Persecution Friday – Bounchan: Imprisoned for Christ

August 17, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Khmu Christian Bounchan Kanthavong spent 13 years and eight months in prison in Laos for his faith. He was released earlier this year. Before he came to faith in Christ, Bounchan was an assistant district governor for the communists.

In 1965, Bounchan had been a soldier in Laos. He eventually became the assistant of an important official. He first encountered Christians when he was sent to study politics in Tha Gnong in 1975. At the time, he didn’t pay much attention, but later as assistant district governor, he visited villages where there were Christians. He was intrigued by their worship, but these Christians were afraid of him because of his government position. Continue Reading Persecution Friday – Bounchan: Imprisoned for Christ…

Persecution Friday – Pakistan: Yousaf Acquitted

August 10, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Dildar Yousaf, the Pakistani Christian arrested and charged with blasphemy for saving his 8-year-old nephew from Muslim attackers, was acquitted March 26 after prosecutors failed to produce any evidence against him.

“I was produced in court three times during the case proceedings, but not one accuser ever turned up at the hearings,” Yousaf told Compass Direct News. “You cannot imagine my joy when the prison officials told me that I had been acquitted by the court.” Continue Reading Persecution Friday – Pakistan: Yousaf Acquitted…

Persecution Friday – Pakistan: VOM Helps Family

August 3, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

The Voice of the Martyrs recently helped a Christian couple in Pakistan facing financial difficulty and threats from their Muslim family. “Aasim” and his wife, “Saba,” have had a hard life. In 2009, Aasim broke both legs and his right arm in an accident, leaving him unable to work. His wife worked to support their family.

They have had to move three times to avoid Saba’s Muslim family, who have been looking for them with the intent to kill them. Even so, the couple trusted that God would provide for them. A VOM worker eventually came into contact with Aasim and Saba and helped them move to a shelter near Lahore. Continue Reading Persecution Friday – Pakistan: VOM Helps Family…

Persecution Friday – Turkey: Five Years Later

July 27, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Today is the five-year anniversary of the martyrdom of three very special men. On April 18, 2007, Necati Aydin, Ugur Yuksel and Tilmann Geske were brutally murdered at a Christian publishing house in Malatya, a city in southeastern Turkey. Five young Islamists bound and tortured the two Turkish Christians and one German Christian before killing them at the Zirve Publishing House.

Five suspects, Emre Gunaydin, Salih Guler, Cuma Ozdemir, Hamit Ceker and Abuzer Yildirim, were arrested while trying to leave the crime scene. Their trial, which began on Nov. 22, 2007, has yet to be completed. Prosecutors have tried to show that the murders were related to a sweeping plot to destabilize the Turkish government. Continue Reading Persecution Friday – Turkey: Five Years Later…

Persecution Friday – Laos / Vietnam: Standing Firm

July 20, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Hmong believers in Laos and Vietnam face opposition from village authorities because of their faith in Christ. Within the past month, authorities in several villages have expelled at least six families that converted to Christianity. The believers are struggling to farm and earn a living.

Three families were expelled from their village in Cao Bang province, in northern Vietnam, because of their recent adoption of Christianity. Each family came to faith after a Hmong Christian worker prayed for an ill family member and the family member recovered from illness. The families, which include a total of 13 people, must find a new place to live because officials will not allow Christians in their village. Continue Reading Persecution Friday – Laos / Vietnam: Standing Firm…

Persecution Friday – Nigeria: Bomber Targets Church

July 13, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

A suicide bomber killed 36 people and injured 13 others in Kaduna on April 5, after church security workers turned him away from the church they were guarding. Deterred from attacking the church, the bomber detonated his weapon a few moments later in a crowded commercial district.

At about 10 a.m. the day before Good Friday, a man in an ash-colored Honda approached the ECWA Good News Church in Kaduna. Francis Markus, a security guard, told the man he could not pass because a church service was in progress. “I advised him to pass after the church service, but he insisted,” said Francis.

Persecution Friday – Worldwide: Religious Freedom in 2012

July 6, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

UNITED STATES — A recent report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) identified 16 countries that had committed severe violations of religious rights, including torture, prolonged detentions without charges and disappearances.

The USCIRF 2012 Annual Report reviews all religions, with particular attention to minority religions. The 16 countries listed as “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) by the USCIRF are also included in The Voice of the Martyrs’ list of Hostile and Restricted Countries because of their mistreatment of Christians. The 16 countries are Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Vietnam. Christians in these nations face harsh persecution for practicing their faith. Continue Reading Persecution Friday – Worldwide: Religious Freedom in 2012…

Turkmenistan: Fined for Having a Bible

June 29, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Turkmenistan: Fined for Having a Bible

Four Protestants in Turkmenistan were arrested and fined in late February after police discovered Bibles in their possession. Although the judge initially refused to hear the case against the four Christians, citing a lack of evidence, she later changed her position and fined them for “violation of the law on religious organizations.”

The Bibles were discovered when police searched a home where three believers were staying with a fourth Christian. During the search, a police officer found a Bible in each of the three visitors’ bags. He confiscated the Bibles and took all four Christians, who asked not to be identified, to the police station. Continue Reading Turkmenistan: Fined for Having a Bible…

Laos: Rewarded Faith

June 22, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Laos: Rewarded Faith

Eleven orphans in Laos who were threatened with expulsion from a government school because of their Christian faith have continued to attend church. They slip away one by one on Sunday mornings and walk to church unnoticed.

In August, the boys’ headmaster called them into his office and told them to stop attending church. Initially, seven of the boys stopped attending, but four of the boys refused to obey the headmaster despite the possibility that they could be expelled from the government-sponsored school. After seeing the faithfulness of these four boys, the other seven eventually decided to continue going to church as well.

School officials haven’t said anything to the boys in recent months, and those caring for the orphans think officials may have given up after seeing the strength of the boys’ faith. While school officials seem to be looking the other way, the boys are still careful to leave school one at a time to attend church. If they leave together, they will be stopped.

The threats from school officials began after one of the boys attended a local church and came to trust in Christ. He shared the gospel with others, and 10 other boys turned to Christ. When the principal heard of the conversions, he told the boys repeatedly to stop attending church. After pressuring them with no results, the principal threatened to expel them.

Please continue to pray for these brave young believers. They are safe, but their situation could change at any moment. Also pray for God’s direction as they make plans for life after graduation.

Nigeria: Religious Civil War?

June 15, 2012 at 6:30 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | Leave a comment
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For more news on what’s really happening to Christians around the world go to the Voice of the Martyrs website: www.persecution.com

Nigeria: Religious Civil War?

Yet another Islamist attack on a church and a violent reaction Christian youth provide more evidence that Nigeria is closer than ever to sliding into a religious civil war. Thus far, authorities have been unable to stem the tide of violence, and in some cases, officials themselves are biased by their religious persuasions. Nigerian Christians are split between wanting to fight back and trying to follow Jesus’ teaching to turn the other cheek.

On Sunday, March 11, suicide bombers approached St. Finbar’s Catholic Church by car during the 10:30 a.m. service before they were stopped by several youths on security detail. A wary policeman shot out the car tires and the bombers were forced to detonate their bomb early, killing at least nine church members.

Muslim extremist sect Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the bombing, telling reporters it was to avenge the killing and dehumanization of Muslims. “We attacked simply because it’s a church, and we can decide to attack any other church,” spokesman Abu Qaqa told United Press International (UPI). “We have just started.” The group also claimed responsibility for a bombing two weeks earlier at a major Protestant church in Jos, as well as multiple bombings around the region on Christmas Day. Continue Reading Nigeria: Religious Civil War?…

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