Tag Archives: church persecution

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2018

Sunday, Nov. 4, is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP).
Here is this year’s video presentation from The Voice of the Martyrs.
You can find out more at their website, https://www.persecution.com/

“While our country has turned its back on us, God has not … it is not easy … So, please remember to pray for us …”

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Real Look at a World “N” Need: Same Family, Different Block-Part Two

I have given much thought about how to present the numbers I am going to share with you, concerning how much of the world’s population is under persecution … what percentage of our earth’s population is suffering persecution, just because of their belief in Jesus …much thought … I feel there is no need to “comment” on the numbers … rather, to just let the numbers “speak” for themselves … as they have to me.

It began when I received a free prayer guide entitled “Christians Facing Islamic Extremists,” fromThe Voice of the Martyrs, a ministry we strongly support. I ordered the guide, in an effort to find out more. As I learned about each group, and the countries they were operating in, I would place my fingers on the globe, each finger “on” a specific country, where Islamic Extremists are actively, and aggressively, operating. As God led … I needed to find out more …

I didn’t know that Islamic Extremists were aggressively active in the Philippines, for example. Or, Kenya … just to name a couple of countries I learned about. As I wrote previously, this was not to “single out” a certain group, but, an effort to learn more about what is really happening “out there.” I didn’t realize there were 8 different groups involved … not just “ISIS.” 8 groups, just in this “mindset,” which were actively and aggressively targeting Christians.

It really opened my eyes. I wondered, “How many people, around the world, are affected by Islamic Extremists? I know … I know … Christians around the world are “marked” by many different groups, but for now, I only wanted to find out about those people in countries which are directly affected by the work of these 8 groups. So, I did some math … in fact, I had to borrow a “Scientific Calculator” from the Math Department, as I could not find a calculator which would go into Billions, which is 10 digits … I then had to learn how to use the calculator …

Here is a look at the numbers:
I used the “worldometers” website for the population numbers. I began this research two weeks ago; some of the numbers are from then, and some, I updated just today, Saturday, April 2, 2016.
At 2:00 PM today, the world’s population is listed at
7, 412,815,000.

Again, I only wanted to find out how much of the world’s population is affected by just the 8 different groups identified as having “Islamic Extremists” actively and aggressively operating within their borders.

Note that this list does not include China, which has a population of 1,408,334,566; India, with a population of 1,326,801,576; or North Korea, with a population of 25,281,327.

According to worldometers website, China has 18.6% of the world’s population, and India has 17.9% of the world’s population.
Just think: 36.5% of the entire earth’s population live in China and India.
The United States, with 324,118,787 population, has what seems like a “meager” (by comparison) 4.4% of the earth’s population.

Here, in alphabetical order, is a listing of the countries in which these 8 groups are actively, and aggressively operating in, and the population of each country:
Afghanistan- 26,556,000
Algeria- 40,320, 000
Cameroon- 19,406,000
Chad- 11,274,000
Egypt-90,125,000 (Most populous country in North Africa and the Middle East)
Iran- 78,226,000
Iraq- 36,000,000
Kenya- 46,050,000
Libya- 6,317,000
Mali- 16,313,000
Mauritania- 3,537,000
Morocco- 33,656,000
Niger- 17,138,000 (Country with the highest total fertility rate-Births per 1000 women)
Nigeria-183,500,000 (Most populous country in Africa)
Pakistan-188,144,000
Philippines-100,000,000
Somalia- 9,797,000
Saudi Arabia- 30,770,000
Sudan- 38,435,000
Yemen- 26,000,000

The total population of just these countries:
1,001,564,000
This is 13% of the entire world’s population.

The population of China, India, and North Korea is
2, 760,417,469.

If you add the populations of the countries listed in alphabetical order above (those with the 8 Islamic Extremists operating actively and aggressively in), to the combined population of China, India, and North Korea, you get this total percentage:
37%

Yes … that is 37% of the entire world population.

Note that this (the 37%) does not include the country of Belgium, which is listed at 11,161,887.
Nor, does it include many nations which are specifically hostile to Israel.
It also does not include the country of Cuba
(population 22.7 million), who deemed it necessary to jail certain pastors and believers prior to the recent Presidential visit to “make sure there would be no ‘distractions’ during the President’s visit.”

The numbers, and actions, speak for themselves. Here is a list of resources relative to this research:

Link to Worldometers (World Population Link)
Real Look at a World “N” Need: Same Family, Different Block-Part One
Cuban Pastor Thrown in Prison During President’s Visit
Prayer Guide from The Voice of the Martyrs

“If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.”
Jesus

 

From VOM: Richard Wurmbrand’s “Tortured for Christ” Sent Free to You and Friends

Pray for the Persecuted Church: Part Three

Richard Wurmbrand dared to proclaim his loyalty to Christ rather than bow to a government hostile to the gospel. For this, he spent a total of 14 years in prison, two of those years alone in a solitary cell. As he sat alone, he dreamed of a mission that would one day help Christians like him. Pastor Wurmbrand would be the one person who would tell the world the truth about Christianity behind the Iron Curtain. Millions of people have been touched by his story.

We are proud to support the work and ministry of “Voice of the Martyrs,” and would like to share in the opportunity to have Richard Wurmbrand’s book “Tortured for Christ” sent to you, and your friends, absolutely free of charge.

“This book was singularly instrumental in awakening the conscience of the free world to the horrors experienced by our brothers and sisters behind the Iron Curtain.”
Charles W. Colson, Prison Fellowship

Months of solitary confinement, years of periodic physical torture, constant suffering from hunger and cold, the anguish of brainwashing and mental cruelty – these are the experiences of Richard Wurmbrand, a Romanian pastor, during his 14 years in Communist prisons.
His crime, like that of thousands of others, was his fervent belief in Jesus Christ and his public witness concerning that faith.
Meeting in homes, in basements, in the woods – sometimes daring to preach on public street corners – these faithful souls persisted in their Christian witness knowing full well the ultimate cost of their actions.
Tortured for Christ is their story – a classic account of courage, tenacious faith and unbelievable endurance. This history of the Underground Church reflects the struggle in many parts of the world – a struggle that continues to this day.

“Tortured for Christ is still as important today as it was 30 years ago in calling attention to the plight of persecuted Christians in the modern age.”
Frank R. Wolf, U.S. Congressman

Indeed, the message of “Tortured for Christ” remains urgent and relevant today, as thousands of Christians are still being persecuted and tortured around the world today, suffering solely for their belief in Jesus Christ.

Please click on the link below, which will take you directly to the Voice of the Martyrs webpage, where you can order a copy of the book for yourself, and have copies sent to your friends.
Please note that, along with the book, they will also receive a free subscription to The Voice of the Martyrs monthly newsletter.

This offer is for US residents only:
Click Here to Go Directly to Book Offer

 

 

Heroes of the Faith: Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand

“I have found truly jubilant Christians only in the Bible, in the underground church, and in prison.”
Richard Wurmbrand

Richard Wurmbrand was the youngest of four boys, born into a Jewish family on March 24, 1909, in Bucharest, Romania.
As an adult, he was intellectually gifted, being fluent in nine languages. Richard was active in leftist politics and worked as a stockbroker.
richard-wurmbrand in study

On October 26, 1936, Richard and Sabina were married, and both converted to Christ in 1938. They both joined the Anglican Mission to the Jews in Bucharest. Richard was ordained, first as an Anglican, and then after World War II, as a Lutheran minister.
During World War II, Richard and Sabina saw an opportunity for evangelism among the occupying German forces. They preached in the bomb shelters and rescued Jewish children out of the ghettos. Richard and Sabina were repeatedly arrested and beaten and, at least once, nearly executed. Sabina lost her Jewish family in Nazi concentration camps.
Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand

In 1945 Romanian Communists seized power, and 1,000,000 Russian troops poured into the country. Pastor Wurmbrand ministered to his oppressed countrymen and engaged in bold evangelism to the Russian soldiers.
That same year, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand attended the Congress of Cults organized by the Romanian Communist government. Many religious leaders came forward to praise Communism and to swear loyalty to the new regime.

Sabina said, “Richard, stand up and wash away this shame from the face of Christ.”
Richard warned, “If I do so, you’ll lose your husband.”

“I don‘t wish to have a coward as a husband,” she replied.

Thus Richard declared to the 4,000 delegates, whose speeches were broadcast to the whole nation, that their duty is to glorify God and Christ alone.
Between 1945 and 1947, Richard distributed 1 million Gospels to Russian troops. Richard also smuggled Gospels into Russia. On December 30, 1947, the People’s Republic of Romania was proclaimed.
Sabina Wurmbrand with Quote

On February 29, 1948, the secret police arrested Richard while on his way to church and took him to their headquarters. He was locked in a solitary cell and labeled “Prisoner Number 1.”
In 1950, his wife Sabina was also imprisoned. She was forced to serve as a laborer on the Danube Canal project, leaving their nine-year-old son, Mihai, alone and homeless. Richard was released in 1956 after serving eight-and-a-half years in prison. He was warned never to preach again. While in prison, he went through horrific tortures at the hands of the brutal secret police. Despite the treatments and the warnings he received from his persecutors, Richard resumed his work with the “underground” churches after his release.

He was re-arrested in 1959 through the conspiracy of an associate, and sentenced to 25 years. He was accused of preaching ideas contrary to Communist doctrine. Due to increased political pressure from Western countries, Richard was granted another amnesty and released in 1964.
In December 1965, the Norwegian Mission to the Jews and the Hebrew Christian Alliance paid $10,000 in ransom to the Communist government to allow the Wurmbrand family to leave Romania. Reluctant to leave his homeland, Richard was convinced by other underground church leaders to leave and become a “voice” to the world for the underground church. Richard, Sabina, and their son Mihai left Romania for Norway and then traveled on to England.
Richard Wurmbrand behind bars

Richard began his ministry of being a voice for persecuted Christians in England with Rev. Stuart Harris. Later, Richard moved on to the United States, and in 1966 he appeared before a U.S. Senate Internal Security Subcommittee, where he stripped to the waist and revealed 18 deep torture wounds on his body. His story spread rapidly, leading to more and more speaking engagements.

In 1967, the Wurmbrands officially began a ministry committed to serving the persecuted church, called Jesus to the Communist World (later renamed The Voice of the Martyrs). In the same year, Richard released his book, Tortured for Christ.
In October, 1967, the first monthly issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter was published in the U.S. By the mid-1980s his work was established in 80 restricted nations with offices in 30 countries around the world.

In 1990, after the fall of Nicolae Ceausescu in December 1989, Richard and Sabina returned to Romania after 25 years in exile and were warmly received. A printing facility and bookstore were opened in Bucharest, and the officials of the city offered to store Christian books in a room below the palace of Ceausescu, the very site where Richard had been held in solitary confinement.

During his ministry, Richard wrote 18 books in English and others in Romanian, some of which have been translated into 38 different languages.
Richard retired from the day-to-day work of The Voice of the Martyrs in 1992, but he continued as a consultant and member of the board of directors, maintaining a keen interest in the work until his death in 2001.
Sabina Wurmbrand, who passed away August 11, 2000, is remembered as a woman of great integrity, a student of the Scriptures, a mighty faith warrior, and a true help mate to her husband.

Here, in a rare video from the 1960’s, is a biographical video featuring Richard Wurmbrand, and his experiences being “Tortured for Christ.”

Please Pray for the Persecuted Church

I encourage you to pray-every day-for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ around the globe.
The Scriptural basis for this is clear from Hebrews 13:3:
“Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; [and] them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.”

A short time ago, I really felt the call to add the persecuted church to my daily prayer list. Every day, I pray for those who seek to harm or destroy Israel, praying that they will realize “the benefits of befriending Israel.” I add to this prayer for those facing persecution around the globe, and I pray for the captors … whether it is national or a local group … that these groups and individuals will turn … “from persecuting the church to protecting the church.”

Christians are the most persecuted religious group worldwide. The number of Christians who are killed because of their faith is staggering. In my research, the numbers reported by various agencies or sources varied greatly … but … even the lowest estimate of Christians who have been killed for their faith is … well … staggering.

Christians in more than 60 countries face persecution from their governments or surrounding neighbors simply because of their belief in Christ (Source: U.S. Department of State).

One of the worst countries in the world for the persecution of Christians is North Korea. With the exception of four official state-controlled churches in Pyongyang, Christians in North Korea face the risk of detention in the prison camps, severe torture and, in some cases, execution for practicing their religious beliefs. North Koreans suspected of having contact with South Korean or other foreign missionaries in China, and those caught in possession of a Bible, have been known to be executed (Source: Christian Solidarity Worldwide).

In 41 of the 50 worst nations for persecution, Christians are being persecuted by Islamic extremists. (Source: Open Doors)

More Christians were martyred in the 20th century than in all other centuries combined [christianity.com].
Currently over 100 million Christians are being persecuted worldwide [Reuters, 2013]
70 percent of the world’s population lives in a religiously intolerant environment [Pew Forum, 2011]
North Korea: in 2015 it continues to be the worst country in the world for persecution.
Iran: Its parliament believes Muslims who change their faith should be put to death.

Here is the definition of “persecution” from the website of Release International:
“Why are Christians Persecuted?
Religious persecution can be defined as the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group simply because of their belief. In other words, the persecution is unwarranted. Christians have been persecuted from earliest times e.g. Acts 8.1 and believers were told to expect it:
“If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you …” (John 15:20).
“All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12)

Why persecution? The root cause of persecution is spiritual, not ideological. Satan hates both national Israel (the Jews) and spiritual Israel, the church. In fact, he wages war upon both Jew and believer in Christ (Rev 12:17), and since he is still ruler of this world (until Christ comes-John 12:31) he uses the world e.g. humanistic law in Europe, or extremists of other faiths, to carry out his aims.”

It is amazing to me how little, in the United States, we even hear a casual mention of the atrocities facing the church around the globe. Unless we subscribe to certain news feeds or reports, we just don’t hear much about it … I wonder why that is?

Of course, I know we all know why that is …

Please continue to pray for those “that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.” We are, after all, members of the same body.

Here is a video from CBN which offers a global view of suffering Christians around the world:

 

International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2013

Here is a special video we’d like to share, produced by “Gospel For Asia,” for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church 2013, coming up this Sunday, November 3.

Every day, believers around the world risk banishment, beatings, imprisonment and death to follow Christ and take His Gospel farther. Perseverance often seems impossible, but when the Lord enables believers to stand strong, He works mightily through their sufferings.

On November 3 (or any Sunday in November), join churches across the nation in lifting up the persecuted through unified prayer. Share this video with your congregation, and let them see how their prayers can strengthen believers and expand God’s kingdom into the most unreached places.