so.
Meanwhile, in Turkey, US pastor Andrew Brunson (pictured) is due in court again this Friday, to answer charges of espionage. He is also facing terrorism charges following allegations that he has links to those behind the 2016 attempted coup. Andrew was released from jail into house arrest on July 25.
In China, the family of imprisoned Christian lawyer Jiang Tianyong say they remain seriously concerned about his health, after accusing prison officials of giving him drugs. His sister, Jiang Jinping, who recently visited him in Henan, said his memory had deteriorated significantly. Jiang disappeared two years ago and was convicted of ‘inciting subversion of state power’ last year.
And in Nigeria, there is increasing concern for Leah Sharibu, who has been held by Boko Haram since February. She was the only one of the 110 girls abducted from their school in Dapchi not to be released by Islamist militants – because she refused to convert to Islam. On September 18, her captors threatened to kill Leah and two other female hostages in one month unless the Government responds to its demands.
- Pray for Asia’s and Pastor Andrew’s acquittal. Ask God to protect them and their families – and enable all of them to build new lives.
- Pray that God will strengthen Jiang Tianyong, protect him from harm and restore his body to full health.
- Ask God to give wisdom to Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari. Pray he will negotiate with Boko Haram and secure the release of all remaining hostages, including Leah and other female hostages such as schoolgirls abducted from Chibok in 2014.
- Pray that God will speak to the hearts of the prison guards, court officials and militants involved in these four cases. Find out more about our #Pray50 campaign below.
(Sources: Associated Press, China Aid, Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Middle East Concern, Press Association)
Find out more about how you can support prisoners of faith on the Prisoners’ page of our website.
We’re delighted to have heard from Uzbek Christians David and Marina Shestakov that they have recently set up a house church in Miami. David was imprisoned in Uzbekistan for four years, but the family have now gained asylum in the US and have a vision to spread the gospel to the 300,000 Russian speakers in their area. Thank God for giving them a fresh start and pray that they will be able to find a suitable church building to rent. The Shestakovs send their thanks to Release supporters for helping them through their darkest days.