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Persecuted Christians - 7

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  • Persecuted Christians - 7

    1 - Christians in North Korea

    Everyday life remains harsh for millions. For the fifth year in a row, this is the world's most difficult country in which to be a Christian. More were arrested in 2006 than in 2005. Now between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are suffering in prison camps, many undergoing torture, some facing death. Some take enormous risks to flee to China. If successful, they may be returned by China tao face prison camps and worse. But some have become Christians in China.

    population 23.1 million (2% Christian)

  • #2
    VOM News and Prayer Update: April 1, 2008

    "We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;" (1 Corinthians 4:12)


    North Korean Students Arrested for Reading the Bible - Free North Korea Broadcasting

    Ten college students in Ham Kyung Book Do Chung, North Korea, were recently investigated and arrested for reading a Bible and watching a video CD about the Bible. According to Free North Korea Broadcasting, Mr. Jung, former vice president of GumRung Company of the Rodong Dang Labor Organization Department, reported the case and has since escaped to China to avoid arrest by the National Security Agency (Bowiboo). "In March 2006, 200 Life Bibles and several hundred CDs were purchased in China and secretly placed in flour bags before being smuggled into North Korea. This huge Bible smuggling case was headed by GumRung Company employees who were influenced by Christianity in China and underground Christians in Nasun City. All the leaders have been arrested and are being severely tortured. If I am caught, I will be sent to a prison camp for political criminals. I didn't want to die in prison camp, so I escaped," Mr. Jung said. In the Free North Korea Broadcasting report, Mr. Jung added that most of the arrested students attended Chung Jin College. "These students shared the Bible and video CD with their friends. They also distributed the Bibles and video CDs to the other college towns," he said. Pray God encourages and protects believers in North Korea. Ask God to give them courage and for them to love their persecutors. Psalm 107:2


    UPDATE: Arrested Pastors Taken Back to Their Province - VOM Sources

    On March 27, The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in Laos reported that eight pastors arrested when entering Thailand to attend meetings had been picked up by police from their province and escorted back home to Laos. "The police from their province have taken them back to their province and put them back in prison again. We do not know how long they will be in prison," VOM sources said. Pray for protection and courage for these pastors and their families. Pray they will love and forgive their persecutors. Joshua 1:9


    Nuns Attacked, New Anti-Conversion Bill Passed - VOM Sources

    • MAHARASHTRA - On March 23, Sister Mercy Tuscano and Sister Philomena D'Mello were attacked by more than 49 Hindu extremists in Alibaug, Maharashtra, for allegedly converting tribal groups to Christianity. The nuns were injured in the attack, which included women who are followers of a spiritual leader in the area. Both nuns were treated in the hospital and have since been released. They are members of a non-governmental organization that extends humanitarian services such as AIDS awareness to tribal groups in the region. Pray for the recovery of the two nuns from their injuries. Ask the Lord to strengthen Indian Christians to continue serving the Lord despite facing pressure for their faith.
    • RAJASTHAN - On March 20, the governing Bharatiya Janata Party in Rajasthan state passed a new "anti-conversion" bill that has stricter provisions than the previous bills passed in 2006. The new bill states that a society or trust found to be "contemplating" the use of money for converting people can have its registration canceled. Christians fear that this stipulation will provide the pretext for numerous complaints against Christian organizations. The bill also dictates that any person who intends to convert must send a notice to the government at least 30 days in advance or face a fine of up to 1,000 rupees (US $25). Isaiah 54:17


    Pastor's Son Injured in Bombing - VOM Sources

    On March 20, Amiel Ortiz, the teenage son of Messianic pastor David Ortiz, was seriously injured when a bomb delivered to the family's home in the Jewish settlement town of Ariel went off in his hands. The explosive was reportedly delivered in one of the gift baskets Jews exchange on the Purim holiday. At last report, Amiel was in serious condition, unconscious and breathing through a respirator. Local Christians suspect the Ortiz family was targeted by militants angered by the family's evangelistic work. Christians in the region face frequent opposition from authorities, Orthodox Jews and Muslims for their efforts to share Christ. Pray for healing for Amiel. Ask God to give comfort and protection to the Ortiz family as they serve Him. Pray that their passion for Christ will be the light that draws others to Jesus. Romans 8: 11
    Galatians 2:20-It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.


    • #3
      Thank you Adam.

      2 - Christians in Saudi Arabia

      Under the kingdom's strict interpretation of Islamic law, apostasy (conversion to another religion) is punishable by death. Public non-Muslim worship is prohibited. Christians here are expatriate workers. In 2006 four East African Christians were arrested when meeting for worship. they were detained for over a month in tortuous conditions, allegedly for "preaching to Muslims, planting churches and gathering ladies and gentlemen together for prayer" and then deported.

      Population 27 million (5% Christian)


      • #4
        3 - Christians in Iran
        Presidant Ahmadiinejad's regime and the possibility of nuclear weapons attracts global attention. Shariah law is implemented and although Christians belong to a recognised religious minority guaranteed religious freedom, they have reported imprisonment, harassment and discrimination because of their faith. Some Muslim converts to Christianity have been arrested and held in custody for several weeks, then forced to pay large sums in bail.

        Population 69 million ( 0.3% Christian)


        • #5
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          Last edited by Frances; Apr 3rd 2008, 03:54 PM. Reason: clicked twice by accident


          • #6
            4 - Christians in Somalia
            Plagued by political instability, if not anarchy, there is no constitutional or legal protection of religious freedom in Somalia. Islam is the official religion, and social pressure is strong to respect Islamic tradition, especially in some rural areas. At least 6 Christians were killed for their faith in 2006. Most had Islamic backgrounds and were killed after this was revealed. An Italian nun was killed, possibly because of the Pope's comments about Islam.

            Population 8.8 million (few Christians)



            • #7
              5 - Christians in Maldives
              This multitude of tiny islands is one of the least evangelised countries on earth. All citizens must be Muslim. Sharia law is observed. Islam is considered to be an important tool in stimulating national unity and maintenance of the government's power. Conversion from Islam is prohibited. Converts can lose citizenship. No churches can be opened, though foreigners are allowed to practice their religion in private as long as they do not encourage citizen's to participate.

              Population 359,000 (few Christians)



              • #8
                6 - Christians in Yemen
                The constitution guarantees freedom of religion but also declares that Islam is the state religion and that shariah is the source of all legislation. The government allows expatriates some freedom to live out their faith, but Yemeni citizens are not allowed to convert from Islam. Converts from an Islamic background may face the death penalty if they are discovered. Last year several Christian converts were arrested and physically harmed because of their faith.

                Population 22 million (few Christians)


                • #9
                  7 - Christians in Bhutan
                  Officially, the Christian faith does not exist and Christians are not allowed to pray or celebrate in public. Even house gatherings involving several families are forbidden by the government. Religious workers are denied visas to enter Bhutan and the import of printed religious matter is restricted, with only Buddhist texts allowed in. Society exerts strong pressure to comply with Buddhist norms. Harassment and pressure by Buddhist zealots occur in certain areas.

                  Population 2.3 million (0.5% Christian)



                  • #10
                    8 - Christians in Vietnam
                    The government is keen to paint a positive picture of human rights and religious freedom. In practice a system of registration is used to keep religious groups under strict control. In the Central Highlands evangelical Christianity has been seen as linked to independence movements: a government document indicates their aim is to "manage, limit and reverse the growth" of the Church in this region. Reports are that arbitrary arrests, harassment and fines continue.

                    Population 84.4 million (8% Christian)



                    • #11
                      VOM News and Prayer Update: April 8, 2008

                      "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?" (Romans 8:36)


                      Church Dissolved for Having a Sunday School - Forum 18 News Service

                      On March 24, a United Methodist congregation in Smolensk, Russia, was dissolved by the regional court in response to a suit filed by the Regional Public Prosecutor's Office protesting the church having a Sunday school program. According to Forum 18 News, the court agreed with the Regional Organized Crime Police's assertion that the Smolensk United Methodist Church was breaking the law by conducting "educational activity in a Sunday school without a corresponding license." While the court's decision to dissolve the church means loss of legal status rather than a complete ban, it does bar the Methodists from maintaining or developing any form of public profile as an organization. Pray that the religious rights of this church will be recognized and restored. Pray that the congregation will rejoice in the opportunity to grow in Christ likeness through the opposition they face. James 1:2-4


                      House Church Leaders Detained; Female Leaders Remain in Jail - China Aid Association

                      On March 29, seven house church leaders were arrested in Qu county, Sichuan province, during a house church praise and worship service. According to China Aid Association (CAA), "Seven believers were taken by a group who claimed to be from the local religious affairs bureau, community administration and national security. Two believers were released after interrogation, one was released the following day and three female house church leaders remain in the detention center. " Meanwhile, on March 30, nine female house church leaders and four children were arrested by police officials after a Sunday school service in Sichuan province. CAA reported, "All the children and two elderly believers were released after interrogations, but seven female house church leaders are still in the detention center, and one is missing." According to copies of the criminal detention notice issued to the family members of some of those arrested, the house church leaders were being "suspected of using [an] evil cult to obstruct the enforcement of the law." These arrests are the latest in the Chinese communist governmentís crackdown on Christians prior to the Olympics this summer. The Voice of the Martyrs stands with believers in China despite the governmentís attempt to harass and intimidate them. VOM encourages you to pray for these arrested believers and their families. Ask God to comfort and encourage them. Also, pray their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Him. Deuteronomy 33: 26-27


                      New Testament Distribution by Gideons Stopped by Hindu Radicals - VOM Sources

                      On April 6, Hindu extremists stopped a Gideon International New Testament distribution in Bhubaneswar in Orissa State. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, "New Testaments were being given to college students that were leaving the Examination Center at the Central School. These students had just completed their medical school entrance examinations. Realizing the New Testaments were being given openly to the students, local Hindus demanded the group stop the distribution." VOM contacts added, "When the members of Gideons ignored these requests, more Hindus began to intervene. After distributing 390 New Testaments, the mob became irate and began to manhandle the Gideons, demanding they leave. They were forced to pack up the New Testaments and leave immediately. As they were packing up, the mob was able to take 10 New Testaments and set fire to them in the street. A few members of Gideons sustained minor injuries." Please pray the students that have received the New Testaments would put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, pray for those injured in this attack and for God's Word to go forth without disturbance in this area of India. Isaiah 54:14
                      Galatians 2:20-It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.


                      • #12
                        Thank you Adam

                        9 - Christians in Laos
                        A desperately poor communist state, the constitution provides for religious freedom, but local officials can interpret and implement this as they choose. The regime limits which churches are open and regularly closes churches, especially in the countryside. Believers are watched closely. But there are signs of improvement: last year persecution was less brutal than before. Ten Christians are still in prison for their faith.

                        Population 6.4 million (2% Christian)



                        • #13
                          10 - Christians in Afghanistan.

                          As fighting with the Taliban continues, large areas are outside government control. There are no churches, few Christians and open evangelism is effectively illegal. The new constitution guarantees freedom of religion but prohibits laws "contrary to the beliefs and provisions of Islam" Abdul Rahman was spared execution for apostasy, ruled mentally unfit to stand trial. His case sparked the arrest and further harassment of other Afghan Christians.

                          Population 31 million (few Christians)



                          • #14
                            11 - Christians in Uzbekistan.
                            Since the government suppressed the Andijun uprising in 2005, relations with western countries have deteriorated. Christians are seen as followers of a Western religion or members of an extremist sect. Television portrays Christians very negatively, bringing them more pressure. In 2006 many expatriate Christian workers were deported. A new law now punishes the printing of religious books with three years in prison.

                            Population 27.3 million (1% Christian.)



                            • #15
                              11 - Christians in Uzbekistan.

                              Since the government suppressed the Andijun uprising in 2005, relations with western countries have deteriorated. Christians are seen as followers of a Western religion or members of an extremist sect. Television portrays Christians very negatively, bringing them more pressure. In 2006 many expatriate Christian workers were deported. A new law now punishes the printing of religious books with three years in prison.

                              Population 27.3 million (1% Christian.)