May 3rd, 2013 by Frontline Missions
For eleven straight years, North Korea has maintained its reprehensible reputation of being the nation most hostile to the Gospel. This Communist nation resists any form of religion except the state religion of Juche, which glorifies human self-sufficiency and results in the cult worship of Leader Kim Jong-Il (who died two years ago) and his son, the new Leader Kim Jong-Un.
In recent days, two North Korean Christians were killed for the sake of the Gospel. One was shot at the border as he courageously returned to his country after receiving Bible training in China. The other believer died from torture in one of the despicable prison camps reserved for enemies of the state. An estimated 70,000 Christians of all ages have been interned in these harsh prison camps, where Communist doctors conduct poisonous experiments on them with chemical and biological weapons.
In addition, this week Kenneth Bae, an American citizen detained in North Korea in November, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for “hostile acts.” Bae is a Christian and was in North Korea to feed starving orphans when he was arrested.
Please intercede on behalf of these dear suffering believers, who endure abuse and torture for their faith in Christ and who take great risks for the Gospel’s sake, knowing the Word of God is not bound.
March 1st, 2013 by Frontline Missions
Turkey has long been a secular Muslim nation, but fanatical Islamic factions continue to pursue efforts to drive out the Christian minority population. Pastor Emre Karaali has faithfully served as the pastor of Izmit Protestant Church for 13 years after his conversion from Islam. The small congregation of 20 Turkish believers is miniscule in a city of one million Muslim people, but they were targeted. Over a year ago, two Muslim Turks infiltrated the church, and one of them even submitted to baptism. This past January, the police uncovered a plot to assassinate Pastor Emre and his family, which was orchestrated by these two men plus four other Turks who had visited the church. The plot was discovered just a week before it was going to be carried out. Although Pastor Emre had received a death threat a year ago and now this definite plan to kill him, he has not allowed that to stop him from shepherding his little congregation. He said, “We will continue to do what the Lord asks.” God is to be praised for His protection from these men. Please continue to pray for Pastor Emre and his family. There is an urgent need for grace to persevere for Christ in such a hostile environment.
February 4th, 2013 by Frontline Missions
Under President Mohamed Morsi’s new constitution in Egypt, radical Islamic law is now the law of the land. Those who convert from Islam to Christianity face prison time because the new constitution limits freedom of speech and religion. One of the legal barriers to conversion is the national ID card which identifies a person by religion. There are severe penalties for Christians changing their ID card status after their conversion from Islam. One recent example is a widow, Nadia Mohamed Ali, who was married to a Muslim man with whom she had seven children. After her husband died, Nadi and her children converted to Christianity, and they attempted to get their religion changed on their national ID card. Under Morsi’s government, Nadia and her children have been sentenced to 15 years in prison. Pray for special grace for Nadia and her children, as well as for other Christians who face persecution under this radical Egyptian regime.
January 3rd, 2013 by Frontline Missions
This past September, the country of Iran—the second worst nation for Christian persecution—arrested an Iranian-American pastor while he was visiting in Tehran. As a young Muslim man of age 20 living in Iran, Saeed Abedini had trained with a terrorist group to become a suicide bomber. Through an incredible work of God’s grace, Abedini converted to Christ and abandoned Islam. He eventually became a leader of a network of house churches in Iran before immigrating to America and obtaining U.S. citizenship in 2005. At great risk, Abedini has continued to visit Iran to see his parents and also to work on building an orphanage.
After keeping him under surveillance, authorities in Tehran indicted him four months ago and put him in the notorious Evin Prison. Abedini could potentially be facing a death sentence for apostasy and proselytizing. His wife, Naghmeh, reported that her husband has endured harassment and torture in prison. Please intercede for both Pastor Saeed and his wife back in Idaho that they would experience a special sense of the Lord’s presence and strength as they suffer for Christ’s sake.
December 4th, 2012 by Frontline Missions
Pakistan continues to rank in the top ten most dangerous countries for Christians. The country’s strict laws that criminalize blasphemy against the Koran or Mohammed are commonly used by Muslims to make false accusations against Christians simply to settle a business or personal conflict. One of these abuses of the anti-blasphemy laws occurred this past August when a 14-year-old Christian girl with a mental disability, Rimsha Masih, was falsely accused of burning pages of the Koran. She spent three weeks in prison, and was finally released when evidence was submitted that a Muslim imam planted the burned pages on her. The charges were officially dropped on November 20th. However, Rimsha and her family are in hiding and cannot return to their home. Also, Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, remains under a death sentence since 2010 for allegedly insulting the Prophet Mohammed. Pray for God’s comfort and grace for these Pakistani believers and their families, as they endure such hostilities for the sake of Christ.
November 21st, 2012 by Frontline Missions
The box set of the first five episodes of theDispatches from the Front series is now on sale—with free shipping! The stories that unfold on these DVDs are strengthening believers, building confidence in the Gospel, and magnifying Christ’s saving work in all the earth! From now through January 15, 2013, get the complete set for just $50, plus get free shipping. (Regular price is $55 plus $5 shipping.)
To view trailers and clips and/or to order, go to www.dispatchesfromthefront.org.
“The narrative is as beautifully crafted as the stories are inspiring. I want my life to count for this.”
−John Piper, author of Let the Nations Be Glad! and Don’t Waste Your Life
November 1st, 2012 by Frontline Missions
In the devoutly Muslim country of Morocco, it is estimated there are only 2,000 Christians out of population of 33 million. A local believer, Jamaa Bakrim, 48, was sentenced to prison in 2005 on unfounded charges of destruction of property and proselytizing. Because Jamaa was open about his faith as a Christian businessman, the Islamic government handed down a very harsh penalty of 15 years imprisonment. That was the longest sentence ever to be given to a Moroccan Christian, and Jamaa has now served almost half of the time. Even prior to this sentence, he was rejected by his family and had to spend time in a mental institution for “re-education.” International efforts have continued to petition the Moroccan government for Jamaa’s release. Pray for God’s will to be done on his behalf, and also for God’s special grace for him to shine as a light for Christ in prison.
October 16th, 2012 by Frontline Missions
Two hundred years ago today, October 16, 1812, the intrepid missionary and Bible translator Henry Martyn died at the age of 31 in Tokat, in what is now northeastern Turkey. His brilliance as a linguist, his courage as a Gospel pioneer, and above all his driving passion for Christ left an enduring example of missionary service and sacrifice.
Though he lived to serve only 6 years on the field, Martyn left translations of the New Testament in Urdu, Arabic, and Persian. He filled his days with lasting things. By the fall of 1812, suffering from tuberculosis, weakened by fever, and exhausted from his arduous, friendless journey across Iran, Martyn wrote, “O Lord, Thy will be done! Living, dying, remember me!” Then in Tokat, all alone—and yet not alone—he wrote in his journal for the last time, “I thought with sweet comfort and peace of my God, who, in solitude, was my company, my friend, and comforter.”
Many biographies and articles about Henry Martyn can be found to better acquaint you with this remarkable man who embodied risk-taking, cross-bearing Gospel ministry. Tim Challies provides an excellent review of a more recent biography here.
October 9th, 2012 by Frontline Missions
October 1st, 2012 by Frontline Missions
On September 5th, Kazakhstan officials arrested 32-year-old Uzbek house church pastor Makset Djabbarbergenov, intending to send him back to his native country of Uzbekistan. Pastor Makset and his family fled to Kazakhstan in 2007 to escape persecution after facing six court trials in Uzbekistan for unlawful religious activity in that predominantly Muslim country. The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees has designated Pastor Makset as a religious refugee because of his Christian faith. However, the Kazakh government refuses to recognize that status, and Kazakh officials are now making plans to send him back to Uzbekistan, where he will face certain prosecution. The impending deportation has been very stressful on Pastor Makset, his wife and five children. He recently told a friend that he did not want to carry this cross. However, Pastor Makset says, “I pray that if this from you, Lord, I will accept whatever you say. Just help me carry it.” Please intercede for the Lord to protect and to strengthen Pastor Makset and his family.