Posts Tagged ‘persecution

07
Oct
09

persecution, flooding and North Korea

Extreme Flooding in India
   India is experiencing the worst flooding in 100 years. According to the Christian Post, 222 people have died and 2.5 million have been forced from thier homes.

Kidnapped Iraqi Christian Dead
   A 45 year old Iraqi Christian was killed and kidnapped and his body found on Sunday. Since 2003, half the Christian communicty has left Iraq and more continue to leave as violent incidents like this increase.

Christian Arrested for Distributing Tracts in Egypt
   I am continually learning about more and more countries that do not have lawes against Christianity, yet Christians are arrested and persecuted there. This story is one such example.

Justice Comes to Orissa
   Its a small step, but a step nonetheless. Six people were sentenced to 4 years imprisonment for their role in anti-Christian violence. For background information on Orissa check out this past post: Orissa Prayer Campaign

The Paradox of North Korea
   Very few journalists are allowed in North Korea , however, this BBC journalist was given teh unique opportunity to visit “one of the most effective systems of control ever envisaged.”lsdkjf  /zxx.v;p

25
Sep
09

Orissa Advocacy

To wrap up our week on India and Orissa I’d like to tell you about an easy way you can help bring justice to Orissa Christians.  Representative Trent Franks (R-CA) and Representative Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) have jointly sponsored a letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa, Navin Patnaik.  You can send a letter to your representative asking him or her to sign the letter to the Chief Minister of Orissa.  According to Open Doors, who is hosting this campaign, 11 U.S. Representatives have signed on to the letter so far. The more support the letter has, the greater the pressure is placed on the Chief Minister to take action on behalf of persecuted Christians in Orissa.

Just click on the link below. It will take you to a prewritten letter. You may change the wording or keep it. Fill in your name, click the send button and your done! It will only take five minutes of your time but it could have a long lasting impact on persecuted Christians in Orissa

https://secure2.convio.net/ccod/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=181

25
Sep
09

Misery is optional

I know I’m a day late for “Thoughts on a Thursday” but better late than never. I’m still trying to get in the habit of blogging everyday 🙂 At my bible study a few nights ago, our leader showed a quote with us that struck a chord with me. “Pain and suffering in this life are not optional, but misery is.”  We were discussing Paul’s imprisonment in Philippi. He didn’t choose to be beaten and imprisoned, but he did choose to sing in his cell and be joyful. Consequently, the Holy Spirit intervened to set him free from physical bondage and, more importantly, to free the jailor from spiritual bondage. Looking back at all the times I’ve experience pain and suffering, I realize that more often than not I choose misery over joy. I wonder how many people have been turned off to Christianity because of my decision? Or how many salvation opportunities I missed because I was whining instead of singing?

22
Sep
09

Honeymoon’s tragic end

Christian Martyr in Nepal
On June 3, 2009 Compass Direct News reported that a bomb had gone off at the Assumption Church in Kathmandu, Nepal. The explosion killed two women and injured at least 14 others.

Vikash Patrick could not help but smile—even though the congregation was in the middle of singing a serious hymn. At his side was his 19 year old bride, Deepe, dressed in a deep pink—almost red—sari. Although they were both from Patna, India, they had spent the last four days together in Kathmandu, Nepal on their honeymoon.

Bending down, Vikasha whispered in Deepe’s ear, “God gave me a wife more beautiful than all of the sites that we’ve seen.” Deepe blushed, mouthed the words “thank you,” and rested her head on his shoulder. Their trip had certainly been amazing. They saw colorful marketplaces, elaborate temples, and sophisticated palaces, but in Vikasha’s mind, none of them compared to breathtakingly beautiful woman at his side.

As they sang the last lines of the hymn, Vikasha watched a rather large lady enter the church and sit down in the row in front of them. He looked her over for a few seconds, and then turned his attention back to the church entrance to see if anyone else was entering. Right now, Nepal was not a safe place to worship. Only a few months earlier a priest had been murdered, and the current political elections made religious tensions even higher.

Yet in spite of the danger, Vikasha could think of no place that would rather be with his wife than worshiping God with other believers. Still, he was keeping a careful watch on the back door in order to assess everyone who entered the service.

What Vikasha did not notice, was that the lady who had sat in front of them was removing something from her purse. She slipped a small black object under her sleeve and then left the service through a side door, leaving her purse in the church pew—directly in front of where Deepe was sitting.

Five minutes later, a bomb exploded.

Burning shrapnel cut through the air. Vikasha was knocked to the floor and felt as though his whole body was engulfed in pain. Still conscious, he looked for his wife, but did not see her. He did see that the pew in front of him was on fire, and that giant burn blisters were beginning to swell on the side of his body that was nearest the pew. Gritting his teeth, he rolled away and almost passed out. Rolling had moved his body away from the flames, but it had also pressed his burned flesh and growing blisters into the hot stone floor.

Still unable to see his wife, Vikasha called out Deepe’s name, but could not hear the sound of his own voice. The explosion must have burst his ear drums. Feeling only pain and unable to hear anything, he was forced to rely on his eyes to make out what was happening in the smoke filled room. To his right he saw that those who were not injured were starting to carry people out of the building. To his left was the orange and red of the burning pew, only—

Vikasha closed his eyes and opened them again, hoping that he was seeing the wrong colors. The colors stayed the same. Mixed in among the oranges and reds of the embers was a deep pink color—the same color as the sari that Deepe had been wearing.

Salt water tears began to run down his face and literally boil away because of the heat in the room. They left behind vertical trails of raw flesh. Finally succumbing to the heat, smoke, and mental anguish, Vikasha lost consciousness just as a man picked him up and carried him out of the church.

At the time that this was written, Vikasha and many others are still in the hospital recovering from injuries and burns. Deepe did not survive.

The Nepal Defense Army (NDA) which claimed responsibility for the attack has threatened more violence if non-Hindusurhc do not leave the country within the month. *This story taken from www.opendoorsusa.org

As a recently married woman, this story struck a special chord within me. Honeymoons are amazing, and I cannot imagine the devastation of having your new spouse killed right in front of you at the end of that special vacation. Another thing about this story that struck me was that the couple went to church on their honeymoon. It wasn’t just any church, it was church in a country they knew was dangerous. A church where they knew thier lives were at risk. I’m embarrased to say this, but my husband and I were too busy eating at buffets and sight seeing to even think about going to a safe American church on our honeymoon, much less one where we ran the risk of getting killed. I pray that couples who read this story, my husband and I included, will be inspired by this couple’s devotion to the Lord.

09
Sep
09

world watch list: saudi arabia

While communist North Korea does not support any religion, Saudi Arabia rejects all non Islamic religions. Ruled by King Abdullah, the Islamic monarchy arrests, flogs, deports and tortures those who practice Christianity in public. Of the 24.7 million citizens, only 2.2% are Christian. In the past, those who worshipped privately were generally left alone. However, in the past year, there has been an increasing number of arrests of those worshipping privately. Christians risk arrest, honor killings and persecution everyday. Please pray that those who are learning about Jesus through the internet and sattelite television are able to find fellow believers and have questions answered and recieve spiritual encouragement.

Saudi Arabia has a religious police force,mutawwa’in, who threaten and persecute Christians. In January of 2009 a house pastor named Yemane Gebriel was forced to leave his hometown under threat of the religious police. He is a personal driver who pastors a 300 member house church in Riyadh. He found anonymous notes in his van telling him to leave the country. When he did not comply, Abdul Aziz, a member of the mutawwa’in, threatened him face to face. He was forced to leave to an unknown location. For more information on this story, visit the Compass Direct Link http://www.compassdirect.org/english/country/saudiarabia/1906/

Pray that Gebriel’s church, as well as other churches’ whose leaders have been captured or forced to leave, have the strength and encouragement to continue meeting and persevering in thier faith.

07
Sep
09

World Watch List: North Korea

North Korea has been at the top of the WWL for seven consecutive years.  Of the 28.3 million citizens of North Korea, 70% have no religious belief.  People are told they must worship the country’s political leader, Kim Jung Il. Only 1.7% of the population are Christian.  The borders are closely monitored and people caught trying to leave N. Korea are sent back and forced into prison camps, beaten, tortured and often executed. Many try to escape to China, but Chinese government actively looks for North Korean refugees and sends them back. The amount of people in labor and prison camps has risen since 2008 and there are an estimated 50-70,000 Christians in camps.  In your prayers for North Korea, pray that spiritual and physical aid reaches the estimated 400,000 believers in the country. Also pray for wisdom and strenght for those trying to escape.

While Christians are specifically targeted due to the fact that they are viewed as threat to the government, most people in North Korea are suffering under the oppresive rule of Kim Jung Il. The government violates all international human rights laws and many different groups are concerned with the situation in N. Korea. I found the following video on YouTube and although its a bit long , I encourage you to watch it all the way through. It has alot of interesting facts and the pictures demonstrate the horrific situation better than this humble blogger can.

07
Sep
09

Persecution and the World Watch List

Every day this week, we will feature a different country whose Christian citizens face severe persecution on a daily basis. Every year, Open Doors creates a World Watch List, a list of 50 countries around the world with the most severe persecution. We will blog about the top seven countries: North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives andYemen.

Here is some information on how the list is formed:

 The World Watch List is compiled from a specially-designed questionnaire of 50 questions covering various aspects of religious freedom. A point value is assigned depending on how each question is answered. The total number of points per country determiens its position on the WWL. The questions differentiate between the legal, official status of Christians (e.g. Does the constitution and/or national laws provide for freedom of religion?; Are individuals allowed to convert to Christianity by law?) and the actual situation of individual Christians (Are Christians being killed because of their faith?; Are Christians being sentenced to jail, labor camp or sent to a psychiatric hospital because of their faith?). Attention is paid to the role of the church in society (Do Christians have the freedom to print and distribute Christian literature?; Are Christian publications censured/prohibited in this country?) and to factors that may obstruct the freedom of religion in a country (Are Christian meeting places and/orChristian homes attacked because of anti-Christian motives?).” -WWL




The purpose of the blog

To EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN and ENCOURAGE. To be a voice to those who have none, a voice that is LOUDER than their persecution, oppression and pain. A righteous voice that is LOUDER than the enemy.

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