Indianapolis Pastor Goes to 'Prison'

Indianapolis, Indiana - November 14, 2010 - Reverend Neil Bell, Lead Pastor of Parc-Way Assembly of God, is spending seven days and nights outside his Southside church in a make-shift prison to bring attention to the plight of the persecuted church.



"Each year I look for an innovaitive way to lead our church in rememberance of the suffering some believers face on a daily basis. Our brothers and sisters in bonds aren't just pastors and leaders, they are the elderly, the single, the moms and dads, aunts and uncles, and in some cases, even children."


It is estimated that over 165,000 Christians around the world are martyred each year. They also are arrested or abducted, maimed, burned, beaten, or raped because of their faith in Christ. In synch with the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), Rev. Bell asks for, "folks to not only donate, but that they would make this cause a part of their personal prayer life. There are people depending on our support both monetarily and spiritually."



R. Brandon with Voice of the Martyrs Ministry says of Reverend Bell's efforts, "This seems like an effective tool as far as making people aware of the realities of Christian persecution taking place around the world."



All proceeds will go to The Voice of the Martyrs, a non-profit, inter-demoninational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide.



To donate go to http://www.parc-way.org/



Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pastor Neil Bell - Pastor in Prison - Day 7 November 20, 2010

Click HERE to watch it.

A Note From Prison

This week has been an incredible journey for me.  The absence of my family and my day to day routine has really been difficult, and not necessarily for the reasons you might think.  Sure, I miss them terribly and look forward to getting out of this 8 x 8 prison cell.  I look forward to warm nights at home and celebrating Thanksgiving this week with them.   But I have to say, it's been difficult mostly because I know that there are those that don't have the same options I do.  They will spend yet another day, week, month, or year without their families.  They will continue to be persecuted.

I boldly ask that you give the very best offering you can either tomorrow at Parc-Way, or via the donation page on our website at http://www.parc-way.org/.  You know the Bible tells us in Matthew 6:21, "Where your treasure is, there your heart is also."  The Lord treasures those who suffer persecution for His name's sake.  We should treasure them as well and not just pray for them, but along with prayer we should be moved to action and sacrifice. 

All proceeds will be given to The Voice of the Martyrs Ministry.

Laos

In Laos, the state openly encourages Buddhism and Buddhist organizations. The government has put extensive restrictions on all other religious groups. Christianity is seen as a threat to national unity; it is considered seditious for Christians to refuse to take part in state-organized religious events and some evangelists have been charged with treason. The government recognizes only three churches: the Lao Evangelical Church (LEC), the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and the Roman Catholic Church. Yet, even some of these churches have been oppressed.
Laotian Christians have been arrested, forced at gunpoint to renounce their faith and even killed.

On July 21, 2008, residents of Katin village in Saravan province killed a Christian man by pouring rice wine down his throat. Eighty local Christians were then arrested by authorities. Four days later, officials rounded up 17 Christian families in the village and detained them in a local school compound, denying them food for three days in an attempt to force the adults to sign documents renouncing their faith. Ten families eventually signed the documents and were allowed to return home. The remaining families were evicted from the village.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for Christians who continue to face pressure and imprisonment for their faith.
  • Pray for the government of Laos -- that those in power will continue to improve policies and activities, recognizing the need for freedom for all their citizens.

Pastor in Prison - News coverage - Check this out!!

Check this Out!

Pastor Neil Bell - Pastor in Prison - Day 6 November 19, 2010

Click HERE to watch it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

India

India, with over a billion people, is the most populated functioning democracy in the world. India is a secular nation with guarantees of constitutional freedoms of speech and religion that the government usually works to uphold.  However from the 1990's, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiua Janata Party (BJP) has been struggling for power. Christians face opposition because of the breakdown of freedoms due to pressure of militant Hinduism or Hindutva.

In seven states (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Arunachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh) anti-conversion laws are in effect.  This lends support to militant groups and promotes violence against Christians. Sadly, daily reports of violence against believers, village churches being destroyed and church leaders being threatened and/or attacked by local Hindus are a reality in India.  Our Indian brothers and sisters in Christ also face more subtle persecutions, such as being denied inheritance rights, living in poverty, being cast from their families and ostracism.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that militant influences in the government will continue to decrease and that freedom of religion will be recognized throughout India.
  • Pray for protection for pastors, missionaries, evangelists and other Christian workers as they share the Good News of Jesus.
  • Pray for that those who turn to Christ will find the means to have their needs met.
  • Pray that those who seek to hinder the work of the Church in India will see the love and grace of Jesus in the lives of Indian Christians.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pastor Neil Bell - Pastor in Prison - Day 5 November 18, 2010

Click HERE to watch it.

Pakistan

Pakistani Christians face heavy opposition from militant Islamic groups, including imprisonment, severe brutalities and even death. False charges have been brought up against many Christians in Pakistan under Law 295c (blaspheming Mohammed or the Quran).  This crime is punishable by death. Militants have often pressured judges in courtrooms to return a guilty verdict or to continue trials indefinitely.  A Christian man's testimony is worth half that of a Muslim man's in court. A Christian woman's testimony is worth just a quarter.  This said - these women and girls are easy targets for rape -- and justice for them is extremely hard to get. 


On the 7th of this month, Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of two, was the first woman to receive a death sentence for 'blasphemy'.  She was arrested in June of last year. She was also fined the amount equal to an average Pakistani worker's salary for two-and-a-half years.                                                                         
Pray for her release. Pray that she will trust God to lift her spirits as she suffers. Pray for God's peace to sustain her husband and two daughters. Pray that other believers in that country will remain strong in the faith.  

Further, the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan has passed a bill noted to be the "Talibanization" of Pakistan by some critics. This law would establish watchdogs with the power to publicly note and enforce "Islamic values". Christians in other parts of Pakistan are praying that this law will not pass country-wide. 

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that those in prison for their faith will know the presence of God and will grow in their faith.
  • Pray that Christians in Pakistan will have a bold testimony to those around them.
  • Pray for protection for Christians facing intimidation and threats from those around them.


Pastor Neil Bell - Pastor in Prison - Day 4 November 17, 2010

Click HERE to watch it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Columbia

I ask that you join me in prayer today for Columbia where Christians have been targeted by guerrilla and criminal groups. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) in particular have focused on leaders who actively oppose the drug trade and other corruption in the country. Pastors and youth leaders are also targeted since their influence on young people makes it difficult for Colombian Marxist and paramilitary groups to recruit them into their ranks. The rebel groups effectively control large areas of south central Colombia as well as thousands of acres of drug fields. In their areas of control, churches often face curfews. In some areas, public religious activities have been completely banned.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for Colombian Christians facing threats, harassment, and death for the sake of Christ.
  • Pray that those persecuting Christians will see the love of Christ and come to trust in Jesus.
  • Pray that God would continue to help our missionaries reach the lost.

Pastor Neil Bell - Pastor in Prison - Day 3 - November 16, 2010

video

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Indonesia

Eight unknown assailants came into Batak Christian Protestant Filadelfia Church in Bekasi, Indonesia on September 11 of this year.  Members were attacked during their worship service. An elder, Asia Sihombing, was stabbed in the stomach. When Reverend Luspida Simanjuntak tried to come to his assistance, she was beaten with a stick and injured on her face, head and back. At last report, both of the believers were recovering in a local hospital.

This is just one recent story lived out in a country where persecution because you love Jesus is a very real threat.  Together, let us pray for Indonesia today.

Prayer Requests

  • Pray that peace will continue in the areas where violence once reigned.
  • Pray that Christians in Indonesia will have the freedom to share their faith without fear.
  • Pray that those pushing for a stricter Islamic state will fail and that Indonesia will truly be free for believers of all religions.

Pastor Neil Bell - In Prison Day 2 - Monday November 15, 2010

video

Monday, November 15, 2010

Six Million!

Praise the Lord!!!  As one of the results of this faith exercise, we have received national coverage via K-Love and Air1 Radio!  Listen to hear the interview.  You can also access this blog through either of the radio stations webpage.  Six million listeners are being reminded 5x a day of our obligation to persecuted.  Our brothers and sisters in Christ need our prayers and monetary support.  Go to http://www.parc-way.org/ to donate!

Letter One

Portion of a letter sent to wife via Sandy A.

China

Today I will specifically pray for China.  It is said that there are more Christians in prison there than anywhere else in the world.  With a total population of around 1.3 billion, only an estimated 3-4% are Christian.  With those stats, a person may live their whole life and have only a handful of believers to call friend. 
 
In America, we can travel down most any road and find a church with others claiming Christ as Lord.  I ask that you join with me in prayer for our precious brothers and sisters in the faith, and over those yet to come. 

Prayer Requests

  • Pray for spiritual and physical strength for the thousands of Christians in prison for their faith in Christ.
  • Pray for boldness for Christians in sharing the Gospel, despite the dangers that they face.
  • Pray for significant and lasting advances in religious freedom in China.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The View

The view from my cell at 8:oopm - 41 degrees

Thankful

Thankful.  That's how I feel as I stand in this cell and visit with all the great people that have come by.  Some from the Indianapolis community and Parc-Way family have already made a way to bless me with a meal, drink, or supplies. 
Mark H. brought Arby's for lunch.
   
Dan L. brought some drinks.


Church Board Statement

Click HERE to watch it.

ARRESTED!

In dedication to the Persecuted Church:

I was taken into custody this morning at 11:50am.  The charges brought against me were, but not limited to, preaching the Gospel, supporting Christian ministries worldwide, and encouraging others to do the same.