News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily Hebrews 13:3 (CSB)

Acordaos de los presos, como si estuvierais presos juntamente con ellos; y de los maltratados, como que también vosotros mismos estáis en el cuerpo RVR 1960


International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians

This year’s International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (IDOP), Sunday, Nov. 1, is fast approaching. Be among the first to watch The Voice of the Martyrs’ new IDOP video, Janette: Central African Republic.

Free IDOP Resources


The Voice of the Martyrs

Front-line workers in Vietnam

They Go Where We Can’t

Bao and Chi, a husband-and-wife team, work on the front lines of Christian ministry in Vietnam, training and discipling believers from 10 different tribes.

Authorities have arrested them numerous times, trying to end their ministry work in Vietnam’s rural areas. But each time they are released from jail, Bao and Chi get on their motorbikes and return to their work.

Bao and Chi are two of the more than 40,000 front-line workers The Voice of the Martyrs serves as they risk everything to share the gospel. We invite you to help equip these workers with the tools they need to advance God’s kingdom in restricted nations and hostile areas.

Support Front-Line Workers Today

Men driving motorbikes

Your support for those advancing God’s kingdom on the world’s most difficult and dangerous mission fields equips faithful workers with tools like these:

  • motorbikes that help evangelists increase their ministry outreach from one or two villages to 10 or more
  • outreach tools like DVDs, digital memory cards and solar-powered projectors to help Christian workers reach more people with the gospel in hostile areas and restricted nations
  • Retreats for pastors that provide training and encouragement as well as fellowship with others risking their lives to spread the gospel

When pastors, evangelists and other front-line workers receive these ministry tools, they are reminded that they are part of God’s global family and that they are not serving alone.

For Stories on the Persecuted Church Please Go to: icommitTOPRAY 


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Chinese Communist Party rewrites Gospel story to depict Jesus Christ as “killer and sinner

China’s extreme surveillance, forced sterilization of non-atheists in camps “much worse” than Soviet gulags

Chinese Christian leader calls for prayer as surveillance pressure on Christians escalates

Indian Christians in “fear and shock” after extremists warn leave faith or die

Indian Christians beaten, humiliated, forced to chant Hindu affirmation in Jharkhand

Indian government freezes bank accounts forcing human rights charity to halt work

Pakistani Christian acquitted of “blasphemy” after six years on death row

Indonesia’s ban on Bible app contradicts religious tolerance philosophy of Pancasila

Prayer Focus Update October 2020

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily Hebrews 13:3 (CSB)

Acordaos de los presos, como si estuvierais presos juntamente con ellos; y de los maltratados, como que también vosotros mismos estáis en el cuerpo RVR 1960


 Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Pakistani Christian couple’s appeal hearing against “blasphemy” death sentences rescheduled for 24 September

Eritrean government releases on bail 69 Christians imprisoned for their faith

Russia’s new draft law barring pastors trained overseas from preaching deals “powerful blow” to religious freedom

Indonesia’s ban on Bible app contradicts religious tolerance philosophy of Pancasila

Wounded Nigerian pastor shot dead in cold blood while raising alarm of Fulani militant attack

AND MORE…


The Voice of the Martyrs

Burnt out truck; woman carrying items on her head

Thousands Displaced in Mozambique

Elisa arrived home just in time to see Islamists murder her father and her husband, who was a pastor. Her uncle had already been beheaded. Grief-stricken and fearing for their lives, Elisa and 18 members of her family headed south, joining more than 200,000 others fleeing the Islamists’ advance.

Though Islamic insurgents have been active in northern Mozambique for the past three years, this year the group — which has pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) — has launched repeated, devastating attacks. The thousands displaced by these attacks have fled to other parts of the country where conditions are crowded and resources are stretched. Front-line workers have reported the burning and destruction of churches, schools, clinics and police stations. As Christian workers provide comfort and food to the displaced, they are also offering Bibles (supplied by VOM), giving hurting people the hope of Jesus Christ.

VOM workers are evaluating the best ways to help persecuted Christians in Mozambique. Pray for Christians delivering aid and help, as well as for an end to the ongoing violence. Pray also that many enduring this trauma will gain hope and eternal life through faith in Christ.

For Stories on the Persecuted Church Please Go to: icommitTOPRAY 

 


International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians

This year’s International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (IDOP), Sunday, Nov. 1, is fast approaching. Be among the first to watch The Voice of the Martyrs’ new IDOP video, Janette: Central African Republic.

Free IDOP Resources

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily Hebrews 13:3 (CSB)

Acordaos de los presos, como si estuvierais presos juntamente con ellos; y de los maltratados, como que también vosotros mismos estáis en el cuerpo RVR 1960


The Voice of the Martyrs

Susan’s Costly Choice

Susan Ithungu

When Susan Ithungu placed her trust in Christ at age 13, her father was so furious that he beat her and locked her in a room for six months. If her brother hadn’t secretly given her food and water, she would have died. Eventually, neighbors became concerned and told police, who rescued her from the home.

Susan was unable to walk or talk. “Her hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked very slim, less than 45 pounds,” said a local pastor who visited her in the hospital after her rescue.

Susan required extensive medical care and repeated surgeries. VOM provided help with hospital expenses as well as living expenses for her and her caretaker. After recuperating, Susan began to attend school at one of the few institutions equipped for her special needs, and VOM helped make necessary adaptations to her room.

The six months Susan spent locked away left her with long-term medical needs. And VOM has continued to stand with Susan and help provide the care she needs. According to her doctor, Susan will have her last surgery when she turns 21.

Now 20 years old, Susan places her hope firmly in Christ and is grateful for the help she has received from the global body of Christ:

“My life has been a challenge to me since I accepted Christ in my life. It has given me so many lessons about Christianity. With all I have gone through, nothing can take me away from Christ. Through pain and moments in hospital, I have seen the love of God through the caring people like you who have prayed for me, supported me financially and offered time to be with me.”
For Stories on the Persecuted Church Please Go to: icommitTOPRAY 
International Day of Prayer for persecuted Christians
This year’s International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (IDOP), Sunday, Nov. 1, is fast approaching. Be among the first to watch The Voice of the Martyrs’ new IDOP video, Janette: Central African Republic.
Free IDOP Resources

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Remember those in prison, as though you were in prison with them, and the mistreated, as though you yourselves were suffering bodily Hebrews 13:3 (CSB)

Acordaos de los presos, como si estuvierais presos juntamente con ellos; y de los maltratados, como que también vosotros mismos estáis en el cuerpo RVR 1960

 


 

BreakPoint Daily

Break the Silence, Stop the Slaughter in Nigeria


 

The Voice of the Martyrs

A Prayer for Our Indian Brothers and Sisters 

When we don’t know what to pray, the Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26–27). But we also have God’s Word to help guide us in prayer. Using Scripture as a guide, join us in prayer for our Christian brothers and sisters in India, who are increasingly targeted by Hindu nationalists.

Join us in asking God

  • to provide shelter, food, education, opportunities to fellowship, places to worship and a daily wage (Philippians 4:19)
  • heal the divisions between friends, neighbors and brothers that still fester from the 2008 riots in Kandhamal (James 3:16–17)
  • provide for widows and orphans, and help them know Jesus’ comforting presence; meet them in their loneliness through His Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:3–4)
  • strengthen the faith of those who have given up or wandered away; provide Bibles, good teaching and sound leaders for those who are searching (Hebrews 13:9)
  • restore family relationships weakened by distance and time (Romans 15:13)
  • create a longing in the hearts of many in the region to know the transformative power of God’s Son, Jesus Christ (Romans 8:19)
  • rekindle the desire for worship and prayer in the lives of Christians there (Psalm 107)
  • remind our brothers and sisters of their value in His eyes, despite what society tells them (Hebrews 12:2)
  • turn what the enemy intends for evil into good for God’s glory (Genesis 50:20)
For Stories on the Persecuted Church Please Go to: icommitTOPRAY 

 

Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories and more can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Jihadi militants take 100s hostage in north-east Nigeria raid on Christian community

Pastor and wife flee Iran after final appeal against 15-year combined prison sentence fails

Erdogan orders second historic Turkish Christian church building to be turned into a mosque

Nigerian Christians say “our lives matter” in protest against Fulani militant killings outside London High Commission

 

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

The Voice of the Martyrs

The following stories can regularly be found updated at : iCommitToPary.com on the VOM website:

Islamist Attacks Continue

Turkish Attacks Displace Christians in Kurdistan

New Believer Disinherited by Family

Twelve Arrested in Coordinated Raids

More than 600 Christians Now Imprisoned in Eritrea

Load More Prayers


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories can regularly be found updated atbarnabusfund.org/news

Angry scenes in Punjab after Pakistani Christian man arrested for “blasphemy”

Pakistani court returns kidnapped Christian girl, 14, to Muslim man who forced her into marriage

Ex-senior banker claims Nigerian government “unwilling and unable” to protect Christian farming communities

Landslide victory of Buddhist nationalists in Sri Lanka opens door for anti-conversion bill


BreakPoint Daily

Today’s BreakPoint: The Ongoing and Intensifying Persecution of Christians in India

 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Pray for the Persecuted Church


The Voice of the Martyrs

The following stories can regularly be found updated at : iCommitToPary.com on the VOM website:

Twelve Arrested in Coordinated Raids

More than 600 Christians Now Imprisoned in Eritrea

Officials Target Xingguang Church in Fujian

The Lord Jesus Has Chosen You

Displaced Families Temporarily Hosted by Local Christians


Barnabas Fund

Christian Newsline

News updates on the persecuted Church

The following stories can regularly be found updated at : barnabusfund.org/news

Out of the mountain of despair: Christian lives matter in northern Nigeria 

At least 121 Christians dead in spate of savage Fulani militant attacks in Nigeria

Nigerian Christians ask for prayers after 38 killed in five attacks in a week

Six hostage children among 32 killed after gunmen storm cathedral in South Sudan

At least 18 murdered as they slept in Boko Haram stealth raid on Christian community in Cameroon

Indian Hindu extremists murder Christian mother protecting daughter from sexual assault


 

News from the PERSECUTED CHURCH

Barnabas Fund

News updates on the persecuted Church


Sudanese Christians rejoice at the abolition of the Islamic apostasy law

Christian leaders urge reversal on decision to turn Turkey’s Hagia Sophia cathedral into a mosque

Indian pastor and Christian families terrorized by radical Hindutva mobs in Uttar Pradesh

Chinese authorities demolish two state-registered churches in Henan province within days

Thirteen Iranian Christians arrested by Revolutionary Guards in raids across three cities

Indian church leaders call for government action after Christian father and son tortured to death in police custody

Nigerian church leader demands urgent action to halt relentless Boko Haram killings, abductions and rapes

Thousands of Chin Christians go hungry as Myanmar Army blockades cut food supplies

Three married couples among seven Iranian converts sentenced for “propaganda against state”

Hindu spiritual leader demands all non-Muslims in India identify as Hindus


Pray for the persecuted Church

 

Christians in India Face More than COVID-19

BreakPoint Daily

Christians in India Face More than COVID-19

thumbnail_india

JOHN STONESTREET  WITH ROBERTO RIVERA

Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul, referring to how its people resisted top-down rule, famously called India the land of a “million mutinies.” Apparently for many of the 1.3 billion people there, laws were thought of as suggestions, and obedience as negotiable.

The era of COVID-19 seems to be an exception. The New York Times recently reported, that Indians aren’t just “dutifully following” Prime Minister Modi’s lockdown order, but are “going above and beyond it.” The sudden outbreak of rule-following means that for many Christians, there is a break from the persecution that has escalated since Prime Minister Modi took power in 2014.

Religious freedom shouldn’t be as precarious in India as it has proven to be. While the Preamble to their Constitution declares India a “secular state,” this doesn’t imply the elimination of religion from the public square or even the non-involvement of government in religious matters. The “secularism” decreed by India’s law is that no religion can enjoy privileged status over others, which in a country that is 80 percent Hindu, guarantees religious freedom and tolerance.

For the first five decades after independence, it worked for India. Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, and other minorities played major roles in Indian society. Prime Minster Modi’s predecessor, in fact, was a Sikh. Five presidents of India have been Muslims. Indian Christians have been instrumental in creating the country’s space program and have served with distinction in the Armed Forces.

During the late 1980s, however, Hindu nationalism, known as Hindutva, made a comeback. Hindutva rejects religious pluralism, aiming instead for India to become a Hindu state. In the view of Hindutva’s founder, a non-Hindu in India should be considered “at best a guest, and at worst the bastard child of foreign invasion.

The political manifestation of Hindutva is the BJP, which is the party of Prime Minister Modi. The BJP has shock troops, known as the RSS, a “paramilitary volunteer organization” with an estimated 5 million members. The primary targets of Hindu nationalists, so far, have been India’s 200 million Muslims. Thousands have been killed, including dozens that were murdered just a few weeks ago in Delhi by mobs that were egged on by both the BJP and RSS leaders.

Christians are also considered “bastard children of foreign invasions” and targeted by Hindu nationalists. In fact, the single deadliest modern attack on Christians took place, not somewhere in the Middle East, but in the Indian state of Orissa. In 2008, an anti-Christian pogrom there killed more than 500 people and caused another 12 thousand to flee their homes. In 2017 and 2018, nearly 900 instances of violence against Christians and churches were reported in India.

At the same time, Christian activities have been targeted and limited. At least six states now have laws making conversion to Christianity (or Islam) from Hinduism either difficult or impossible. Similar laws make it difficult for Christian nonprofits to operate within India. In 2017, Compassion International was forced to close its operations there.

That such laws primarily hurt children, nearly 40 percent of whom are malnourished, doesn’t matter to Hindu nationalists. All that matters to them is building India into a Hindu state.

The growth of this ideology in both numbers and power are why, under the BJP, India has skyrocketed into the top ten of Open Door’s World Watch List. In other words, India has now joined religious persecutors such as North Korea and Iran, and even rank ahead of China and Saudi Arabia.

Since people who cannot leave their homes also cannot victimize their Christian neighbors, at least not as easily, Christians are the unlikely beneficiaries of COVID-19 lockdowns. At the same time, as we’ve seen already in China and other nations, governments like Modi’s rarely miss opportunities like this one to advance their agendas. And, of course, the lockdowns across India will eventually lift, and then attacks there will likely resume.

So, let’s keep our brothers and sisters in India, as well as the vulnerable members of other religious minority populations, in our prayers. They need it.

They also need us to pay attention, and then to advocate on their behalf with our leaders. The decline of religious freedom in one of the most populous nations in the world is something we must not ignore.

Resources:

Religious freedom watchdog pitches adding India to blacklist

Elana Schor | AP News | April 28, 2020

The Scourge of Sex-Selection Abortion in India

John Stonestreet | BreakPoint | July 30, 2019

Today in Church History

Yield or Suffer Said Diocletian

Yield or Suffer Said Diocletian

Who was Emperor Diocletian?

Diocletian, born Diocles, was a Roman emperor from 284 to 305. Born to a family of low status in Dalmatia, Diocletian rose through the ranks of the military to become Roman cavalry commander to Emperor Carus. After the deaths of Carus and his son Numerian on campaign in Persia, Diocletian was proclaimed emperor. The title was also claimed by Carus’ other surviving son, Carinus, but Diocletian defeated him in the Battle of the Margus. Diocletian’s reign stabilized the empire and marks the end of the Crisis of the Third Century. He appointed fellow officer Maximian as Augustus, co-emperor, in 286. Diocletian reigned in the Eastern Empire, and Maximian reigned in the Western Empire.

statue of Diocletian
Statue of Diocletian
Roman Reform

As Barbarians menaced the Roman empire, Emperor Diocletian instituted a number of reforms aimed at saving the sprawling political entity. He reorganized the provinces and made the army more mobile while increasing its size. To battle inflation, he issued a new coinage, established a uniform system of taxation and implemented wage-price controls.

Christian Persecution

Recognizing that the empire was too large for a single man to rule, he divided it into four administrative units. In doing this he raised to power a man who did Christians much harm. This man, Galerius, instigated by his mother (a die-hard pagan) prodded the Emperor to persecute the Christians. With their new customs, Christians were a threat to imperial unity, he said; and their vast, well-knit organization was the largest non-governmental body ever seen. Surely they could not be trusted: their loyalty was to King Jesus rather than to Caesar. Diocletian, who for eighteen years had never lifted a finger against the faith, followed this wicked advice. The crackdown began on this day, February 23, 303.

The persecutors dragged off church leaders and tortured them to death, employing the rack, the scourge, slow fires, crucifixion, and many other barbarities against them. They burned Christian books and scriptures. Many Christians died deaths of great courage. Theodotus, for example, after terrible tortures said as he was being led back to prison, “It is but just that Christians should suffer for Him who suffered for us all.”

Divine Resilience 

Timothy, a deacon in Mauritania, allowed his eyes to be put out with red-hot irons rather than reveal the hiding place of scriptures. His wife of just three weeks was then brought in and she attempted to persuade him to recant for love of her. He refused. Growing stouthearted, she joined him. After horrendous torture, both were crucified.

In the end, it was the church which won the showdown. All the powers of Rome could not crush its allegiance to Christ. Even Galerius eventually left off the persecution. In 311, the dying emperor issued an edict of toleration. Christians had outlasted the might of the empire. Their resistance to arbitrary power was instrumental in winning the right to follow their Christian faith.