Laos: Former Soldier, Bounchan Kanthavong, Jailed for Christian Witness (Video)

Many Americans have more than one Bible in our homes. But in countries like Laos, believers risk their lives to get a copy of God’s word.

Bounchan Kanthavong, a Khmu Christian, was imprisoned for his Christian witness in the communist nation.

Prior to finding Christ, he served as a soldier and later as assistant district governor.

His job took him to Christian villages, where he became intrigued by the villagers worship. Eventually he became a believer and couldn’t stop sharing his new-found faith.

„I went back to my home church and talked about God,” Kanthavong told Voice of the Martyrs during an interview. „Many people would come; they wanted to become Christians. Soon, the whole village would come.”

The government, however, was not so receptive to Kanthavong’s conversion and imprisoned him for 15 years.

But instead of food or freedom, what Kanthavong wanted more than anything was to read the scriptures.

This eye-opening documentary features the inspiring testimony of Bounchan who was imprisoned and tortured for his Christian witness in the Southeast Asian nation of Laos. Instead of food, what he wanted more than anything was a Bible. Prior to finding Christ, Bounchan served his communist country as a soldier and later as Assistant District Governor. The following powerful re-enactment demonstrates his overcoming faith and perseverance in the midst of persecution, while highlighting the importance of writing letters to those imprisoned for the sake of Christ!

Length 5:30 minutes. From The Voice of the Martyrs USA VOM C.

How does Voice of the Martyrs serve the Persecuted Church?

Hebrews 13:3 

Remember those who are in prison,
as though in prison with them,
and those who are mistreated,
since you also are in the body.

wurmbrandThe Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ. His wife, Sabina, was imprisoned for three years. In the 1960s, Richard, Sabina, and their son, Mihai, were ransomed out of Romania and came to the United States. Through their travels, the Wurmbrands spread the message of the atrocities that Christians face in restricted nations, while establishing a network of offices dedicated to assisting the persecuted church. The Voice of the Martyrs continues in this mission around the world today through the following main purposes:

Our ministry is based on Hebrews 13:3:

Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.

VOM’s Five Main Purposes

  1. To encourage and empower Christians to fulfill the Great Commission in areas of the world where they are persecuted for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. To provide practical relief and spiritual support to the families of Christian martyrs.
  3. To equip persecuted Christians to love and win to Christ those who are opposed to the gospel in their part of the world.
  4. To undertake projects of encouragement, helping believers rebuild their lives and Christian witness in countries where they have formerly suffered oppression.
  5. To promote the fellowship of all believers by informing the world of the faith and courage of persecuted Christians, thereby inspiring believers to a deeper level of commitment to Christ and involvement in His Great Commission.

VOM’s Mission Statement

“Serving the persecuted church through practical and spiritual assistance while leading Christians in the free world into fellowship with them.”

Voice of the Martyrs  https://www.persecution.com/
VIDEO by VOM C

‘i commit to pray’ new website launched by Voice of the Martyrs

A place to gather and pray for the persecuted church. Read prayer requests from around the world and post your own prayers specifically for your brothers and sisters who are being persecuted.

Photo credit www.persecution.com

click here for the WEBSITE –

icommittopray.com

a website of Voice of the Martyrs USA

Launched on Sunday, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), www.iCommitToPray.com invites Christians around the world to commit to pray for those who are persecuted simply for believing in Christ.

Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs USA says, “The first request of our persecuted family, when we go and visit them, is that we pray for them.”

This new Web site grew out of the desire to fulfill this request.

“The idea for this site really grew out of activity we already saw on the VOM Facebook page,” Nettleton said. “We often post prayer requests, and we began to see people comment on the post and type in their prayers for those currently being persecuted. And others would be encouraged by that, and add their own prayer in the next comment, and so on.

„At times we could even print out those prayers and show them to the Christians in hostile and restricted nations, and they were incredibly blessed to see very tangibly that Christians around the world hadn’t forgotten them and were lifting them up in prayer. We want iCommitToPray.com to be a site dedicated to that kind of prayer and encouragement.”

Users of the new Web site can post their written prayers and then invite friends to join with them in praying. Having this connection to other believers through social media provides awareness, information, and opportunities to encourage and uphold those who suffer for bearing the name of Christ.

„What we envision for iCommitToPray.com is a great prayer meeting for persecuted Christians. But instead of gathering in a church or someone’s living room, Christians will gather online to pray for the persecuted church,” explain Nettleton.

Pray that this Web site will motivate believers worldwide to pray for their persecuted brothers and sisters. (Source mnnonline.org)

IDOP 2013 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church November 3 and/or November 10, 2013

IDOP-2014

Sunteti invitati sa participati la Ziua Internationala de Rugaciune 2014 (IDOP) Webcast Interactiv in Direct cu Organizatia Open Doors (Portile Deschise) si invitati speciali David Platt, Nik Ripken, si invitatul musical, Selah! Alaturati-va noua chiar aici pe data de 1 Noiembrie la ora 5 dupa amiaza Pacific Time si 2 Noiembrie la ora 4 dupa amiaza Pacific Time (USA), pentru doua evenimente speciale si gratuite, dedicate rugaciunii si mijlocirii pentru crestinii persecutati de pe intreg pamantul.

Pe data de sambata 1 Noiembrie participati la un special Webcast Interactiv in Direct cu credinciosi din jurul lumii. Apoi duminica, 2 Noiembrie, implica si biserica din care faci parte ca sa va uniti cu alte sute de biserici  pentru un serviciu de duminica pe care nu-l veti uita niciodata. Aceasta este oportunitatea de a trai ce scrie in Matei 18:20 ,,Caci acolo unde sunt doi sau trei adunati in Numele Meu, sunt si Eu in mijlocul lor.” Completati adresa de email si inscrieti-va astazi pentru aceste oportunitati de necrezut.

Pentru a va inscrie, va rugam sa vizitati: http://live.opendoorsusa.org

 ENGLISH

You’re invited to the 2014 International Day of Prayer (IDOP) Live Interactive Webcast with Open Doors and special guests David Platt, Nik Ripken, and musical guest, Selah! Join us right here on November 1st at 5pm PDT and November 2nd at 4pm PST for two special free events dedicated to prayer and intercession for persecuted Christians worldwide.

On Saturday, November 1st participate in a special live interactive webcast with believers from around the world. Then on Sunday, November 2nd, get your church involved and join with hundreds of other churches for a Sunday service you’ll never forget. This is our opportunity to live out Matthew 18:20, „For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Enter your email and sign up today for these unbelievable opportunities.

To sign up, please visit: http://live.opendoorsusa.org

VIDEO by Open Doors USA

 

IDOP 2013

There will be some confusion as to the dates for IDOP 2013. My understanding was it should fall on the second Sunday of every November, making it on November 10 for the year 2013. However, there is flexibility for the congregations who need to hold the prayers on a different Sunday, and some are doing just that. From researching this year’s Prayer dates I have learned that in our sphere there are the nationwide dates the prayers will be lifted to God in unison for the persecuted church:

  • In the United State on November 3
  • In Canada on November 10
  • In the United Kingdom and Ireland on November 3
  • In Australi from November 3 – 10  (these guys did it right)
  • In New Zealand November 10
  • In Switzerland November

i commit to pray

Photo credit www.persecution.com

click here for the Voice of the Martyrs new WEBSITE –

icommittopray.com

Information on this page is from http://www.idop.org and http://www.idop.ca

Present sufferings, future glory

  Romans 8:17, 18

Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ,
if needed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing
with the glory that will be revealed in us.

Today, Christians in certain parts of the world face some of the worst persecution in history. How do they handle it? Only God can empower them to do so.

This year’s theme for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is: Present sufferings, future glory based on Romans 8:17, 18:

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.”

One thing that keeps Christians going when faced with persecution is the knowledge that Christ also suffered more deeply than we can imagine. He can identify with us when we suffer for him. Christ also strengthens us to meet any challenge.

Through the last 2000 years, another motivation for Christians being persecuted has been the knowledge that soon and very soon they would be going to meet their King. They would be in a place where suffering would be replaced by rejoicing with the Lord and fellow believers. As faithful followers of Christ, we share that hope of future glory.

This year let us remember and pray for all those who are suffering for their faith in Christ. Pray for their protection, comfort and perseverance toward their eternal goal of being glorified with Christ.

Please join us on November 10, 2013 and pray for the persecuted. Source http://www.idop.ca

2013 IDOP Video – „How Long?”

VIDEO by

OTHER IDOP 2013 VIDEOS:

CHINA: Criminal or Hero? (10:01)
CHINA: Shockwave 2013 (1:42)
CHINA: World Watch List Report (11:28)
IRAN
: A Letter from Prison
 (13:28)
IRAN: Padina’s Story (7:09)
IRAN: Christians Face Captivity, Persecution (2:04)
IRAN: World Watch List Report (6:14)

Where Christian Persecution is Worst

 World Watch List 2013

Created by Open Doors, the World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. The list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in an entire country and focuses on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.  VIDEO by Open Doors USA

General IDOP Videos:

IDOP: Persecuted, not Abandoned (4:12)
IDOP PowerPoint by Open Doors USA (4:33)
IDOP 2011
 (INcontext Mnistries) (5:23)
IDOP 2011 (INcontext Mnistries) (8:50 longer version of the 5 min video)
IDOP 2012 NZ – „One with Them” (2:19)
IDOP 2012 WEA – „Hear Their Cry” (4:39)
IDOP 2012 Gospel for Asia (4:49)

Children of the Persecuted
 (4:42)
The Battle is Real (2:17)
Children of the Persecuted (4:42)
Exiled for Their Faith (4:16)
Every 5 Minutes (1:49)
What is Persecution (3:11)
Where Christian Persecution is the Worst (World Watch List 2013) (3:58)
The World is Watching (2:46)

SONG: I Have Decided – IDOP Feature Video (6:01)
SONG: Coming for Me (4:55)

Nigerian church martyrs

This 5-minute IDOP video focuses on Victoria and Rejoice, two teenage girls who live in Gombe, Nigeria. One day as the girls worshiped at the Deeper Life Church, they came under attack from radical Muslims. Both girls lost family members. Believers like Victoria and Rejoice need our prayers. To encourage more prayer for the persecuted, this year VOM is offering our 2013 IDOP video for free. Please share the DVD with your pastor, and ask him to share it with your church on Nov. 3, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Please also share it with your family, friends and Sunday school class. We want believers to know what is happening to our brothers and sisters in Nigeria so they can join us in prayer for them. Go to http://www.icommittopray.com to show your commitment to pray for the persecuted church and begin to receive weekly prayer updates when the full site launches on Nov. 3.  VIDEO by VoiceOfTheMartyrsUSA

Country Specific:


COLOMBIA
: Set free to serve!
 (7:44)
COLOMBIA
Radio is bringing light into spiritual darkness (6:54) EGYPT: Christian girls being snatched by Islamic Traffickers (5:17)
ETHIOPIA: Hand up, Not Hand Out (7:48)
KAZAKHSTAN: New laws oppress Christianity (4:46)
INDONESIA„I call the prison the school of trust” (3:59)
INDONESIA: Abandoned for coming to Jesus (4:15)
IRAQ: We have hope, but we have no future (4:35)
LYBIA: Missionaries Arrested for Spreading the Gospel (6:18)
MEXICO: Exiled for Their Faith (4:16)
NIGERIA: Nigeria’s Persecuted Children (part one) (7:30)
NIGERIA: Nigeria’s Persecuted Children (Part two) (4:24)
NIGERIA: Militants turning country into Christian Killing Field (3:31)
NIGERIA: Christians under siege – yet overcoming (8:48)
NORTH KOREA: Yang’s incredible story of pain and hope! (8:13)
RUSSIA: Degestan’s secret believers fight a spiritual war (4:41)
RUSSIA: Sharing the Gospel in the dangerous Islamic South (5:08)
TANZANIA: Islamic persecutors target Christian Pastors (3:44)

K P Yohannan – Gospel for Asia

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

Churches across the nation are joining in their suffering by lifting up the persecuted in unified prayer. Share this video with your friends, family and congregation, let them see how their prayers can strengthen Christians around the world.
Download this video at http://gfa.org/pray/pray-for-the-pers…  VIDEO by GospelForAsia

Previous IDOP Videos 2008 – 2013

VIDEO Playlist by VoiceOfTheMartyrsUSA (6 Videos, will play in succession, one after the other)

IDOP

Basic biblical teaching about persecution:

Source: http://www.idop.org

  • Christians are to expect persecution. (John 15:18-21; 17:14; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 John 3:13)
  • God blesses right suffering. (Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 6:22-23)
  • We should not be ashamed or embarrassed about persecution. (1 Peter 4:16; Hebrews 13:12-13)
  • We must follow the example of Christ. (Philippians 2: 1-11; 1 Peter 2:19-25)
  • We must react under persecution as the Lord did. (Matthew 5:38-48; Romans 12:14,17-21; 1 Peter 2:21-23)
  • We are called to stand with those who are persecuted. (Matthew 25:31-46; Hebrews 10:32-38; 13:3)
  • We can have the victory. (John 16:33)

Persecution foretold:

  • Matthew 18:21; 28:34; Mark 10:30; Luke 11:49; John 15:20; 1 Corinthians 4:9; 2 Timothy 3: 12
  • Jesus warns and teaches about persecution:
  • Matthew 10:16-42; Luke 14:25-35; John 15:18-16:4

The apostles and first missionaries are persecuted:

  • Acts 4:1-22 – Christ’s supremacy threatens the supremacy of the totalitarian and theocratic leadership. (v. 2,17)
  • Acts 5:12-41 – Power and attraction of the gospel arouses jealousy. (v17)
  • Acts 6:7-15 – Success of ministry arouses competition.
  • Acts 7:54-8:4 – Stephen becomes the Christian Church’s first martyr; persecution breaks out.
  • Acts 12:1-4 – Herod persecutes apostles for political gain.
  • Acts 12:1-18 – While Peter is in prison, the church prays.
  • Acts 13:49-14:7 – Opposition to the gospel forces missionaries to flee.
  • Acts 16:16-34 – The gospel threatens trade, economic prosperity and the fortune-telling industry (v19); false accusations lead to missionaries being severely beaten.
  • Acts 17:1-15 – Missionary success arouses jealousy; missionaries forced to flee. (v5)
  • Acts 19:23-32 – The gospel threatens trade, economic prosperity and the idol industry; idol-makers incite riot that goes out of control.
  • Acts 21:27-36 – Enemies of the gospel incite hatred and violence; Paul beaten and arrested.

Prepare for persecution:

  • Understand it to be normal. (1 Peter 4:12; Philippians 1:29)
  • Know the teaching of the Word of God. (Philemon 3:10; Romans 6:3-5; John 8:31-32)
  • Abide in Christ. (John 15:4)
  • Submit daily to the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18; 4:30)
  • Rest in the will of God. (Ephesians 5:17; Hebrews 4:1,9-11)

Conduct under persecution:

  • Matthew 5:44; 10:22; Acts 5:41: Romans 12:14; Philippians 1:28; Hebrews 10:34; 1 Peter 3:13-19

Results of persecution:

  • Matthew 5:10; Luke 6:22; 9:24; James 1:2; 1 Peter 4:14; Revelation 6:9; 7:13

Rewards for suffering persecution:

  • Glory in heaven. (2 Corinthians 4:17-18; 1 Peter 5:1,10,11)
  • Eternal consolation. (2 Corinthians 1:7; Romans 8:17)
  • Christ is made known. (2 Corinthians 4:11)
  • Life is being given to others. (2 Corinthians 4:12)
  • Grace of God is being made manifest. (2 Corinthians 4:15)
  • A guarantee that God will judge righteously. (2 Thessalonians 1:4-5)
  • Will reign with him. (2 Timothy 2:12a)
  • Spirit of glory rests upon. (1 Peter 4:14)
  • Glory is brought to God. (1 Peter 4:16)
  • Reason for joy. (1 Peter 4:13-14)

Place and power of prayer:

  • 2 Thessalonians 3:1-3 – Prayer is desired and required for persecuted believers.
  • Romans 15:30-33 – Our prayers help struggling believers.
  • 2 Corinthians 1:10-11 – God works as we pray.
  • 2 Corinthians 10:3-4; Ephesians 6:10-18 – Spiritual battle requires spiritual weapons.
  • James 5:16b-18 – The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.

Some possible forms that persecution may take:

  • By slander (evil report). (Psalm 31:13; Job 19:18; 55:12-14; Luke 6:22)
  • Shame. Open embarrassment, dishonor or disgrace. Manner in which our Lord was accused of being conceived (born out-of-wedlock); also, manner in which His nakedness was openly displayed on the cross. (Hebrews 13:13; 11:26)
  • Falsely accused. (Psalm 35:11; 27:12; Matthew 5:11; Luke 23:2,5,10; Mark 14:55-60; Acts 6:13; 16:19-23; 26:2,7)
  • Ensnare through deceit, trapping, tricks. (Daniel 6:4-5; Luke 11:54; Matthew 10:16-18)
  • Object of conspiracy. (2 Samuel 15:12; Genesis 37:18; 2 Corinthians 11:32; Acts 9:23)
  • Mocked, scorned, scoffed and sneered at. (Psalm 42:3, Job 12:4; Matthew 27:29,31,41; Acts 2:13; 17:18,32; Hebrews 11:36)
  • Betrayed, treated treacherously. (Matthew 24:10; Luke 21:16; Psalm 41:9)
  • Despised, to have contempt for, to loathe, to think nothing of, to consider without honour. (1 Corinthians 1:28; 4:10c)
  • Hated by family. (Matthew 10:21, 34-36; Micah 7:6; Luke 21:16)
  • Hated by men. (Luke 21:17; Matthew 10:22; Job 19:19)
  • Defamation of character, libel, slander, evil report. (Psalm 31:13; Job 19:19; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Corinthians 4:13)
  • Feared by own people. (Acts 9:26)
  • Subject to special trials. (1 Corinthians 4:9-14; 2 Corinthians 11:23-28)
  • Imprisoned. (Luke 21:12; Acts 4:3; 5:18; 12:4; 16:24; 2 Corinthians 6:5; 11:23c; Hebrews 11:36b)
  • Beaten. (Acts 5:40; 16:23; 2 Corinthians 6:5; 11:24; Matthew 10:17)
  • Contradicting. (Acts 13:45)
  • Stir against. (Acts 6:12; 13:50; 14:2,19; 19:23,25-26,29; 21:27)
  • Charges pressed. (Acts 18:12; Matthew 10:17-18)
  • Threatened. (Acts 4:18,21; 5:40)
  • Stoned. (Acts 7:58-59; 14:19; 2 Corinthians 11:25; Hebrews 11:37)
  • Afflictions. (2 Timothy 3; 11; Psalm 34:19)
  • Expulsion. (Acts 13:50; John 16:2a)
  • Exhaustion, extreme fatigue. (2 Corinthians 11:27)
  • Hunger and thirst. (2 Corinthians 11:27; 1 Corinthians 4:11)
  • Spectacle. (1 Corinthians 4:9; Acts 9:16; 20:23; 21:11; Hebrews 10:33a)
  • Suffer physical need. (1 Corinthians 4:11; 2 Corinthians 6:4; Philippians 4:12; Hebrews 11:37)
  • Martyrdom. (Luke 21:16; Acts 7:59; 12:2; John 16:2)
  • Afflictions. (2 Timothy 1:8; 4:5; Matthew 24:9; Psalm 34:19; 2 Corinthians 4:17; 6:4; Hebrews 10:32-33; 11:25,37; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; James 5:10)
  • Poverty. (2 Corinthians 6:10; Philippians 4:12)
  • Loss of property and material goods. (Hebrews 10:34b)

IDOP World Links

Gospel for Asia IDOP 2013 India

VIDEO by VirtualAmazingGrace

A letter to Richard Wurmbrand

wurmbrand 17“God is love.” 1 JOHN 4:8
„A Soviet Christian released from prison wrote the following in a letter:My outward appearance is not attractive. In the slave labor camp, I worked beneath the earth. I had an accident that made me a hunchback. Once a boy stared at me and then asked,“Uncle, what do you have on your back?” I was sure that some mockery would follow, but still I answered, “A hunchback.” “No,” said the child. “God is love and gives no one deformities. You do not have a hunchback but a box below your shoulders. In this box, angel wings are hidden. One day the box will open and you will fly to heaven with these wings.”

I began to cry for joy. Even now, I write and cry. Every man has some kind of “hunchback,” some physical, mental, or spiritual handicap, something that makes him different from everyone else. Things appear this way only if we look at them from the perspective of our limited earthly life. Here we “know in part” (1 Corinthians 13:12). And because of this, our lives and sufferings often seem meaningless. God has allowed one person to have a hunchback, another sickness, or poverty, or a prison term, or bereavement, or some other sorrow. But we will not accept human standards that categorize such things as catastrophes. We will apply to them the standard of this Spirit-filled Soviet child and see in our sorrows boxes that hide angel wings, with which we are meant to fly to heaven.”
From : ” Reaching toward the heights ” by Richard Wurmbrand (Facebook)

Tanzania: Islamic Persecutors Target Christian Pastors

Martyred- Pastor Matheo Kachila

In February, a Muslim mob, brandishing machetes murdered Pastor Matheo Kachila, who was also a father of 12 children.

For many years Christians in Tanzania have felt safe worshipping, given the country’s Christian majorities. Now, their security is quickly evaporating following a wave of persecution threatening churches and targeting pastors. Tanzanian churches are growing and witnessing a new unity, but Christians have paid a painful price.

From Christian World News – VIDEO  by Voice Of the Martyrs See links below for the most recent attack on Christians in Tanzania:

Pray for Tanzanian Christians

Sign of the Times – Court martials could face Christian soldiers if they „proselytize”

via MissionNetworkNews.org (Photo via www.sodahead.com)

USA (MNN) – The Pentagon confirms that it may court martial soldiers who share their Christian faith. This, after meeting with an atheist who accused Christians of „sedition” and „treason.” The meeting on April 23 didn’t yield any immediate changes, although the Pentagon released a statement indicating that proselytization is not permitted. Todd Nettleton with Voice of the Martyrs says, „What’s at stake is the ability of the U.S. military members to practice their Christian faith. That includes not only the rank and file military members: that actually include even the chaplains.” The ministries we contacted with military outreach declined to be interviewed for this story. Their concern wa s the same: staying under the radar for now. Does this qualify as real persecution? „When we see a military chaplain who is court martialed for preaching the Gospel, for saying ‘Jesus is the only way to Heaven,’ I think then we’ll be able to say, ‘Absolutely. That’s persecution. Then we’ll have crossed the line.”

Nettleton states, „What’s at stake is the ability of the U.S. military members to practice their Christian faith. That includes not only the rank and file military members: that actually includes even the chaplains.”

The concern is that the definition of proselytism is unclear. Nettleton asks, „If you share your faith, if you share the plan of salvation, is that proselytism or does it become proselytism if there’s some sort of coercion?” He is quick to note that while this is an alarming shift, it’s not technically „persecution.” But, „When we see a military chaplain who is court-martialed for preaching the Gospel, for saying ‘Jesus is the only way to Heaven,’ I think then we’ll be able to say, ‘Absolutely! That’s persecution. Then we’ll have crossed the line.'”

Weinstein accused members of the military who share the Gospel of Jesus Christ of „sedition” and „treason.” He also described Christians who shared their faith in the military as „enemies of the Constitution.” Yet, Nettleton says as strong as the language is, it’s not really a surprise. „Christ said, ‘You will take up your cross.’ The cross was an instrument of torture, an instrument of death. So He wasn’t saying, ‘It’s always going to be easy to follow Me.’ He was saying, ‘Take up your cross. You may have to pay a price.'”

Regardless of what happens with the policy or how it is enforced, Nettleton says American believers can take a page from the book of the Global Church. „It is coming in our culture where we may have to pay a price for living out our faith in Christ, as well. Again, I point to the example of our persecuted brothers and sisters because we have so much to learn from them: they face this every single day and yet they faithfully follow the call of Christ on their lives.”

Read the story in full at http://www.mnnonline.org.

Libya: Missionaries Arrested for Spreading the Gospel

Four foreign Christian workers in Libya have been arrested on suspicion of spreading Christianity and giving out Christian literature in Benghazi. A police spokesman said one of the suspects is a Swedish-American and the others are from South Africa, Egypt, and South Korea. Gary Lane of CBN News and Todd Nettleton of The Voice of the Martyrs talk about the situation in Libya and the spread of militant Islam in Africa.

From Christian World News of CBN via Voice of the Martyrs.

PART 2 – Michael Wurmbrand, son of Richard Wurmbrand writes about the attempted assassination on his family in the United States by the communist regime in Romania

Read this article in ENGLISH

Citeste articolul in Limba Romana-

sursa pozei Flickr – Vasile Tomoiaga

mihai wurmbrand flickr v. tomoiagaMichael Wurmbrand: From many other thousands of communist secret police documents I found out that scores, if not even hundreds of officers and informers residing outside Romania were used to implement different aspects of these plans of killing the Wurmbrands.  As late as 1978, a great number of our family activities travels on 4 continents were reported in great detail, our location, even the way we were dressed, best ways to be identified, all contacts in great detail, a great number of photographic material was obtained. The Romanian communist secret police tried to identify in great extensive detail and if possible gain access, to anyone worldwide connected to the Wurmbrand family.

There are documents showing how both Romanian but also non-Romanian newspersons, politicians, church leaders, in the actual even conscious paid employ of the Romanian secret police, will be marshaled to implement these plans to destroy the Wurmbrands. For example, they were directed to show friendship and support for the Wurmbrands’ missionary message, even write pro-Wurmbrand newspaper articles, so as to gain our confidence over long time. Then they would attract close friends or workers of the Wurmbrands in different countries visited, to leave their homes for outside visits, so listening devices or searches could be conducted in their homes.

It was internally emphasized to its own officers that the budget of the External Information Service (SIE) of the Romanian communist government for destroying the Wurmbrands, was with no imposed ceiling. The plans were not amateurish, they were extremely detailed, insidious and carried to an extent that our family, thinking ourselves as experts on communism and the communist methods would have never suspected secret police. These files allowed the communist police to find out their interests, weaknesses, how they could be approached ideologically or even befriended to help the killer’s plans. There are scores of informative notes given by Christians, conscious tools, informers of the Romanian secret police.

It sounds preposterous but there are documents even on Billy Graham showing him caught in this nefarious communist net. It is discussed how he could be used as a known friend of President Nixon to influence the President of the US. Our family was followed both in Romania of course but here in the West 24/7 by as many as 7 different persons, at the same time. So if we watched, we would see unrelated, different persons walking or driving.

There are documents that have the signature of the communist dictator of Romania, Nicolae Ceausescu and the head of the secret police approving these plans. These plans were discussed at length by the so called Counsel on Security of the State, plans in part signed on also by the most famous and highest officer ever to defect from a communist secret police from all communist countries, general

Ion Mihai Pacepa

Ion Mihai Pacepa (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ion Mihai Pacepa (his story on the internet, seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ion_Mihai_Pacepa ), of course before his defection from Romania.

I cannot emphasize enough how extensive was the communist “hand-” reach into the lives of anyone, the communists thought had any tangency to the Wurmbrand family, not only of course in Romania, but other communist countries but here in the West. It would of course take months of studies of these documents and reproduction of thousands of pages to document this enormous effort of the communists to attack in one way or another Richard Wurmbrand, his family and his worldwide message of unmasking the communist persecution of the Christian faithful.

When Richard Wurmbrand came to the West and explained that in a country of 20 million at least 1 million passed through communist prisons, many church leaders in the West blamed Wurmbrand as “exaggerating.” After the fall of communism in Romania, the official numbers published were 10% of the population and in excess of 2 million. I pray none of the readers of this paper, for their own good and safety, will dismiss what I write here as exaggerating in the least bit. Since I was at both ends of this equation, first as one of the founders 45 years ago of a missionary organization, known now as Voice of the Martyrs, opposing and widely making known communist atrocities and now being able to obtain first hand information in thousands of pages, how our communist adversaries would fight us, even trying to kill us, I would like to share with you the lessons I learned, thinking some of these might be of a real spiritual benefit to whoever reads this and to their love ones.

I would not blame the reader of this material for wondering how come we have not been killed already following such a gigantic effort on the part of the Romanian communists? The first and only answer is

“BY THE GRACE OF GOD!” The communists surely tried.

English: Jacques Chirac (at the time, Prime Mi...

English: Jacques Chirac (at the time, Prime Minister of France) with Nicolae Ceauşescu during a visit in Neptun, Romania, in 1975 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It also happened so that the highest person of the Romanian communist secret police, the communist general Pacepa defected to the US in 1978. Ceausescu, the communist dictator tried to silence many opponents of his through killing them. He tried to use the famous international terrorist Ilich Sanchez, nicknamed “Carlos the Jackal.” It is public information about housing and supporting him financially in Romania. Communist General Pacepa’s defection 1978 occurred, as he explained, because he had been sent to kill the head of the Free Europe Radio, Romanian Section. In the same timeframe Ceausescu sent a killer to France to execute another dissident and this “killer” officer defected to the French secret service . The French secret service staged and publicized “a mock-killing” of the dissident targeted to be killed. The Romanian communist secret police functioning with no idea of the real facts and believing the killing had been carried on. The French followed through all the radio, mail traffic with the Romanian secret service, proving the episode as having originated with the Romanian communists. The President of France traveled subsequently to Romania and explained to the communist dictator Ceausescu that all loans, Romanian business internationally, his own perks and even his life will be terminated if such behavior continues. Above all is documented. Ceausescu disbanded his communist “killing service.”

The Wurmbrands survived and I am sorry my parents are not alive today when all this secret informative material has been made available to me and I have to convey to you my lessons learned.

Richard Wurmbrand

Richard Wurmbrand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

• Our family starting a missionary work, now called Voice of the Martyrs was done in pain, in faith, in urgency, comparable to a drowning person hanging to a straw or someone seriously. injured begging for even an aspirin. We had been ransomed out of communist Romania for $10,000 and our immediate goal was to appeal to the Christians in the West to help they fellow Christians oppressed under communism. True Christian work expecting true miracles is like that and need be kept like that. Moses was sent by God to Egypt to reason with Pharaoh only having a walking stick. Eventually he came to realize he needed and obtained from God more, 10 miraculous plagues.

• When engaged with an adversary controlling country or countries the fight is unequal because:

• Those engaged in the fight on the good side are maybe one or a few, while the human resources on the other side are even countless! No one kid themselves with the “mantra” or “example” of David fighting Goliath, but imagine a fight between David and hundreds of Goliaths.

• The one fighting on the good side fails to realize the personal nature of this fight. One imagines one fights for freedom of others, for good principles, for true faith, in general naively for worthy concepts. The evil adversary in droves fights not for an ideology but for its own survival, positions they grabbed, salaries, using means that the good heroes in their naiveté would never imagine! Yes, these communist officers were fighting for their jobs.

• I did know the communists would like the Wurmbrands dead. Even when the FBI came to alert me personally that a bullet seems to have been designated for me, I only took general precautionary measures but would not have imagined my closest acquaintances, yes eating sometimes daily at my table, were a paid part of this plan for the communist bullet to arrive to kill me. One may not be ever naïve about one or many Judases.

It is not enough to have the good will and even necessary knowledge to be engaged in the fight to help victims of an oppressor without taking seriously that your own life and limb is in danger. Your family is in danger and they need be made highly aware of this. As for the kids, think of the Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac. This is not just a story. Abraham was named a man of faith not for nothing. Are you ready for what you believe to sacrifice your unwitting children? Do you have a true understanding of what means collateral damage and are willing to take the responsibility for it? At the time the communists had these deadly plans on against me, my daughter was 2 years old only. Did I think of that? No I did not!

I apologize through this writing even if late, even I cannot do better, to anyone, I or my parents met or touched and have them ended in the cross-hairs of the communist aim. They are documented by the hundreds which are  too many to name. The stories in the Bible, describe leprous persons having to shout the warning,“leper”, “leper” before approaching anyone. I should have alerted all my friends, acquaintances on what my occupation and dangers were. If engaged in a fight with such enemies, I urge you do same. I do not blame anyone , without explanations, refused to have relations with us.

From these documents I can read how countless had been contacted by the communists to work against us and preferred to just take a silent distance, rather than communicate with us. The mission used many willing Christians abroad or inside communist countries to be Bible or help other be Bible smugglers and Without us thinking many Christians in Romania used their children and thus exposed unwitting children to unimaginable dangers.

Further thoughts as to how those who have desire and means to fight such enemies of Christianity should proceed! When willing to make a sacrifice it is good to think through seriously for whatever goal you accomplish, the amount of hurt you and others are really able to bear. Once hurt, it is too late for regrets, especially when others, without any warning or inkling, are hurt around you as well.

As my father emphasized many times, the head of the serpent needs be crushed and we need not tickle its belly. Christians have to attack the head of evil. Love of money is the root of all evil. The reason the communists wanted and worked to see us dead, was described by one of the Romanian communist ambassadors in a confidential discussion, “because of Wurmbrand, Romania lost preferred-nation status with the United States, 8 years in a row.”

While many missions fight many evils with help programs, countless banks and business men support evil in the same areas through their financial interest, business as usual, like presently in Red China, Vietnam and  whole Moslem countries, etc. How can a Christian in good conscience work and draw a salary in the oil industry in Moslem countries where his fellow Christians are maimed, even killed for their faith? How can Christians while claiming to help persecuted believers in China, encourage trade with the communist Chinese?

The whole reasoning at the top of Christian missions leadership as to aims and means needs be revised. So needs be revised the good intentions of the donors questioning not only the honesty of their churches, accepting for instance evils like homosexuality but even trading with enemy.

Moses entered Egypt, a country from which he fled, to uncompromisingly reach the head, Pharaoh and demand the ultimate goal, the freeing of his people, in an uncompromising way. In contrast, during communism in Romania, too many western religious leaders of many denominations, came to Romania for tourism, entertainment, trying to woo communist leaders with personal business, etc. as described in many of these documents.

Christians in the West are not only unaware of the plight of their brethren in communist and Moslem countries, they are not only “asleep at the wheel,” but worse even, sleeping with the enemy! May this writing wake them up, and fight their most insidious enemy , the devil in all its forms!

I wish I could place this writing as a postscript in the now famous book of my father, Tortured for Christ, the manuscript of which, after coming out of communist Romania, I typed myself 4 times in 1966 on a clunky typewriter, before it appeared in English and then was translated and spread in 85 languages.

“The devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he might devour!” (1st Epistle of Apostle Peter 5:8) Please, dear fellow Christians, never underestimate your enemy!

25 year old christian man decapitated in broad day light in Somalia for his faith – Crestin decapitat in strada in Somalia

Vocea martirilor raporteaza: despre un tanar de 25 de ani l-a primit pe Hristos in 2010. Farhan Haji Mose avea un business in Somalia si mergea des in Kenya. Intr-una din vizitele lui in Kenya, Mose a intalnit niste crestini care i-au predicat evanghelia si El a crezut in Isus Hristos. Intors in Somalia, Mose a fost urmarit timp de 6 luni de zile si s-a confirmat ca el s-a convertit de la Islam la crestinism. Vineri, in orasul Barawa l-au prins si l-au tras pe Mose  in piata unde l-au acuzat de spionaj si de convertire de la Islam la crestinism si a fost decapitat pe loc, dupa care i-au desecrat corpul. Violenta este intentionata sa sperie misionarii crestini si sa-i opreasca de a mai propovadui evanghelia lui Isus Hristos cetatenilor din Somalia. Acesti teroristi care sunt extremisti Islamici au o lista de oameni care sunt raportati cu suspiciune ca ei s-ar fi convertit de la Islam la Hristos. Rugati-va pentru Somalia si pentru credinciosii de acolo care sunt intr-un astfel de pericol si care se poate ca vor avea aceiasi soarta ca si Farhan Haji Mose.

ENGLISH version

from Mission News Network and Voice of the Martyrs.

Somalia (MNN) ― As if in answer to the capture of 300 Al-Shabaab members last month in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, the attacks on civilians have gotten more extreme and more public.

The latest attack came last Friday when Islamic extremists brutally murdered a Christian in the city of Barawa, in broad daylight. Voice of the Martyrs USA spokesman Todd Nettleton explains, „In this case, it is a 25-year-old man named Farhan Haji Mose. He apparently became a Christian in 2010, out of a Muslim background.”

Nettleton goes on to say that Mose „had a business in Somalia which required him to travel to Kenya. It’s thought that he met Christians while he was in Kenya, received the Gospel, and received Christ.” Muslim extremists then tracked Mose for six months, to confirm his Christian activity before catching him and accusing him of being a spy and leaving Islam, Christian and Muslim witnesses said.

Al Shabaab members caught up with Mose in the coastal city of Barawa in Somalia. He was accused, and convicted by the impromptu „court,” while a crowd assembled to witness the sentence that comes with an apostasy conviction. Nettleton clarifies that „in the minds of a radical Islamic militant, these people are apostates. They’ve left to follow another religion. The just punishment is execution.”

Mose was summarily beheaded, and then his body was desecrated as a warning for others. „Their goal is to rid Somalia of Christianity,” notes Nettleton. The number of Christians who have been tracked down and murdered has been growing over the last couple of years. What’s more, he adds, is ominous news that the religicide isn’t held to Somalia’s borders. „We’ve heard reports that Al Shabaab literally has a list of people they are looking for who are suspected of having left Islam and being Christians.”

Nigeria: The young victims of Christian persecution

Church bombed June 25, 2012 which killed 21 people – photo http://www.guardian.co.uk 

The constant and ruthless attacks against Christians in Nigeria has left over 300 children at a Christian orphanage and school in Ogun State without one or both parents. Many of these kids witnessed unspeakable horrors and now bear emotional or physical scars. In this video, you’ll meet five of these children and see how The Voice of the Martyrs is helping provide them with education, a safe place to live, and new hope. Length 12:10 From The Voice of the Martyrs Canada Published on Nov 1, 2012

Voice of the Martyrs – video report from Nigeria

Read more – Global persecution watch page

Nigeria: Widows of martyrs Published on Sep 26, 2012 by 

In this report, you’ll meet three amazing women in Nigeria whose husbands were killed because of their faith in Jesus Christ. You will be inspired as Monica, Fatu and Esther share their stories of tragedy and relate how the Lord has given them the strength and courage to be witnesses of God’s love and forgiveness. You will also discover how Christians in Canada and other parts of the world are standing with these brave sisters in Christ!

Length 12:34 From The Voice of the Martyrs Canada

 

International Day of Prayer (IDOP) for the Persecuted November 11, 2012

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.

Hebrews 13:3  

Remember those who are imprisoned,

as if you are imprisoned with them. Call those to mind who are afflicted,

as if you are the people who wear their bodies.

via The Voice of the Martyrs’ Persecution Blog:

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2012

by Stacy L. Harp

Screen shot 2012-09-13 at 4.01.57 PMIt’s hard to believe that it’s that time of year again, but it is.  We’re two months out from observing the 2012 International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which will take place this year on November 11th.

As a way to help you get ready for the event, we have created a special webpage that has details about this years IDOP.

Please visit www.persecution.com/idop in order to get your order in early for our IDOP resource kit.  The cost of our kit is only $9 and it includes everything you need to help put on an event in your church, home or school.

also visit Open Doors website – http://www.onewiththem.com/resources-for-the-international-day-of-prayer/ for free resources, including church bulletin inserts and read some amazing stories of the faith and courage of 25 men and women (and their families) who are in the midst of persecution right now across the world- http://www.onewiththem.com/stories/

One With Them

Published on Jul 31, 2012 by 

For those who share our faith but not our freedom.

Nearly 70% of the world’s population live in areas of severe religious restriction. Many of these people are Christians.

One With Them™ is an Open Doors initiative designed to bring awareness to the reality of Christian persecution to the Western Church. Through One With Them we seek to inspire Christians in the United States to stand as ONE with those who share our faith in Christ, but who don’t share our religious freedom.

Learn more here http://www.onewiththem.com/

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).

Extreme devotion: Anutza Moise – Her Love and Advocacy Helped Birth a Ministry to the Persecuted Church

link http://www.persecutionblog.com/2012/07/her-love-and-advocacy-helped-birth-a-ministry-to-the-persecuted-church.html

After the Soviet Communists took over Romania, they hunted Germans as Nazi sympathizers. Anutza Moise decided to provide a hiding place to the very men who had hated her for being a Jew and a Christian. When she offered to help hide these men from the Communists, they couldn’t believe that her offer was genuine.

“Do you not remember that we were the very ones that sent you to prison?” one of them asked.     Her love amazed them, and many were won to Christ by her example. She, along with Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand and others, raised children whose Jewish parents had been exterminated in Nazi death camps.
Later, Anutza migrated to Norway, where she was active in a ministry to Jewish believers. In this ministry, she raised $10,000 to pay a ransom for her former pastor, Richard Wurmbrand, gaining his release from Romania. Anutza also handled the travel arrangements to get the Wurmbrands and their son, Mihai, to the West. Without Anutza’s love and advocacy on his behalf, an influential pastor and founder of The Voice of the Martyrs might have died in a Communist prison.

When God calls us to follow him and we respond, it means following him everywhere and doing whatever he asks. Because Anutza took this calling seriously, she acted with love and forgiveness toward her enemies. The task of sheltering her former oppressors must have seemed monumental, but Anutza was able to do it. She obediently chose forgiveness over bitterness and revenge, and she followed Christ’s example of love. What has God told you to do? Don’t miss the opportunity to do eternally significant work.

Bishop Florin T. Cimpean: Dr. P.P. Job was promoted to glory!

Bishop Florin Cîmpean în misiune în India cu Dr. P.P. Job si o delegatie de Romani

Dr. P. P. Job has been promoted to Glory. I was so honored to have known him for the last several years as man of God and as a true friend. Even though we got to know each other only for the last several years, there was a mysterious connection.
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Forty two years ago, Dr. Job visited Romania for the first time. He went there as a messager of  Richard Wurmbrand to visit and inquire about the underground and persecuted church. Because he was not from the West, but from India, he was allowed to enter one of the most draconically controlled countries. It was the year I was born in Romania. Later on, when the communist regime fell in 1989 and Richard Wurmbrand visited Romania for the first time after he was expelled from the country, I was the first one to interview him for the Word of Truth magazine.

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When I met Dr. Job for the first time in Chicago, we connected instantly, both standing in the shadow of a great faith giant (Wurmbrand). He became like a father to me and myself as a son, being the about the same age as his older son. As he was adopted by Wurmbrand, he adopted me spiritually. Dr. Job was a disciple of Wurmbrand and he was raised to stand for the underground and persecuted church around the world. Even when the Voice of the Martyrs was in some way taken away from him, he remained the Voice that crys out in the wilderness of the persecuted church, of the oppressed and abandoned, a voice that no one and nothing could silence.
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Dr. P.P. Job was a hero for Christians around the world, a model of leadership, a preacher with spirit-charisma, a man of integrity that stood for justice. He was a titan of faith, yet a very humble and a modest man. Like a tree planted on the river shore, he was fruitful and countless crowds benefitted from his gifts. The storms came over his life. He lost his sons, but he never lost the SON. He was sometimes almost crushed, but never defeated. He was a voice for the voiceless and he was a force for the powerless and a provider for the hungry. He travelled across the world to represent those could not represent themselves. He was selflessly giving himself to others.
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When he was staying at our house in Chicago, I often had the strange feeling that I am hosting an angel. Now I could testify that he was a messenger of God for a world in crisis.
Bishop Florin Cimpean marching at
the Rally for Indian Abolition of Girl/Child Discrimination
Dr. P. P. Job stood for life, for the persecuted church, for orphans, for the oppressed, for the helpless, for the gospel and ultimately for Christ. Now Christ stands for Him. The heaven is welcoming home a human being that belongs to a better world, God’s world. Welcome home, Saint. I lost a father, a friend, a partner. The heaven gained a Saint.
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He was long due for a promotion. Dr. P. P. Job was promoted to Glory!
Bishop Florin T. Cimpean
Chicago

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

How things work in a non democratic country – Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani’s lawyer arrested

Also Read –

Arab man declared insane, sent to mental hospital for faith in Christ

Pray for the persecuted church:

  • Hebrews 13:3 Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.
  • Matthew 5:10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
  • 2 Corinthians 4:7-12 – “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.”
  • 1 Peter 4:12-16  Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.

Full story: http://www.MNNonline.org/article/17168

Iran (MNN/ACLJ) ― Another obstacle has been handed to imprisoned Iranian pastor Youcef Nardarkhani. According to reports, the Iranian government has acted against his attorney in the case.

Todd Nettleton with The Voice of the Martyrs explains. „His attorney, Mohammad Ali Dadkhah, has now been sentenced to nine years in an Iranian jail for apparently representing people like Pastor Youcef – people whose human rights have been violated.”

American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has been working to secure the release of Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, called Iran’s decision to imprison Dadkhah „very troubling” – a move that puts the Christian pastor in greater danger.

In 2009, Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani, a leader in the Full Gospel „Church of Iran” network, was arrested and imprisoned after protesting a decision by the government requiring that his son study the Qur’an.
He was charged with apostasy, which carries a death sentence under the revised penal code. However, the court now says Nardarkhani is being executed for the trumped-up charges of rape and extortion,charges not mentioned during the original court proceedings.

Nettleton says this is bad news for Nardarkhani and other jailed Christians. „[Pastor Youcef] is going to have a hard time finding another attorney. When the government is locking up people who are representing him, you can imagine that any lawyer would think twice about taking his case.”

While Nettleton is urging Christians to contact the Iranian embassy to complain about this, he says Iran doesn’t listen – „particularly to Americans. Sometimes in cases dealing with Iran, our Canadian friends or sometimes our European friends can have a much stronger voice because Iran HAS relationships with their governments.”

Despite the crackdown on Christians, the church is growing. „The Islamic government–which is run by the Mullahs–see the growth of the church. They see thousands of people leaving Islam to follow Jesus Christ, and they don’t know how to respond; so their first thought is, ‘Hey, let’s lock up all these people.'”

Nettleton is urging you to pray that not only Nardarkhani will be released, but also his attorney. He’s also asking you to support the work of The Voice of the Martrys. The ministry is coming alongside Christian families with relatives who are imprisoned for their faith.

Final order signed for Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani’s Execution – Urgent Prayer is needed!

After many lies from the Iranian government sources in the past year, about the danger Pastor Youcef faces for the crime of apostasy- that is the crime you are guilty of for becoming a Christian in Iran-  Mission News Network reports that his execution order has been signed and he now awaits execution at any moment. Pray for Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani and his family, that God gives and strengthens their faith, as this is the biggest trial a man or woman could face. Here is the article in its entirety from Mission News Network:

Iranian pastor’s execution could come at any time

Posted: 23 February, 2012

Iran (MNN) ― Sources in Iran say an execution order for Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani has been signed.

According to Present Truth Ministries (closely connected with Nadarkhani), this is grim news. Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for Voice of the Martyrs USA, confirms the news.  „Apparently, that execution order has not been delivered to his family or his attorneys, but the report is that it has been signed. That means that at any time, he could be executed.”

Often the government will execute people without any prior notice to attorneys or family. It’s also unclear whether it has been approved by the Ayatollah who is the head of the Judiciary Sadegh Larijani.

Nadarkhani was born to a Muslim family and admits that he was introduced to the teachings of Islam, but he claims he never accepted the faith. That was the basis of his appeal to the High Court on the apostasy verdict.

Nettleton explains, „His reply to that is: ‘Well no. I wasn’t a practicing Muslim.’ This execution order being signed says that the court has not approved that logic. They are saying: ‘Yes in fact, you were a Muslim. Because you’re a Christian now, you’re an apostate, and you’ll be executed for that apostasy.'”

Pastor Youcef has refused to recant his faith during the three years he’s been separated from his wife and two sons. His conviction and sentence has been delayed due to international pressure, according to other reports from Present Truth Ministries.

Meanwhile, on February 17, Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA) introduced a resolution denouncing Iran for its leaders’ ruling of apostasy against Youcef Nadarkhani and calling for his immediate release. So far, it has the support of seven other members. Nearly 90 members of Congress previously signed a letter supporting Nadarkhani.

When asked if international pressure would be enough to intervene again, Nettleton responded, „The most important thing we can do is to pray. There are petitions you can sign. We have Pastor Youcef on PrisonerAlert.com. They can also send e-mails to Iranian authorities asking that he not be executed.”

Given the application of the apostasy law, one would think it would have a severe „chilling effect” on evangelism. Quite the opposite, says Nettleton. The Arab Spring and Iran’s Revolution played a big role in that.

Ruthless government oppression of the protestors shook many Muslims’ faith. To them, the government is the mullah, and the mullah is the government. That means, Nettleton goes on to say, that „when there is disappointment with the government or frustration with the government, it translates in people’s minds to disappointment and frustration with Islam.”

People are looking for an anchored Truth, „so there’s hunger for the Gospel. There’s an openness for the Gospel. And the Church is growing at a rate that is really mind-boggling.”

Ask the Lord to uphold and sustain Youcef, his wife, and their two children. Pray that this family may soon be reunited. Pray for Youcef’s legal team and all those in authority connected with this case.

Pray that the Body of Christ will continue to multiply and mature despite persecution.

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