Persecution Fridays – Iran – Government Takes Child

October 14, 2011 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

Iran: Government Takes Child

Agents of Iran’s intelligence ministry recently took a Christian couple’s adopted child, demanding that the couple file a complaint against other Christians being held in prison, according to Mohabat News. The couple was taken to the hospital because of emotional stress caused by the loss of their child. “This is the first time I have ever seen this tactic — taking a child hostage,” said a VOM contact. “In the past, it is always the parents.”

The Christian couple legally adopted their child after years of waiting, according to Mohabat News. Security officers reportedly took the child as a way to pressure the Christian family and other Christian converts. Mohabat News reports that the security agents threatened the couple, saying, “If you want your child back, you must file a complaint against your fellow Christians in prison.”

Within the past year, Christians have been arrested, falsely charged and imprisoned for extensive periods of time. House and church raids are common occurrences, and the Christian community faces continual threats and pressure. Please pray that this Christian couple will get their child back soon and that they will rely on God during this time of extreme emotional stress.

Persecution Fridays – Nigeria – Attacks in Plateau State

October 7, 2011 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: Attacks in Plateau State

Muslim extremists carried out new attacks on villages in Nigeria’s Plateau state in September, killing more than 100 Christians, including entire families, according to Compass Direct News.

On Sept. 10, 2011, Muslim extremists stormed Vwang Fwil village at 3 a.m., killing 13 Christians. Attackers killed 14 more Christians, including one pregnant woman, when they attacked the Christian community of Vwang Kogot on Sept. 9. And on Sept. 8, 10 Christians from one family were killed in an attack on Tsohom Foron village.

Compass Direct reports that some of the attackers were wearing Nigerian Army military uniforms. “What is the government doing about the soldiers?” asked Dachung Dagai, a pastor of a Nigerian church. “In some places, enough evidence has been found against these Muslim soldiers and nothing has been done. The government officials have always said they will look into the problems, but nothing has been done.”

In another attack, on Aug. 21, Muslim extremists entered Fadiya Bakut village and attacked Andre Allahmagani’s home. They killed his 10-year-old son and injured his 70-year-old mother. Allahmagani told Compass Direct News that the assailants were armed with guns, cutlasses and other dangerous weapons.

“This is becoming too much to bear,” said Emmanuel Dachollom Loman, chairman of the Barkin Ladi Local Government Council. “The government should help us before Muslims come and wipe out all of us one day.”

According to Release International, the recent violence broke out after a number of Muslims moved into the largely Christian area to celebrate the Islamic religious festival Eid, which marks the end of Ramadan.

Please pray for Christians in Nigeria’s Plateau state as they continue to face daily dangers.

Persecution Fridays – China – Glory in the Midst of Trials

September 9, 2011 at 1:06 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

China: Glory in Midst of Trials

After serving two years in Chinese labor camps Labor Camp, five leaders of the Linfen house church have been released: Fao Fuqin, Zhao Guoai, Yang Caizhen, Yang Hongzhen and Li Shuangpin. Although each person experienced physical and psychological torment, they all feel strong, experiencing “glory in the midst of trials and tribulations,” reported ChinaAid Association. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – China – Glory in the Midst of Trials…

Persecution Fridays – Iran – Pastor Faces Charges

September 2, 2011 at 10:31 am | Posted in VOM Fridays | 2 Comments
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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

Iran: Pastor Faces Charges

Iranian pastor Abdolreza “Matthias” Haghnejad was released from prison on Saturday, Aug. 27, 2011, after a family member pledged their property for his bail. Haghnejad is charged with blasphemy against Islam, according to VOM contacts.

Haghnejad, a pastor from the city of Bandar Anzal, was arrested on Aug. 17, while making a pastoral visit in the city of Rasht. VEVAK, the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, held Haghnejad in prison in the Rasht area until his family paid the $30,000 bail, according to ASSIST News Service.

“[Blasphemy against Islam] is a serious charge against Haghnejad, so I ask that you continue to pray for him and his family,” VOM contacts said. “God made a way for his acquittal previously, and I believe he will do so again.”

Haghnejad and 10 other church members were detained earlier this year and charged for activities against the Iranian order and drinking alcohol but they were later acquitted on May 1. The charges referred to their involvement in a house church meeting and to taking communion wine.

Haghnejad’s most recent arrest occurred amidst reports of escalated government pressure on Christians. Please pray that God will provide Haghnejad and his family with strength and courage while they wait for the court hearing on the blasphemy charges.

Persecution Fridays – Iran – Crackdown on Bibles

August 26, 2011 at 7:04 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

Iran: Crackdown on Bibles

The Iranian government is showing increasing concern about the large quantities of Bibles entering the country, according to VOM contacts.

Government advisor Dr. Majid Abhari recently announced the seizure of 6,500 copies of the Bible between the cities of Zanjan and Abhar in northwest Iran, according to Mohabat News. He accused the missionaries in charge of the operation of using money and propaganda to influence people in Iran, specifically youth.

“With regards to the activities of these Christian missionaries to deceive people, especially youngsters, they have begun a huge campaign by spending huge sums and false propaganda for deceiving the public,” Abhari told a government news agency.

Bible confiscation is common in Iran. Prior to this event, police officers and revolutionary guards seized and burned 300 Bibles on a routine bus inspection in November 2010.

Abhari expressed concerns about the large quantity of Bibles recently imported and circulated in Iran. He said, “These books were made with the best paper in the world [and were] pocket size. The important point in this issue that should be considered by intelligence, judicial and religious agencies is that all religions are strengthening their power to confront Islam.”

Many government officials believe the purpose of Christians is to directly confront Islam, reports a VOM contact. According to VOM contacts, Iranian officials have always been against Muslim conversions to Christianity. However, three decades of extensive propaganda against Christianity has not deterred many Iranians from seeking the gospel.

Persecution Fridays: Uzbekistan – False Prosecutions

August 19, 2011 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

Uzbekistan: False Prosecutions

Authorities in Uzbekistan continue to pressure churches and religious groups, often fabricating evidence to punish or limit Christians’ ability to practice their faith. Christians recently have been subjected to excessive fines, false accusations and literature confiscations. In the most recent case, on July 15, 2011, Konstantin Malchikovsky, pastor of the Hamza District Baptist Church in Tashkent, was indicted for tax fraud.

The indictment involved allegations that Malchikovsky failed to pay taxes on church offerings and book sales between 2003 and 2010. According to Forum 18 News, a government investigator threatened church members with jail time if they refused to fabricate evidence against the pastor. The government apparently wants the church to use a cash register to receive offerings so they can issue a receipt for each one.

Malchikovsky faces a maximum of two years in jail if convicted. Local Christians told Forum 18 that city tax authorities did not present to the court all of the documents claimed as evidence. And the judge ignored documents that proved the inaccuracy of the indictment.

Last spring, authorities raided the Hamza District Baptist Church, confiscating money, printing equipment and tens of thousands of Christian books. Four church members, including Malchikovsky, were fined between 50 and 100 times the minimum monthly wage.

In a separate raid in June, authorities confiscated about 250 Christian books and recordings, a computer and a passport from Christian Anvar Rajapov’s home. Rajapov was fined 80 times the minimum monthly wage. Ignoring police threats, Rajapov twice unsuccessfully appealed the ruling to Tashkent Criminal Court. On July 10, when Rajapov asked the court for the return of his hard drive, the court ordered that it be destroyed.

In another case, the Uzbek Supreme Court recently upheld the 10-year sentence of Tohar Haydarov, who was arrested in March 2010 and charged with the “illegal sale of narcotic or psychotropic substances in large quantities.” Church members consistently told Forum 18 News that the allegations were fabricated to punish him.

Although prison authorities have shown Haydarov letters that have been mailed to him, he has not been allowed to read them. The reason, prison authorities say, is that there are “too many citations from the Bible in them.” Local Christians told Forum 18 News that Haydarov has admonished other Christians to “appreciate dearly your worship services and listen attentively to the sermons. I so much wish to attend worship services, but, alas, I don’t have the opportunity.”

Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Officials Close Church

July 29, 2011 at 10:35 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

Indonesia: Officials Close Church

A church in Bogor that has been attacked six times since 2008 was recently ordered to stop all religious activities or risk inviting “the community and others to react in a way that could spark a potential disturbance.” But church members have refused to obey the local government’s demands.

The Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) in Bogor, West Java, near Jakarta, has had an ongoing dispute with Islamist groups and local authorities. In 2008, the city revoked the church’s building permit and sealed the church building. Since then, the congregation has conducted weekly services outside the church, prompting some neighbors to complain of a public disruption. Local community members, backed by Islamist groups, have held multiple protests against the church. And even though the Supreme Court ordered Bogor city authorities to re-open the building in December 2010, it has remained sealed. Local authorities say they are afraid opening the church would spark social unrest. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Indonesia – Officials Close Church…

Persecution Fridays – Iran

July 22, 2011 at 9:38 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

Iran: Life in Prison

In March 2009, Christian roommates Maryam Rustampoor, 29, and Marzieh Amirizadeh, 32, were charged by the Iranian state with being “anti-government activists.” They spent 259 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison before being released in November 2009.

In the first interview since their release, the two discussed their life in prison with Sam Yeghnazar of Elam Ministries. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Iran…

Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Freedom

July 3, 2011 at 6:30 am | Posted in Sermon Sunday | Leave a comment
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Freedom
by
J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)

___________________________________________________________________

© Copyright 2001 by Tony Capoccia. This updated file may be freely copied, printed out, and distributed as
long as copyright and source statements remain intact, and that it is not sold. All rights reserved.

Verses quoted, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION © 1978
by the New York Bible Society, used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

A copy of this sermon, Preached by Tony Capoccia, is available
on Audio Tape Cassette or Audio CD at www.gospelgems.com
___________________________________________________________________

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”–John 8:36

The subject before us today deserves our attention. It should ring in the ears of every person like the voice of a trumpet. We live in a land which is the very cradle of freedom. But are we ourselves free?

The question is one which demands special attention during the present state of public opinion. The minds of many are absorbed in politics. Yet there is a freedom, within the reach of all of us, which few, I am afraid, ever think of–a freedom independent of all political changes–a freedom which neither the prevailing government, nor the cleverest politician can bestow. This is the freedom about which I speak today. Do we know anything of it? Are we free? Continue Reading Sermon Sunday – J.C. Ryle – Freedom…

Persecution Fridays – Eritrea

July 1, 2011 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

Eritrea: Unimaginable Suffering

Eritrean Christians fleeing persecution often face appalling conditions in Egypt, according to a report on the Christian Today website. The report cites The Barnabas Fund as saying that Egypt is the most common destination for Christians escaping from Eritrea, one of the most hostile countries in the world for believers. The Eritrean government sees Christians and evangelicals as a threat to national security because of their allegiance to God over the state. Continue Reading Persecution Fridays – Eritrea…

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