An emotional update from Pastor Saeed Abedini’s wife, Naghmeh

Photo credit ACLJ.org

If you have not heard the news, Pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran’s notorious Evin prison since July 2012, has been moved to the most dangerous cell block in that prison. This is the place where prisoners are moved to before they disappear…he had been moved a half hour away to Karaj. Please keep this family in your prayers, for Saeed to continue his mission of evangelizing those he is incarcerated with and for Naghmeh to carry on, on his behalf, raising their children on fighting for his release. We are called to pray for our brothers and sisters who are being persecuted and help in whatsoever capacity to lighten the burden for them. (Find out how you can help here- Saeed Abedini sent to deadly cell block where people are sent to disappear

VIDEO by Save Saeed Naghmeh Abedini urges us to sign and share Saeed’s new petition, as well as join her in praying for her imprisoned husband.

Mission News Network reporting:

Iranian/American pastor is facing some troubling days ahead. According to the American Center of Law and Justice, Pastor Saeed Abedini, a U.S. citizen imprisoned in Iran because of his Christian faith, is being moved from Evin Prison in Tehran to Rajai Shahr Prison in Karaj, which is even more dangerous.

According to the ACJL, Pastor Saeed faces life-threatening conditions and treatment there.

President of Open Doors USA David Curry says while this looks bleak, there is good news. „From that fact, we can gather that the Iranians are listening and paying attention to the advocacy from the United States.”

The ACLJ reports Pastor Saeed’s family members went to visit him at Evin Prison Monday, only to be notified that he had been moved a half hour away to Karaj.

The transfer comes as Iranians took to the streets to mark the anniversary of the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Iran in 1979. The protests are a bit surprising, especially since many young people are disenfranchised with the current radical Islamic government.

Curry agrees. „There’s a growing need there and a growing desire amongst these younger generations in Iran and other Middle Eastern countries to see freedom come. That’s certainly what we’re praying for.”

In 2005, Loes Bijnen, a Dutch Diplomat from the embassy in Tehran, described Rajai Shahr prison:
„Rajai Shahr is the place where political prisoners who are seen as a nuisance, are stowed away. Going to Karaj is a severe punishment. Once in there, one stops to be a human being. One is put out of sight, even of human rights activists and the press. In Rajaï Shahr, political prisoners have to share cells with dangerous criminals like murderers, rapists, and drug addicts who don’t hesitate to attack their cell mates. They have nothing to lose: many of them are condemned to death anyway. Murders or unexplained deaths are a regular occurrence.”

Curry is encouraging you to pray for Pastor Saeed and other Christians in the same situation. „There are 100 million people in countries around the world living in fear for the faith. Not because they’re bad people, but because they call themselves believers. The western world is the exception.”

Saeed Abedini sent to deadly cell block where people are sent to disappear

Photo credit ACLJ.org

ENGLISH:

URGENT ACTION NEEDED: Pastor Saeed’s life is in grave danger. He has been transferred to a deadly cell block in one of Iran’s most obscure prisons—a prison where people are sent to disappear, he had been moved a half hour away to Karaj. Saeed Abedini has been held in prison since July 2012. (Read more about his case at the links below).

FROM ACLJ.org: Pastor Saeed’s life is in danger. He has been transferred to a deadly cell block in one of Iran’s most dangerous and obscure prisons. He is no longer sharing a cell with political prisoners but with murderers. Rajai Shahr Prison is where prisoners are sent to disappear – many are murdered at the hands of other prisoners.

PRAY that God gives Saeed the same courage He has thus far given him to withstand great bodily harm and the fortitude and faith to live under a death sentence daily, in Evin prison, one of the most notorious prisons in Iran.

SHARE & SIGN our NEW petition urgently calling on President Obama to take immediate diplomatic action to save Saeed’s life: http://bit.ly/1b76f7t

ROMANIAN:

Citeste aici singura scriosare trimisa de Saeed Abedini recent – O scrisoare primita de la Pastorul Saeed Abedini – cetatean american incarcerat in Iran

URGENT! Saeed Abedini a fost transferat intr-o noua celula din inchisoare de unde de obicei toti au disparut- OMORATI. Rugati-va pentru acest barbat ca Domnul sa-l tina tare pana la capat si pentru sotia lui (si pt copii) caruia trebuie sa-i fie foarte, foarte greu in clipele astea. Cei care stiti engleza, adaugati-va la petitia aceasta si Dumnezeu sa lucreze cum El a hotart cu viata acestui barbat credincios lui prin crancena suferinta si probabil o moarte crunta inevitabila.  Semneaza petitia aici – save Saeed’s life: http://bit.ly/1b76f7t

 

Iran – Appeals Court Upholds 6 Christian Prisoners’ 20 Year Sentence

reporting from http://www.mohabatnews.com (Photo credit ezzatgoushegir.blogspot.com)

An appeals court upheld prison sentences for six Christian prisoners in Shiraz. An initial court had sentenced them to 20 years in total.

According to Mohabat News, Shiraz appeals court upheld sentences for six Christians totaling 20 years of imprisonment. These prisoners are currently being held in „Ebrat” ward of Adel-abad prison.

The initial court, which was held on June 10 in Branch 3 of the Revolutionary Court in Shiraz, convicted these Christian men for attending a house-church, spreading Christianity, having contact with foreign ministries, propaganda against the regime and disrupting national security. They had each been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison.

The trial was held in Branch 15 of Shiraz Judicial Courts, and chaired by Judges Hosseini and Barati.

An initial court had sentenced Misters Mojtaba Seyyed Alaedin Hossein, Mohammad-Reza Partoei (Koroush), Vahid Hakkani, and Homayoun Shokouhi to prison.

The decision of the appeals court was delivered orally to their lawyer. This verdict is final and cannot be appealed.

Read the entire article here- http://www.mohabatnews.com

And please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Iran!

Good News from Iran – Pastor Robert Asseriyan has been released from jail

Via Mission News Network

Iran (VOM) ― Despite reports of crackdowns on Christians in Iran, there is one bright spot.

According to reports from Mohabat News and the Voice of the Martyrs USA, Pastor Robert Asseriyan, one of the leaders of the Assembly of God Church in Tehran, was released from prison. He had been arrested during a worship service at the church on May 21.

The Farsi services at the church–one of the last „building churches” that remained open in Iran–have been forcibly closed down by the police, according to Mohabat News.

It seems one of the conditions for Pastor Asseriyan’s release was his silence, as authorities instructed him and his family not to be interviewed by the media or to make public statements about his arrest, his 43 days in prison, or conditions for his release. The status of the charges against him is unclear at this time.

Often in Iran, Christians are released from jail after making substantial bail payments, but the charges against them are never dropped. In this way, police can pick them up at any time in the future and can use the unresolved case against them to pressure them to cease Christian activities.

Please continue to pray for Pastor Asseriyan and his family. Pray also for other Christians who remain imprisoned in Iran. You can write letters of encouragement to several of them through the Prisoner Alert Web site.

Eric Ludy – The Gospel – His blood was shed for more than just forgiveness…

thanks to Denise for reminding of me of Eric Ludy’s messages. Here is one of them setapartlife

Eric Ludy:

I am going to introduce you to the Gospel right now. YOU ARE A REBEL. Whether you want to acknowledge it or not,  I’ll tell you straight up: You are a rebel against the living God. This is your natural disposition. Why? Because you were born in sin. We are in a prison cell, and it takes the awakening and the grace of God, the prevenient grace of God to awaken us to the fact that we’re lost, and that we can’t get out. We’re headed towards destruction fast.

The enemy, because of our rebellion against God, has legal rights to harm and harass our life. There you are, behind prison bars, „Help, I need help!” You can’t get out. Those prison bars are stronger than anything. There is no way you can cut them. It is impenetrable, you cannot escape. You’re doomed. Because when the enemy comes at the very end, he will finish you off because he has a legal right to do it, and he will relish every minute of it.

In strolls your intercessor. He stands between you and that accuser, and He takes the hit that was rightfully yours. He takes the blow that was intended for you. That is an extraordinary reality, that he was turned to pulp, and He actually died for you. Over your prison cell it always said: Condemned. Separated eternally from God. Guilty. And then, suddenly it switches. When you realize what Jesus Christ has done, it says: Justified, it says forgiven, redeemed.

Here’s the problem: Most of us have stopped with the good news right there. The blood of Jesus Christ has been shed. I want you to know that is unbelievable news. But, we’re still in a prison cell. We’re thanking God, but we’re still in a prison cell saying, „Thank you for forgiving me, thank you for changing the sign on the outside of the prison.

And God’s word says, „COULD YOU CHECK THE DOOR to the prison cell?” Because, my blood was shed for more than just forgiveness. Forgiveness was the avenue through which He could make the escape for us. He isn’t just interested in the consequences of the penalty of sin, HE HAS ALSO DEALT WITH THE PROBLEM OF SIN. Test the door. It’s unlocked. The door to the prison cell is unlocked. WALK OUT! Smell the open air and the freedom and liberty in the life of Jesus Christ! (from the first 3 minutes of 12).

Watch – Betrayed with a Kiss – Eric Ludy

Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Free Again

Youcef

The American Center for Law and Justice  (ACLJ.org) is reporting that they have confirmed through a member of Pastor Youcef’s church, that  Iranian authorities released Pastor Youcef from prison shortly after 1:30 p.m. near Rasht, Iran.

He had been re-arrested on Christmas Day in Iran, the first Christmas he would have been able to spend with his wife and two young sons after his nearly three-year imprisonment for his Christian faith.

After initially spending 1,062 days behind bars under a death sentence for apostasy (becoming a Christian), he has now been forced to spend an additional 14 days in prison because of his faith even after his apostasy conviction was absolved.

English: Locator map of Iran

The ACLJ welcomes his release from this unjust and illegal imprisonment.  Iran must not be allowed to persecute individuals because of their faith.

Pastor Youcef has become the face of persecution around the world, and his re-arrest on Christmas Day shows Iran’s intent to make an example of Pastor Youcef to intimidate people of minority faiths.

While Pastor Youcef is now once again free, American Pastor Saeed Abedini remains imprisoned for his faith in one of Iran’s most notoriously brutal and abusive prisons.

ACLJ is circulating a petition that asks for the release of Pastor Saeed Abedini. You can sign it here- sign petition demanding the U.S. government take action on Pastor Saeed’s behalf.

Read more here- http://aclj.org/iran/pastor-youcef-nadarkhani-again-free

But the joy of Pastor Nadarkhani’s release is tempered with the fact that his lawyer remains imprisonsed, as the CHristian Post reports:  http://global.christianpost.com photo below from http://humanrights.gov

Although Nadarkhani’s family and supporters worldwide who have called and prayed for his release will look at the development as good news, pressing concerns remain for the Iranian pastor’s lawyer, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, who was jailed for 10 years and disbarred back in September allegedly for „actions and propaganda against the Islamic regime.”

„The imprisonment of Mr. Dadkhah is part of an ongoing campaign of repression of human rights activists journalists and defenders,” Kankhwende told CP. „Mr. Dadkhah is not the only one; his fellow founders of the Defenders of Human Rights Center (DHRC), which the authorities forced to close in 2008, are all detained and suffering similarly. He is being persecuted in his own right because of his profession and lifelong professional commitment in defending the rights of political activists and others.”

CSW’s chief executive, Mervyn Thomas, has called for the immediate release of Dadkhah, amid concerns that he is being pressured to do a televised confession admitting his supposed actions against the Islamic regime.

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com

Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested by Iranian Authorities on Christmas Day

Photo form ChristianPost.com from November, 2012, as Pastor Nadarkhani thanked all those who prayed and advocated for his release during Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s National Conference in London, where he was a special guest.

Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani was taken back to prison on Christmas Day allegedly because of improperly completed paperwork, multiple sources have said, denying him the chance to celebrate the birth of Christ at home with his family.

Persecution watchdog groups Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Present Truth Ministries both reported the news, saying that pastor Nadarkhani has had to go back to Lakan Prison in Rasht to serve the remainder of his time in prison, another 40 days, and to complete paperwork that authorities say he had not filled out.

„We are disappointed to hear Pastor Nadarkhani has been returned to prison in such an irregular manner,” said Mervyn Thomas, CSW’s Chief Executive.

„The timing is insensitive and especially sad for his wife and sons, who must have been looking forward to celebrating Christmas with him for the first time in three years. We hope that Pastor Nadarkhani will be released without delay once this alleged sentence has been fully served. We are also asking for prayers for the pastor’s safety, and for his family at this difficult time.”

Read more at http://global.christianpost.com/news/youcef-nadarkhani-re-arrested-by-iranian-authorities-on-christmas-day-87239/#7D5l74tRbtfeCTD4.99

Extreme devotion: The Doctor Who Helped Find Richard Wurmbrand – Devotament extraordinar: Doctorul Care a Ajutat la Gasirea lui Wurmbrand

FOR ENGLISH VERSION SEE bottom half of this page (below the Romanian translation)

source http://www.persecutionblog.com/2010/07/the-doctor-who-helped-find-richard-wurmbrand.html

de Stacy L. Harp

traducere de A.C.

19 Iulie 2010

Procesul de inscriere a fost lung si stanjenitor. Verificarile personale au fost minutioase si foarte extensive, si cererea doctorului Karlo era cat pe ce sa deraieze din cauza unor zvonuri ca el ar fi avut legaturi „crestine”. Dar in cele din urma doctorul Karlo a izbutit sa treaca prin acest process deosebit de greu si a devenit doctor pentru Politia Secreta (Securitate). El a evitat sa le spuna ca era crestin.

Familia doctorului Karlo s-a intors impotriva lui deoarece ei credeau ca el s-a facut comunist. Unul cate unul, familia bisericeasca si toti ceilalti care-i erau apropiati i-au intors spatele. Nici unul din ei insa nu cunostea misiunea lui: ca sa-l gaseasca pe Pastor.

In rolul sau de doctor al Securitatii, el putea veni si merge de la inchisoare fara nici un fel de restrictii. El a avut acces la fiecare celula din inchisoare, si asa – in cele din urma – il gaseste pe Pastorul incarcerat.

Karlo a dat de stire altor crestini, care la randul lor au dat de stire celor de dinafara tarii. Lor li s-a spus inainte ca era mort, dar acum insa aveau dovada ca Pastorul Richard Wumbrand traia. In timpul unor dialoguri intre presedintii Kruschev si Eisenhower din anul 1956, crestinii din intreaga lume au cerut eliberarea lui Wurmbrand. In cele din urma el a fost eliberat pentru un pret de rascumparare de 10 mii de dolari.

„Daca nu era pentru acest doctor”, Wurmbrand a scris mai tarziu, ” care s-a alaturat Securitatii specific sa ma gaseasca pe mine, eu nu eram eliberat niciodata. Eu as fi ramas in inchisoare – sau in mormantul din inchisoare.”

Agentii secreti sunt vedetele marelui ecran. Misiunile lor implica o aventura dupa alta in a servi comenzilor ce le vin de la sediu. In acelasi fel, credinciosi devotati din tari cu restrictii de credinta, duc niste vieti aventuroase. Istoriile lor face o diferenta eterna pentru multi. Ei nu indraznesc sa-si faca publicitate misiunii lor, dar sunt intotdeauna pregatiti pentru a face cat de mult posibil atunci cand au oportunitatea de a marturisi oamenilor vestea buna a  lui Isus Christos.

Indiferent de zona geografica in care ne aflam or a situatiei din viata, Dumnezeu ne cheama pe fiecare dintre noi, ca sa fim agentii Lui spirituali si sa raportam la sediul ceresc.Noi avem misiunea de a impartasi dragostea lui Dumnezeu in fiecare zi. Dumnezeu nu ne garanteaza siguranta sau securitatea in aceasta misiune la care am fost chemati toti, dar ne promite rasplatirile vesnice.

by Stacy L. Harp

July 19, 2010

The application process was long and cumbersome. The background checks were extensive, and Dr. Karlo’s application was almost derailed over rumors of his “Christian” ties. But Dr. Karlo made it through the arduous process and became a doctor for the Secret Police. He avoided telling them that he was a Christian.

    Dr. Karlo’s own family turned on him because they thought he had become a Communist. One by one, his church family and all those he had been close to turned their backs on him. None of them knew his mission: to find the pastor.

 In his role as a Secret Police doctor, he could come and go at the prison without questions. He had access to every cell, so—finally—he found the pastor locked away.

    Karlo got word to other Christians, who then got word to the outside world. They had been told that he was dead, but now they had proof that Pastor Richard Wurmbrand was alive. During talks between Kruschev and Eisenhower in 1956, Christians around the world clamored for Wurmbrand’s release. Eventually he was freed for a ransom of $10,000.

    “If it had not been for this doctor,” Wurmbrand later wrote, “who joined the Secret Police specifically to find me, I would never have been released. I would have remained in prison—or in a prison grave.”

Undercover agents are the stars of the big screen. Their missions involve one adventure after another in service to headquarters’ commands. In the same way, extreme believers in restricted nations lead adventurous lives. Their stories make an eternal difference for many. They dare not advertise their mission, but they are always prepared to make the most of every opportunity to share the good news of Christ. Regardless of geography or life situation, God calls each of us to be his spiritual agent, reporting to heavenly headquarters. We are on mission to share God’s love every day. God gives no guarantee of safety or security with this job assignment, but he promises eternal rewards.

Global Persecution Watch – in English and Romanian

How to pray for the persecuted Church

From The Barnabas Fund

When we read of the suffering which our brothers and sisters in Christ endure for the sake of His Name, our hearts are moved and we long to bring them before the throne of grace. But sometimes it is difficult to know exactly how to pray, especially if we have never experienced such injustice or persecution ourselves. The Bible tells us that the Church will be persecuted. So if the Lord will continue to allow persecution, what exactly should we ask Him for when we pray about these situations? We hope that the ten points below will be helpful suggestions, under the guidance and prompting of the Holy Spirit.

  1. God that He is all-knowing that in Christ He himself experienced shame, pain and agonising death, as well as the glorious resurrection. Thank Him for His promise: “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5).
  2. Pray that all governments will work for justice and righteousness. While Jesus says that in this world we will have trouble, (John 16.33) He does not say that it will always be present in every place.
  3. Pray that leaders of liberal democracies will use their influence to find ways to reduce, if not end, persecution in countries where it occurs. Just as Paul appealed to Caesar to seek justice (Acts 25), so Christians can appeal to secular governments.
  4. Pray for the growth of the Church where persecution flourishes, remembering that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.”
  5. Pray for strength and courage for those undergoing persecution, and for peace that only God can bring. Thank Him that His grace is sufficient for their needs (2 Cor 12:9). Pray that their faith will not fail, but that their suffering will draw them closer to Him and increase their faith.
  6. Pray that the Holy Spirit will enable persecuted Christians to forgive and love their persecutors (Matt 5:44) and that their Christ-like reactions will have an impact on their persecutors.
  7. Pray that the Lord will be at work in the hearts of those who currently persecute our sisters and brothers to bring them to a saving knowledge of Himself, as He did with Saul of Tarsus (Acts 9).
  8. Thank the Lord for the privilege of entering into the sufferings of our sisters and brothers, remembering that “if one part [of the body] suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor 12:26).
  9. Pray that Christians who are experiencing persecution will not lose the ability to accept or trust genuine approaches from those who have formerly persecuted them, as when the believers in Jerusalem had to learn to accept the reality of Saul’s conversion (Acts 9). Pray that the Lord will give discernment, and relief from unnecessary fears.
  10. Pray for yourself and for persecuted Christians to be spiritually ready for whatever tomorrow brings, be that persecution, respite from suffering or Christ’s return (Matt 24.42).

See links below this short article on different christian persecution news and please pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters as the Bible instructs us to do in Hebrews 13:3

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were.

1 Corinthians 12:26 – If one part (of the body of Christ) suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Published on Jun 14, 2012 by 

Every day, there are thousands of Iranians coming to Christ by hearing the gospel through satellite programs, secret evangelism and even dreams. Interestingly, among those Iranians are also officials within the government itself. An underground church faces persecution, prison charges and in some cases even death when the Iranian government becomes aware of such gatherings held in their own country. This is an inspirational story that portrays the struggles, excruciating emotions and conflicts of Iranian believers that ultimately results in Christians uniting globally through prayer and fellowshipping in their sufferings.
From Hovsepian Ministries and The Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

WWL-Main-Download

Information and watch list from  the non denominational group http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.  Rankings released  January 8,2013

North Korea – For the eleventh year running, this is the most difficult place on earth to be a Christian. In a country of 24.5 million, there are just 400,000 Christians. North Korea is one of the remaining Communist states, and it is vehemently opposed to religion of any kind. Christians are classified as hostile and face arrest, detention, torture, even public execution. There is a system of labor camps including the renowned prison No. 15, which reportedly houses 6,000 Christians alone. But despite severe oppression, there is a growing underground church movement of an estimated 400,000 Christians. We have written on North Korea several times in the past year. At the bottom are some noteworthy articles you can read in order to become more familiar with the brutal hardship that is endured by the Christians of North Korea. You can also read about North Korea’s hidden gulag, below all of the links, and visit the website that published The Hidden Gulag Report.

African countries surge – Open Doors reports that persecution of Christians in Africa vastly increased in 2012. Mali is a newcomer on the list and holds the No. 7 position. Tanzania (No. 24), Kenya (No. 40), Uganda (47) and Niger (No. 50) also moved onto the World Watch List and Ethiopia is one of the strongest risers (from No. 38 to No. 15) on the list. In addition, the small African country of Eritrea made the Top 10 for the first time at No. 10. Libya climbed from No. 26 to No. 17.

Syria made the largest jump on the World Watch List. The country is No. 11 on the list, compared to No. 36 in 2012.

Christians are persecuted in at least 60 countries for their faith. They suffer interrogation, arrest and even death in some of the most dangerous and restrictive countries in the world. For 58 years Open Doors has supported and strengthened believers worldwide through Bible and Christian literature distribution, leadership training and assistance, Christian community development and prayer and presence ministry. To partner with Open Doors USA, call toll free at 888-5-BIBLE-5 (888-524-2535) or go to our Website at http://www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

The Hidden Gulag

Second Edition

The Lives and Voices of
“Those Who are Sent to the Mountains”

David Hawk

Description: Based on extensive interviews with over 60 defectors and more than 40 satellite photos of North Korean political prisoner camps, the report calls for the dismantlement of the vast North Korean gulag system in which 150,000 to 200,000 are incarcerated.

From Page 158: In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, crimes against humanity are committed against persons sent to the political penal labor colonies. Evidence shows that:

1. Perceived or suspected “wrong-doers” or “wrong-thinkers,” or in some instances, persons with“wrong-knowledge,”123 and/or their family from the DPRK State Security Agency,124 which refuses to acknowledge the deprivation of freedom and refuses to provide information on the fate or whereabouts of those persons with the intent of removing those persons from the “protection of law” for a prolonged period of time.

2. The abducted persons are subjected to deportation or forcible transfer from the area in which they were lawfully present without grounds permitted under international law.

3. The abducted and deported persons are deposited at distant, remote, penal labor colonies or encampments, where they are subjected to “imprisonment or severe deprivation of physi- cal liberty in violation of fundamental rules of international law.”129 These abductions, deporta- tions and the subsequent imprisonments all take place without any judicial process. There is no arrest, charge, trial, conviction or sentence, as provided in the DPRK Criminal Code and the DPRK Criminal Procedures Code.

4.The prolonged, indefinite detention of family members is a violation of Article 26 of the ICCPR, “…the law shall prohibit any discrimi- nation and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.” The imprisonment of family members amounts to what the ICC Statute terms as “persecu- tion.” Most family members of suspected wrong-doers or wrong-thinkers are detained for the rest of their lives in sections of the prison camps termed “total control zones.”

5. Once cut off from any contact with the coun- try or world outside of the prison camp, including former family and friends, the imprisoned persons are subjected, usually for a lifetime, to arduous forced labor under extremely severe circumstances. This begins with the provision of below subsistence level food rations.

7. Prisoners are regularly subjected to beatings and sometimes more systematic torture for infractions of prison camp regulations and during interrogations.

8.On numerous occasions, prisoners compelled to observe executions (which are carried out publicly to demonstrate to other prisoners the severe consequences of escape attempts and/or non-compliance with camp regulations) …

9. Prison camp officials and guards are regularly able to exact sexual relations with female prison- ers under circumstances that have been judged to constitute rape or sexual violence …

These are just a few excerpts from the  CONCLUSIONS in the Hidden Gulag Report. You can read the entire report here – http://www.hrnk.org/uploads/pdfs/HRNK_HiddenGulag2_Web_5-18.pdf

~ RECAP of 2013 ~

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Syria

Journeyman Pictures films
the persecuted Christians in Syria (full film)

~ RECAP of 2012 ~

New – On Christmas Day, Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was rearrested again in Iran – see article here –Youcef Nadarkhani Re-Arrested by Iranian Authorities on Christmas Day

The American Center for Law and Justice is reporting-

Breaking: On September 8th, 2012, Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been released from jail in Iran, acquitted of apostasy (death penalty), and sentenced to time served for evangelizing Muslims. He is now home with his family after spending 1,062 days in prison for his Christian faith.

More details to follow at ACLJ.org

May we continue to pray for the thousands of others who are suffering for their faith in Christ. Hebrews 13:3 „Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

  1. Where the 12 Apostles died (On Google Maps) -Tradition holds that all the apostles died as martyrs
  2. Ignatius – Bishop of Antioch and one of the first New Testament martyrs
  3. Suffering in the life of John Bunyan
  4. Sovereignty,Suffering and The Work of Missions by Steve Saint – son of missionary martyr Nate Saint who died in Ecuador with Jim Elliott (Desiring God)
  5. Through the Gates of Splendor – 5 missionaries speared to death in 1956 on a beach in Ecuador (Jim Elliott documentary)
  6. The story behind the hymn „All hail the power of Jesus name”
  7. Persecution is coming to America – Paul Washer
  8. Nigeria: The young victims of Christian persecution (video)
  9. Voice of the Martyrs – video report from Nigeria
  10. International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted November 11, 2012
  11. Persecution watch in Nigeria – it is estimated between 300 – 1,000 already martyred in 2011
  12. North Korea’s Hidden Gulag – Google earth satellite imagery proves the internment camps exist and imprison tens of thousands of Christians
  13. An estimated 40,000 to 70,000 Christians housed in internment camps in North Korea
  14. The persecuted church – 200 million Christians living with persecution
  15. Persecution watch in Nigeria – it is estimated between 300 – 1,000 already martyred in 2011
  16. Iran: A Letter from prison
  17. Tales of persecution – Ethiopia
  18. The world was not worthy of them, who is the God they serve? (1)… Graham Staines’ family, India
  19. Hebrews 11:38…the world was not worthy of them (2) Nigeria Pastor, James Musa Rike, loses family in attack
  20. Missionary from Lebanon crosses into Syria to baptize believer, he has to bury him instead as a martyr
  21. Human trafficking at the Indianapolis Superbowl? Some things just can’t be ignored any longer!
  22. Free Online Book – Adoniram Johnson
  23. Free Online Book – Biography – John G. Paton – You Will Be Eaten By Cannibals!
  24. The Radicals- The first Anabaptists: Michael and Margaretha Sattler (1525)
  25. William Tyndale Biography (c 1492-1536) Photos of Tyndale Bibles
  26. Peace on earth? Not until Christ returns…unless you are a Christ follower
  27. Randy Alcorn – Difficult Truths: Sovereignty, Suffering, and the Promise of Heaven
  28. Free ebook from John Piper: Disability and the Sovereign Goodness of God

  1. PAGINA RICHARD WURMBRAND si Pastorul – Film Documentar
  2. Istoria Martirilor traducere de carte in Limba Romana
  3. Viata lui Sadhu Sundar Singh – traducere de carte in Limba Romana
  4. Koreea de Nord – crestinul prins in posesia unei Biblii e condamnat la inchisoare cu intreaga familie si urmatoarele 3 generatii
  5. Afganul Said Musa eliberat cu ajutorul lui John Piper, Rick Warren – Said Musa released with help from two Pastors
  6. Brutal Persecution in Romania, Iosif Ton
  7. Extreme devotion: Anutza Moise – Her Love and Advocacy Helped Birth a Ministry to the Persecuted Church (Richard Wurmbrand)
  8. Extreme devotion: The Doctor Who Helped Find Richard Wurmbrand – Devotament extraordinar: Doctorul Care a Ajutat la Gasirea lui Wurmbrand
  9. Comemorare – Anul Richard Wurmbrand (Partea 1) si  Anul Richard Wurmbrand (Partea 2)
  10. Ziua de Rugăciune pentru Pacea Ierusalimului, 7 Octombrie 2012

Iran: A Letter from prison

1 Corinthians 12:26 – If one part (of the body of Christ) suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

Published on Jun 14, 2012 by 

Every day, there are thousands of Iranians coming to Christ by hearing the gospel through satellite programs, secret evangelism and even dreams. Interestingly, among those Iranians are also officials within the government itself. An underground church faces persecution, prison charges and in some cases even death when the Iranian government becomes aware of such gatherings held in their own country. This is an inspirational story that portrays the struggles, excruciating emotions and conflicts of Iranian believers that ultimately results in Christians uniting globally through prayer and fellowshipping in their sufferings.
From Hovsepian Ministries and The Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

Imprisoned pastor in critical condition

POSTED: 24 JULY, 2012

vcm-behnam-irani1.jpgPastor Behnam Irani (Photo courtesy of VCM)

Iran (MNN) ― Behnam Irani, a 41-year-old Iranian pastor serving prison time, is currently facing severe health concerns due to physical persecution.

While serving his time in Karaj’s Ghezel Hesar Prison, Behnam has suffered several beatings from prison authorities and his cell mates. Authorities have ordered these beatings to occur regularly.

In a recent update, Voice of the Martyrs, Canada (VCM) reports that Behnam lost consciousness in the last few days due to colon complications and severe bleeding from ulcers. He was admitted into a military hospital.

Benham has since regained consciousness, but his health is reportedly declining because of harsh mistreatment and prison conditions. He is unable to walk or see well, and VCM says there are growing concerns that he may not even survive these next few months.

Serving a five-year sentence, Behnam has a little less than four years left to serve in prison. For the first few months of his sentence, he was held in solitary confinement.

His conviction occurred on January 2011 for crimes against national security. At the time of Behnam’s arrest, he was conducting a Bible study for 10 young Iranian men who had recently come to Christ.

Behnam is a husband and father to two children. His family is concerned about his poor health, especially since his brother died from intestinal cancer.

Ghezal Hesar Prison, where Behnam is held, is one of Iran’s largest and most notorious prisons for violence and cramped conditions. The head of Prisons Organization says it houses 20,000 inmates: 300% more inmates than its capacity.

Please pray for the Lord to fully restore Behnam’s health. Pray for Christ’s perfect comfort to give his family peace. Pray that prisoners and guards in Ghezal Hesar Prison will come to know Christ through Behnam’s example and faith. Read more here – http://www.MNNonline.org/article/17474

Two Iranian believers released

Iran (MNN) ― After several months in prison and solitary confinement, two Iranian Christians have been released from prison.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Canada, Noorollah Qabitizse, 48, was recently released after serving 19 months in prison.

Qabitizse was a house church leader arrested in 2010 on Christmas Eve. Authorities raided a celebration gathering in his house church and took Qabitizse along with 10 other believers.

Authorities tried to force Qabitizse to denounce his faith, causing him to suffer from mental abuse. They also interrogated him several times.

During his time in the Dezful prison, Qabitizse started a Bible study. When authorities got wind of his activities in prison, they transferred him out to Ahwaz as punishment.

The second Christian recently released was 24-year-old Ehsan Behrouz. He was a university student studying management in the University of Mashhad.

After his arrest on October 2011, Behrouz suffered eight months in prison including 105 days in solitary confinement.

Although Behrouz has been released, he hasn’t been able to resume classes and his education is at stake. Other Christian students in the past have been forcibly deprived of their education.

Please pray for Behrouz to be able to continue his education in peace. Pray that Qabitizse and Behrouz’s testimonies of faith in Christ will encourage other believers in Iran to persevere for the Gospel. Click here to read more – http://www.MNNonline.org/article/17498

Some more articles from the Christian post:

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/ailing-iranian-pastor-being-denied-hospital-treatment-in-jail-79035/#tX6UZ7ZHH0GdByRW.99

Theology by John Piper at Louisiana’s Angola Prison Facility

Some very interesting theological questions come up in the Q & A (second video below) that we can all learn from. Also, if you’ve never had contact with anyone who has been/is in prison or if in fact you have the painful experience of having a loved one in this situation, this is a very comforting message and a reminder to all Christians of God’s saving power and the fact that he saves men even in prison and even in spite of the most horrendous crimes they have committed. Please shaw this page with as many people as you think could be touched by it, whether to bring comfort to someone in prison or their family, or with someone that may prayerfully consider ministering to those that are incarcerated. I hope you will be as blessed as I was watching these videos.

„This prison is the largest maximum-security prison in America. It is one of the most famous prisons in the whole world. It has only murderers, rapists, armed robbers and habitual felons. The average sentence is 88 years, with 3200 people in one place serving life sentences. Ninety percent of the inmates will die here. This is a place of hopelessness, so if Angola can change, the rest of the countrys prisons cant say, We cant do this.” http://www.desiringgod.org By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org

One of the growing ministries of Desiring God is the outreach to prisoners. Those of you in the Philippian Fellowship hear about this more often than the rest of our website guests.

On Thursday a team of four of us stopped in at Angola Prison in Angola, Louisiana. Warden Burl Cain was very gracious to take us into his world, even the most painful part of it.

Here is what he said three years  ago in Decision Magazine about this prison:

This prison is the largest maximum-security prison in America. It is one of the most famous prisons in the whole world. It has only murderers, rapists, armed robbers and habitual felons. The average sentence is 88 years, with 3,200 people in one place serving life sentences. Ninety percent of the inmates will die here. This is a place of hopelessness, so if Angola can change, the rest of the country’s prisons can’t say, “We can’t do this.”

For those who know prison culture from the inside, this place is astonishing. On a campus of 18,000 acres, which is mainly farm land, the prisoners raise virtually all their food and eat three meals for a total cost of $1.45 each. The fish and crawdads that we ate were from „the Farm.”

There is a local extension of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in the prison and about 140 prisoners are enrolled. There are six churches in the prison and they train their own pastors. They send trained “missionaries” to other prisons to plant churches. They do this without using any tax money. But O the money—and lives—it saves!

Violence in the prison is rare. Courtesy and respect is pronounced. The ministry team of women who were visiting at the same time we were said they were treated with more respect from prisoners here, than in many places on the “outside.” Public profanity is not allowed.

The 42-inch church bell hangs high over the chapel in a prisoner-built tower. They rescued the bell from storage where it had been put after falling and killing a man. Some of the prisoners say: The bell killed a man and we killed a man, but now the bell and we serve the Lord Jesus.

Warden Cain says: I am as nice as they let me be and as mean as they make me be. Given the job he is given to do, it is a good motto.

I saw the Warden’s “nice” as we sat for half an hour with G.B., a prisoner on Death Row whose death by lethal injection the Warden will oversee in January. There are over 80 on death row, some now for over 14 years as appeals go on. The Warden asked me to share the gospel with G.B. Never have I felt a greater urgency to say the good news plainly and plead from my heart. The thief on the cross is a hero on Death Row.

The Warden answered all G.B.’s questions about what the last day would be like and who from his family and the press could be there. He gave G.B. unusual privileges for these last seven weeks. He was manifestly compassionate while stating the facts with precision. I took G.B.’s picture with my phone and said I would pray for him. (Perhaps you would too.)

I preached with all my heart to those who could fit in the chapel, and to the rest by closed circuit television. G.B. (and three others on Death Row) told me they’d be watching. I pulled no punches:

For 90% of you the next stop is not home and family, but heaven or hell. O what glorious news we have in that situation. And believe me it is not the prosperity of Gospel. Jesus came and died and rose again not mainly to be useful, but to beprecious. And that he can be in Angola as well as Atlanta. Perhaps even more.

John Piper (@JohnPiper) is the Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church (Minneapolis, MN) and the founder of Desiring God.

John Piper Angola Prison 2009  on Vimeo. via www.desiringGod.org

Jesus Came Not to Give Bread, But to Be Bread

Angola Prison Q & A 2009

John Piper at Angola Prison Q & A 2009 on Vimeo. via www.desiringGod.org

Eric Metaxas – Author, on Dietrich Bonhoeffer + an essay by Carl Trueman (si in limba Romana)

Puteti accesa un articol publicat in Oglindanet de Emanuel Contac (profesor ITP, Bucuresti) despre Bonhoeffer aici. (Iunie 2011)

In Romanian (20 minutes)

in English (35 minutes) produced by Christian Broadcasting Network

An essay by Carl Trueman as to the lessons we could draw from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life.

Bonhoeffer and Anonymous Evangelicals

Posted by Carl Trueman

First, I am no Bonhoeffer scholar, but have enjoyed reading him over the

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

years and found him often helpful and always provocatively stimulating.  Further, many of his letters from prison are deeply moving – rare in works of theology.

Second, I have noticed a general tendency in American evangelical circles to claim anybody who is helpful or admirable as an evangelical of some sort. It is our equivalent of Rahner’s `anonymous Christians’ – except we have `anonymous evangelicals.’   To put it in the idiom of the English class system, many theologians are `decent sorts of chaps who, if they had only known, would have been evangelicals, don’t you know.’    The great example of this reception/appropriation/transformation at American evangelical hands is C S Lewis (high church Anglican, believer in purgatory, advocate of the Devil ransom theory of atonement – these being only the three most obvious of his non-evangelical credentials).   Now, I am not sure why this is, why we need to make somebody a member of the club.  Maybe because there is a general cultural difficulty with finding people who are different to be helpful?   Thus, by making them like us, the problem is overcome.   That is one possibility.

Certainly, when I was at university, DB was the hero of the radical theological left within the Christian world, a world that was the legacy of J A T Robinson and company.  That liberals held this position on Bonhoeffer does not, of course, mean  that this was necessarily a correct reading, any more than the conservative evangelical one must be true because it is endorsed by leading evangelicals; but, in reading DB then, I never found him particularly `evangelical’ in the conservative, Protestant sense of the word; nonetheless, I enjoyed his writings, found them stimulating, and was deeply impressed by his stand against the Nazis. Who could not be?  Yet his thought world seemed much closer to that of Barth (who, inevitably, has also had the evangelical make-over in America) than Schmid or Mueller or Warfield or Bavinck or even Berkouwer.  Thus, it has been something of a surprise to me to find him increasingly functioning as a hero of evangelicals in the USA.

I can understand the need to make our heroes like us.   I am a huge fan of Lawrence of Arabia.  Faith aside, he represents everything I would wish to be and am not.   But, much as I would like to do so, I cannot make him into a Reformed Presbyterian.  At best he was an agnostic.  Thus, I think, it is with Bonhoeffer – even as an amateur reader of his works, I would be very surprised if we can make him `one of us’ without fundamentally twisting his life and thought.

Sometimes the problem derives from us asking a fundamentally wrong-headed question.  Of more value than `Was he an evangelical?’ is surely `How can I learn from him how better to be a Christian?’

 

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