Persecution Fridays: Vietnam

April 15, 2011 at 6:51 pm | 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

Vietnam: Evangelism Thriving

Evangelist Luis Palau made history on April 9 when he preached at the Protestant centennial celebration in Vietnam, becoming the first U.S.-based evangelist to preach at a major event there since the 1975 communist takeover. The 76-year-old evangelist preached on two consecutive nights at the Thanh Long Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, which was not the venue the event organizers had originally sought. Event organizers had planned to hold the event in an open field, but government officials allowed the event only on the condition that it be held in the soccer stadium.

Organizers requested permission to hold the event months in advance, but the government granted approval just three hours before it was to begin. These delay tactics seem to have become standard procedure for the Vietnamese government. For the past two years, the central government’s Bureau of Religious Affairs has waited until the last minute to approve Christmas events held by house church groups.

It was an “absolute miracle” that the event was held, said the leader of Vietnam’s Evangelical Fellowship of house churches. Hundreds of volunteers and technicians worked heroically to move equipment from an open field in one part of the city to the soccer stadium in another part of the city. Organizers had to notify thousands of people of the venue change. They used word of mouth, website announcements, Twitter, Facebook and text-messaging to get the word out. The evening began at 9 p.m., just two hours late.

Luis Palau began his message at 11 p.m., delivering a clear evangelistic sermon. When the service ended, after midnight, about 800 people came forward to receive Christ. On the following day, Sunday, April 10, more than 12,000 people filled the stadium, and more than 1,000 came forward at the call to follow Christ.

Dr. Nguyen Xuan Duc, president of the Vietnam World Christian Fellowship, told Compass Direct News that he was very encouraged about the future of the church in Vietnam. “These are watershed days for Protestantism in Vietnam,” he said. “There is no fear, but rather wonderful spontaneity and irrepressible joy. Events like this happen in spite of the government and without the blessing of some overly conservative church leaders. What we see is young, vibrant, lay-led, internationally connected and very media-savvy.”

The Palau team traveled north to Hanoi, where they planned to host a similar event the weekend of April 16–17. At the time of this writing, government officials had not approved the event.

“Again they said today, ‘Of course you have the permission, but not in a large open field,’ said Palau in a statement to BosNewsLife. “It will be held in a covered coliseum, which means smaller crowds, and less visible,” he added.

Persecution Fridays: Somalia

January 14, 2011 at 5:35 pm | 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 

Somalia: Teenage Girl Shot

A 17-year-old girl who converted to Christianity from Islam was shot to death recently in an apparent “honor killing” in Somalia, according to Compass Direct News. Nurta Mohamed Farah, who had fled her village to live with relatives after her parents tortured her for leaving Islam, died on Nov. 25, according to the Compass Direct report.

“Area sources said they strongly suspected that the two unidentified men in Galgadud Region who shot her in the chest and head with a pistol were relatives or acting on their behest,” Compass reported. Pray that God will use Nurta’s testimony to draw non-believers into fellowship with him, and pray for the protection of all believers in Somalia.

Genesis 3:20-24

November 29, 2010 at 8:24 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”– therefore the LORD God sent him out from the garden of Eden, to cultivate the ground from which he was taken. So He drove the man out; and at the east of the garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the tree of life.

Here, we finish up the third chapter of Genesis. Verse 20 starts with yet another pointer that many who hold to evolution ignore or pass off on. Adam called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all living. This means that there weren’t any other humans on the planet at the time (something that the gap theory proposes). Adam and Eve were the first two humans on the planet. They were the cause of sin, and every human being, because they come from Adam and Eve, are born into sin. The good news about this is that Jesus Christ also can be the sacrifice for all of the sins of every person that has ever lived. Continue Reading Genesis 3:20-24…

Genesis 3:14-19

November 22, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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The LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, Cursed are you more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you will go, And dust you will eat All the days of your life; And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it All the days of your life. “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; And you will eat the plants of the field; By the sweat of your face You will eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.” Continue Reading Genesis 3:14-19…

Genesis 3:8-13

November 15, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Posted in Bible Study | Leave a comment
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They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” Continue Reading Genesis 3:8-13…

Persecution Fridays: China

November 5, 2010 at 8:22 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 

China: Police Detain Attorney

On Oct. 20, police detained Dr. Fan Yafeng, a prominent Christian lawyer and leader of the Chinese Christian Legal Defense Association, according to China Aid Association.

A group of police reportedly entered Dr. Fan’s home last Wednesday and prevented him from leaving. When they blocked his exit, Dr. Fan struggled through the doorway. Police then shoved him and assaulted him, causing him to sprain his ankle. Police immediately took Dr. Fan to Shuangyushu Police Station in Beijing, and at last report he is still being held there. Authorities have provided little information about Dr. Fan, and his wife is very concerned as she struggles to negotiate with authorities.

The Voice of the Martyrs has supported persecuted Christians in China for more than 30 years. VOM encourages you to pray that Dr. Fan will be released and that God will heal his injuries. Also pray that Dr. Fan’s testimony will draw his persecutors into fellowship with Christ.

Persecution Fridays: Pakistan

September 24, 2010 at 5:49 pm | 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 

Pakistan: Church Property Burned

On Sept. 19, Islamic extremists broke into the Philadelphia Pentecostal Church in Sharif Town, Karachi City, Pakistan, and set fire to Bibles, hymnals, a musical instrument and a table, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

The church, which is led by Pastors George Rakha and Peter Shahzad, was established six years ago and is actively involved in Muslim evangelism. “At 4 a.m., some fanatics broke the lock of the church door and entered the church,” VOM contacts reported. “They burned three crosses, nine Bibles, five books of worship songs, a table and a musical instrument Tabla [local drum].”

On Sept. 20, the Christian community displayed a banner protesting the burning of their Bibles. Christians believe this incident was a reaction to an American pastor’s widely publicized threat to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11. Christian leaders in the U.S. spoke out against the pastor’s plan to burn the Quran, and he ultimately decided against it. But it seems that no Muslim leaders spoke out against the actual burning of Bibles in Pakistan.

VOM encourages you to pray for believers in Pakistan who courageously live for Christ in the midst of opposition. Pray that believers’ testimonies and love for Christ will draw their Muslim neighbors into fellowship with Christ.

Two Kingdoms

July 26, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Growing up, I always loved the stories of knights and dragons and damsels. It was a great thing to imagine being a warrior defending the kingdom from evil; whether that evil was an ogre, a greedy courtesan, or a marauding band of mercenaries. To go out and save a princess was always a promising quest. As I’ve grown up, I’ve realized that there aren’t any dragons (anymore), that ogres don’t exist (at least not the fairy tale ones), and that most “princesses” today are in the “towers” they’re in because they want to be there and really don’t want to be rescued. There is however a wisp of my childhood imaginations that still lingers. I am a citizen of a kingdom and so are you. As a matter of fact, there are only two kingdoms in existence and you are part of one or the other. Continue Reading Two Kingdoms…

How did we get here?

July 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Have you ever had a moment to stop and look at your life? Have you ever stopped, examined your life and where you are, and wondered: How did I get here? I’ve done that a few times and it’s always been eye-opening. I never seem to have been where I thought I was. Sometimes I was further along than I thought and other times I wasn’t as far along as I expected. As I looked back on the path that I trod to get where I was, when I began studying where I walked, I could easily see the things that had gotten me off track. Things like disobedience, willful blindness, and sin led me off of the narrow path and out into the weeds. Because of my lack of diligence or awareness I had to work harder to get back on the path. I had to push through painful thorns and cut through the vines of worldliness that were trying to hold me down and choke me out. Through God’s grace alone, I am here. I’m cut up, bruised, and worn out, but I’m here. As I was pondering these things, I couldn’t help but wonder if the body of Christ has ever done this. I can think of one time when I would say this happened, but other than that, I don’t think that something like this has ever taken place. I wonder why? Does the church not see where it is? Do they not care where they are going? Or are they afraid of what they’ll find? Regardless of the reason, I think that the church would benefit from taking a little time to look at where it is in the face of the state of the world. Continue Reading How did we get here?…

Sunday’s Newslinks 01/24/10

January 24, 2010 at 9:36 am | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Sunday’s Newslinks brought to you by At Ease Tees

 

4 More Malaysian Churches Attacked; 1 Vandalized
Three more churches in Malaysia were targets of arson Sunday and another was vandalized in the latest wave of attacks on the country’s Christian minority.

 

Ugandan Lawmaker Refuses to Withdraw Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Aid Groups Urge Int’l Community to Help Sudan Keep the Peace

Prison Fellowship: High Rape Rate of Juveniles Unacceptable

Anglican Leader Calls for ‘Tougher Church’

Southern Baptist President’s Surgery Went ‘Great,’ Says Family

Tens of Thousands Sign Petition Urging Holder to Move KSM Trial from New York
(CNSNews.com)
– More than 60,000 people, including members of Congress and three former presidential candidates, have signed a petition calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to move the trial of Khalid Shiekh Mohammed (or KSM) from New York City to a military tribunal.
Continue Reading Sunday’s Newslinks 01/24/10…


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