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Archive for the ‘persecuted church’ Category

From Open Doors USA:

“On April 15 all of North Korea will celebrate the “Day of the Sun” in honor of Kim Il-Sung’s 100th birthday. To the outside world, the picture will be one of prosperity and wealth; that North Korea is a great place to live under their caring leaders. But outside of the media’s eye the vast majority will continue to quietly suffer extreme poverty and starvation.

For Christians, as the birthday celebration draws near, their fear has increased as their actions are watched closer than before. They know that outwardly they must participate in the nationwide celebrations to avoid arrest …but in their hearts they will be celebrating the true “Son” Jesus Christ.

North Korea is the most hostile country in the world to live and practice the Christian faith. Estimates report that 25 percent of the Christian population is suffering in labor camps for their refusal to worship founder Kim Il-Sung’s cult religion called Juche. Enormous statues of the “Great Leader” are prominently displayed throughout the country. Kim Il-Sung is exalted and revered as a god to be followed with obedience. Citizens are required to bow down to pay their respects, wear a lapel pin with his image on it and prominently display photos of both Kim Il-Sung and his son Kim Jong-Il (both deceased).

As North Korea celebrates the “Day of the Sun” let us unite our efforts by drawing on the power of the Holy Son, Jesus Christ. Show your solidarity on April 15 by praying for believers in North Korea and taking a day off of food – or perhaps one meal – to remember the suffering of the North Korean people.”

To register to receive information on how to pray for North Korea, sign up at the Open Doors website. (On April 15 they will be posting hourly updates from their Facebook and Twitter accounts to keep you engaged in prayer.)

(HT: Randy Alcorn)


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“In other parts of the world, the battle is much more graphic. In China, for example, claiming to be Christian is a life or death decision. The book The Heavenly Man: The Remarkable True Story of Chinese Christian Brother Yun shares the remarkable story of Christians in China who have developed home churches and in their devotion and commitment to Christ have watched the power of God explode and thousands become Christian. He and his fellow believers have suffered greatly but remained enthusiastic and faithful in spite of it. They are part of a movement called “Back to Jerusalem.” It is a missionary movement, and they are winning thousands to Christ as they retrace the Silk Road from China back to Jerusalem, sharing the gospel as they go. As he says in his book, they are an army of brokenhearted Chinese men and women who have already been through years of hardship and deprivation for the sake of the gospel. In worldly terms, they have nothing and appear unimpressive. But in the spiritual realm they are mighty warriors for Jesus Christ.

They have also started a college where they receive training in the following subjects:
  • How to suffer and die for the Lord. We examine what the Bible says about suffering and look at how the Lord’s people have laid down their lives throughout history for the advance of the gospel.
  • How to witness for the Lord. We teach how to witness under any circumstances…on the bus or trains, in the back of a police van or on our way to be executed.
  • How to escape for the Lord. Sometimes we need to be in prison to witness and sometimes we know the devil sends us to prison to stop our message and it becomes our jobs to set ourselves free.
This is not exactly the curriculum of a normal or average college or seminary! But then again, there is nothing average or normal about pursuing a life of devotion to God at this level. The point is this: God is calling from our midst a group of students who in days ahead will pursue such a life of uncommon commitment and it will only be by wisdom that the Lord will allow any of us into such a life of significance.”
Already Compromised by Ken Ham and Greg Hall, pp. 146-47.

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Kevin DeYoung asks:

Why do Christians die? Why do churches die? Why do Christians go hungry, endure tragedies, get cancer, and face persecution?  Why do pastors fall into great sin and cast shame upon their churches and disgrace upon the gospel?

Why do some churches grow loveless and cold?  Why do other churches forsake the truth of Scripture?  Why do church members fight among themselves? Why are there so many hypocrites in the church?  Why does everything seem to go wrong for good believers even as they try to follow God?

DeYoung asks many more why questions.

Then he provides four answers to all of these “whys.”  1) God is sovereign  2)  We live in a fallen world.  3)  We are sinners and 4)  The devil hates the gospel and all those who love and obey the gospel.  He points us to Revelation 12 to support this final answer.

His article concludes with this timely reminder:

Let us not forget that underneath and behind all the battles in our time is a giant cosmic battle that has been going on for (almost) all time. And, this Christmas season, let us not forget that a child was born to rule the nations with a rod of iron and crush the head of that dastardly dragon.

Read all of “Hell Bent”!

 

 

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As we prayed for the persecuted church this last Sunday, I mentioned the cases of an Iranian pastor and a Pakistani woman who are facing death sentences in their countries.  I would urge you to keep praying to our God and petitioning officials as possible for the lives of these two individuals. Click on the links below to learn more about these two cases.

Pastor Youcef in Iran

Asia Bibi in Pakistan

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I’ve been reading and thinking about:

Watch how fast the world is changing (buckle your seat belts)

For the young and old: from a wise pastor in another century!

Yes, persecution and suffering for Christ still occurs today–this is real-time!

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Open Doors tells us where persecution is most intense in the world this year.

ww-printable-09-2

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What’s the biggest problem or disappointment you are facing today?  What are you most concerned about in your church or family?  Need a little perspective?  Well consider that Christians in places like Orissa, India aren’t waking up thinking about the economy, a recession. They aren’t debating and dividing over music styles, Bible translations, the timing of the rapture, or concerned about what they are going to buy for Christmas.  No, as Timmy Brister points out, they wake up every morning wondering which believers were killed in the last 24-hours.  They live in a place . . . .

“Where 300 villages have been pillaged and plundered, 70,000 Christians have been left homeless, many of them forced to live in the jungles.

4,000 homes have been destroyed.

3,000 people are missing and 77 people have been burned or hacked to death.

450 churches have been burned to the ground.

One Christian worker who was attacked by a mob while praying, said, “It’s like a never-ending nightmare . . . we’re living in constant fear of more attacks.”

The violence in Orissa, according to Voice of the Martyrs, is due to the increasing number of Indians converting to Christianity.

At a time when those of us who either write or read blogs, I felt that it is necessary to call us back to Christianity 1.0 where there’s a cross to carry and a price to pay far greater than anyting we have known in front of a computer screen. Let us pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters, and by their lives, determine to have a right perspective about the gospel, the church, and the kingdom of God where the weight of glory conforms our character and characterizes our conduct as we seek to follow Christ.”

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