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Greg Mundis
AG World Missions Executive Director Greg Mundis in Sri Lanka.

The U.S. Assemblies of God is not the only AG celebrating its centennial this year.

More than 22,000 people gathered at a rugby stadium to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Pentecostal missionaries who came to Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) in 1914, the same year the U.S. Assemblies of God was founded.

Thousands travelled long distances at great personal sacrifice to attend the event despite extreme persecution by religious extremists. Across the country, more than 200 AG churches have been attacked and vandalized, and some have been burned. A number of pastors have been physically beaten and even martyred.

AGWM Executive Director Greg Mundis spoke at the event encouraging pastors to continue to persevere in proclaiming the gospel and establishing more churches. He says, "I was overwhelmed by God's work in Sri Lanka and by the passion believers had to be together to celebrate! They are putting everything - themselves, their families, everything - on the line to spread the gospel. They are modern-day living martyrs. It was humbling."

Dishan Wickramaratne, general superintendent of the Sri Lanka AG and pastor of Peoples Church, a congregation of more than 8,000 in Colombo, the nation's capital, will be speaking at the centennial celebration of the U.S. Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, on August 9.

Recently Pastor Wickramaratne said, "When persecution has increased, we remember what one of our pastors said, 'If our faith is good enough to live for, it's good enough to die for.'"

To view pictures from the Sri Lanka celebration, see the AG World Missions article.


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AG issues call to prayer for release of imprisoned American pastor

Wed, 19 Dec 2012 - 1:31 PM CST

Imprisoned pastor Saeed Abedini
Pastor Saeed Abedini with his two children.

An international call to prayer has gone out from Dr. George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, for the release of Saeed Abedini, who is imprisoned in Iran for his faith in Christ.

In June 2012, Saeed and his wife, Naghmeh, spent time with Dr. Wood and related Saeed's plans to return to Iran to visit family and continue his humanitarian work in developing a non-sectarian orphanage. He was nearing the end of that visit when he was detained by Iran authorities and imprisoned.

During these months of incarceration, Dr. Wood has been in constant contact with Naghmeh, who has provided updates on Saeed's status.

"This is a deeply devout couple who are committed to Jesus," said Dr. Wood, "and are the parents of two young children."  

Dr. Wood called upon Christians around the world to pray for Saeed while he is in prison, for Naghmeh and their children. He also asked prayer that governmental authorities in Iran would release Saeed, who is an American citizen.

"The imprisonment in Iran of an American Christian pastor is just as unacceptable as it would be to imprison in America an Imam because of the Imam's faith," said Dr. Wood. "This is a precious young couple who should not have to face years of separation because of Saeed's faith nor should Naghmeh face the possibility of her husband being executed for his faith and leaving their two young children fatherless."

Dr. Wood is calling for millions of Christians throughout the world to pray mightily for the Abedini family and for all those facing persecution because of their faith in Christ.

He also encourages the Christian community to support the efforts of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) to bring worldwide focus on the plight of Saeed Abedini. The ACLJ today provided the following news release (click here). To read the Fox News article, which broke the story, click this link.

 

Authors: AG News

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