"Let everyone who is Godly pray to you while you may be found"  (Psalm 32:6)

Praying for the Persecuted Church*

Conflicting Reports on Fate of U.S. Journalist

*[Editor's Note: On several occasions we have alerted you about Christians around the world facing potential slaughter by anti-Christian persecutors. With the escalation of the Islamic Jihad we expect to be calling for prayer for such brethren more often. Please join us.]

At least five Muslim guerrillas were killed last Friday in a battle with Philippine troops on Basilan Island where Martin and Gracia Burnham, Christian missionaries from Kansas, and a Filipino nurse, Deborah Yap, have been held hostage for over eight months.

Philippine soldiers engaged 20 guerrillas in a gunfight near Maluso on Basilan Island, guerillas the Filipino military believes is the "blocking force of the main Abu Sayyaf group that is holding the hostages." One officer said, "If it is...probably we will have some positive developments in the near future." Soldiers say Gracia Burnham was sited last week.

The fight came a day after Filipino and U.S. troops began a six month training exercise targeting Abu Sayyaf guerrillas, a group linked to the al-Qaida terror network.

In May, when the Burnhams and others were kidnapped, the Philippine government deployed 7,000 soldiers to Basilan, but the guerrillas have eluded them, dragging their hostages along as they hide and fight. The Burnhams, under-nourished, unwashed and caught in the cross-fire of 15 gun battles, pled for help from America in a video that recently made its way to the West
(see http://www.cbsnews.com/now/story/0,1597,325062-412,00.shtml).

The Burnhams' captors have demanded a $2 million ransom, but the U.S. and the Burnham's missionary agency have a firm policy of not giving in to terrorist blackmail.

Meanwhile there are conflicting reports regarding the fate of Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearle, who was kidnapped by Pakistani terrorists. Two deadlines have passed for Americans to meet various terrorist demands: $2 million in cash, the release of a captive Taliban ambassador, and the return of Taliban prisoners for trial in Pakistan or Afghanistan or else Pearl would be executed. Today, news agencies have received reports both that Pearle is still alive and that he has been killed.

Persecutions and acts of terror like these will become more frequent. May the Lord give us compassion, will, time and anointing to add these people to our already heavy prayer burdens.

Please Join Us in Persevering Prayer:

Father, INTERVENE! SAVE the Burnhams & Yap! Capture & Punish their captors. Give Your WISDOM to the Filipino Army & their American advisors. GIVE these missionaries and others STRENGTH to STAND amid persecution, loss & the threat of death. May David Pearl call on Jesus for salvation. INTERVENE to SAVE him amid this horror. (Ps 9:9-10; 91:all; Mt 5:10-12; Rom 13:3-4).

AWAKEN the American Church to PRAY! Help us pray for the persecuted Church and other oppressed peoples. In Jesus' Name, Amen (Ex 23:20-22; 23:25a, 27; Lev 26:3, 7-8; Ps 103:6; 106:42-46).

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