Persecution Update, June 2018 - TAJIKISTAN

 Photo Courtesy of World Watch Monitor

Photo Courtesy of World Watch Monitor

The Muslim nation of Tajikistan has recently amended its religion law to assert total control over all religious matters. Churches must fill out detailed questionnaires about their activities and also include a list of the foreign organizations from which they receive funding. Cameras are to be installed in churches, so the government can monitor the people and the preaching.

In July of 2017 Bakhrom Khomatov, a 42-year-old Protestant pastor, was sentenced to three years in prison for allegedly “singing extremist songs in church” and inciting “religious hatred.” The secret police also designated his Christian books as “extremist material” and disbanded the church. His wife, Gulnora, has suffered health issues since her husband’s arrest. Please pray for God’s special grace for Pastor Khomatov and Gulnora so that they will shine as lights for Christ in the darkness.

Persecution Update - Kim Hak Song

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We praise the Lord we can share the good news that Professor Kim Hak Song, a Christian Korean-American, was one of the three prisoners released from North Korea yesterday! We rejoice that he appears to be in good health and are grateful for your intercessions on his behalf. Please continue to pray for the thousands of North Korean Christians who are still in slave labor camps. Read our previous update here. 

Persecution Update - Pastor Andrew Brunson

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Pastor Andrew Brunson’s second hearing was May 7 for the two crimes he has been accused of - aiding terrorist organizations and attempting to “Christianize” the people of Turkey. Following is how his wife, Norine, characterized her husband’s testimony at that trial.

I know many of you will have seen in the news that Andrew's imprisonment continues. Again, the Spirit of the Lord was on him to speak the truth clearly and have a good testimony during the 10 hour hearing. So glory to God and thank you for your prayers!

Unfortunately, the judge has postponed the trial until July 18 and has sent Pastor Andrew back to prison. Please continue to pray for God to be glorified and for special grace and courage to be given to Andrew and his wife. 

Read our previous update here.   

Photo Courtesy of World Witness

Persecution Update, May 2018 - SOMALIA

The government of Somalia claims that all Somalis are Muslim because its constitution makes Sunni Islam the state religion. The radical Islamic terrorist group Al Shabaab is waging a campaign against Somalis who are secret Christians, executing them by beheading. In addition, just being a Christian woman invites abuse. One report documents that daily six women are raped or forced into arranged marriages because of their faith. Please pray for Gospel light to shine in Somalia and for Christians, isolated and in great need of fellowship and discipleship, to persevere in following Jesus.

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Persecution Update - Pastor Andrew Brunson

UPDATE on April 2018 Persecution Update

Pastor Andrew Brunson’s April 16 trial did not go well. After Pastor Brunson denied the terrorism charges brought against him, he was ordered back to prison. His trial is postponed until May 7. The entire process has taken a major toll on him physically and emotionally. Please pray for a special measure of God’s grace for him and his wife, Norine. Please also pray for God to turn the hearts of the judges to righteousness.

 Photo Courtesy of World Witness 

Photo Courtesy of World Witness 

 

 

Persecution Update, April 2018 - TURKEY

 Photo courtesy of World Witness

Photo courtesy of World Witness

Andrew Brunson, who is from North Carolina, served as a pastor in Turkey for 23 years, most recently at Izmir Resurrection Church. In October of 2016, he was arrested on the false charge of membership in a terrorist organization. The majority of Pastor Andrew’s time in prison has been spent in isolation at a maximum security facility.

Pastor Andrew’s trial date has been set for April 16, and the Turkish government is pressing for a 35-year prison sentence. Please intercede for God to give grace and boldness to Pastor Andrew so that God will be glorified at the trial. "I am in prison not for anything I have done wrong, but because of who I am – a Christian pastor. . . . Yet I believe this to be true: it is an honor to suffer for Jesus Christ, as many have before me.” --Pastor Andrew Brunson

Photo courtesy of World Witness

Persecution Update, March 2018 - LAOS

In Laos, one of the few communist nations left in the world, Christians comprise only about 3% of the population. Laotian believers (most of whom abandon Buddhism or animism in order to follow Jesus) suffer great harassment and rejection from both their families and the government. Pastor Shu fled his village after a relative who was angry at the Gospel message attempted to murder him. Two older teenage girls, Nani and Nha Phong, were tied up for four days by their father for professing Christ and rejecting animism. After releasing them, their father continued to pressure them to return to animism. They were later arrested but were able to escape to another village. Please pray that our Laotian brothers and sisters will glorify God in their sufferings as they are persecuted for Christ’s sake.

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Persecution Update, February 2018 - SAUDI ARABIA

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Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, is one of several countries most hostile to Christians. The Saudis practice Wahhabism, the strictest form of Islam. Officially, every Saudi citizen is considered a Muslim, and those who become followers of Christ are subject to the death penalty. Approximately 4% of the population is Christian—most of whom are foreign workers who worship in underground churches. The government employs thousands of religious police to enforce strict Islamic laws, including raiding house churches. However, Saudis are turning to Christ at great risk of severe persecution from both family and government authorities. Many learn of Jesus on the Internet, and when they come to saving faith, they know no other Christians. Their only source of fellowship is online. Please pray for grace for believers who follow Christ in this radical Muslim nation.  

"All the Stars" Music Video - Dispatches from the Front Panorama

2017 was a big year at Frontline as we celebrated the mission’s 25th anniversary.  As part of that milestone, we released the 10th episode in the Dispatches series, and Caroline Cobb helped us produce a music video to mark the occasion.  Her song, “All the Stars” (about God’s promise to Abraham), provides the backdrop for a panorama from the Dispatches series, highlighting the faithfulness of God in fulfilling His promise of blessing through the Gospel! 

Persecution Update, January 2018 - NORTH KOREA

North Korea will not tolerate any worship that rivals that of the “Great Leader,” Kim Jong-un. As an example of the pervasive religious oppression, school children are rewarded for going on a “treasure hunt” at home to look for Bibles and reporting their finds to their teachers. If found guilty, the parents are sent to a concentration camp. An estimated 70,000 Korean Christians endure brutal torture in slave labor camps.

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A Christian Korean-American, Kim Hak Song, is a visiting university instructor who was arrested on May 6, 2017, on the false charges of “hostile acts against the government.” Professor Kim had previously written, “I’ve committed to devoting my last drop of blood to this work.” Please pray for him and other suffering believers in North Korea who endure persecution for the sake of the Cross.