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!
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.
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.
The tiny country of Eritrea ranks as the world’s tenth-harshest persecutor of Christians. Dire economic conditions and government oppression have earned that nation the title, “North Korea of Africa,” and its citizens have been fleeing the country for years. Eritrea’s official religions are Sunni Islam and three government-approved Christian denominations—Catholic, Orthodox, and Lutheran. Independent congregations are illegal, and evangelical Christians—who number slightly more than 100,000—are suffering. In 2017, more than 200 evangelical Christians were arrested—including mothers taken away from their small children. These believers endure barbaric conditions in concentration camps, where they are being housed in crowded metal shipping containers with no ventilation in extreme heat. Fikadu Debesay, a young mother of three, died in August while interned in a desert camp. Some believers have spent more than ten years in the concentration camps. Yet, “God is working mightily; the church is growing,” said an Eritrean church elder. Pray for sustaining grace for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Eritrea who suffer for the Gospel’s sake.
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We are continuing our 25th anniversary sale of the complete set of Dispatches from the Front DVDs! All 10 episodes are available through December 31, 2017, for $75 with free Media Mail shipping.
These would make great Christmas gifts! To order at this special price, you can purchase online at www.frontlinemissions.info/store/.
Beware of watching these Dispatches if you don't like being moved and inspired and shaken out of the ruts of your life. My wife and I were riveted in watching the frontline reports of God's work recorded in the Dispatches from the Front series. This is the sort of information that builds faith in the present providence of God over His mission and stirs up action for the sake of lost and hurting people near and far. I would love to see thousands of people mobilized as senders and goers for the sake of the glory of Christ and the relief of suffering on the frontiers, especially eternal suffering. - Dr. John Piper
The communist nation of China has seen some decrease in harassment of believers in recent years, so the country’s persecution ranking dropped to 39. However, this year President Xi increased the pressure on Christians through tougher laws and his insistence on installing government surveillance cameras in church buildings. Also, new laws passed in September 2017 mandate that all underground churches must register with the government by March 2018.
Though some areas of China have seen lessened oppression, in Henan province the persecution is growing more intense. In 2014, a well-known pastor of a Three-Self Patriotic church, Zhang Shaojie, was given a sentence of 12 years in prison and a $16,000 fine for the crime of “disrupting public order” — the harshest given since Mao in the 1970s. In prison, Pastor Zhang has been cruelly tortured, given meager food, and subjected to sleep deprivation. The latest report from his family indicated that he is close to death. Please intercede for God’s strength and grace for Pastor Zhang and for the other believers in China who suffer for Christ.
(Photo from www.worldwatchmonitor.org)
This is a big year at Frontline as we celebrate 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!
And as part of the year’s 25th anniversary celebration, we are making the complete set of all 10 episodes available at a special sale price of $75 – and free shipping – from now until December 31.
The tiny Muslim nation of Qatar is located on the Persian Gulf with a population about the size of Houston, Texas. The native Qatari populace comprises only 12%, while the vast majority is composed of low-income migrant workers from the Philippines, India and Pakistan who work in construction and in the oil industry. The national religion is Wahhabism - the ultraconservative form of Islam. Any attempt to evangelize Muslims is forbidden by law. Approximately 14% of the population professes to be Christians, but they are almost exclusively found among the foreign migrant workers. Very few native Qataris have actually been converted to Christ. Persecution of Christians is severe with Qatar ranking #20 among nations that oppress Christians. Please pray for the Gospel’s advance among indigenous Qataris and for grace for new converts to find fellowship among other believers.
Although 82% of the population of Kenya self-identify as Christians, Kenya ranks 18th on the list of countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians. Kenya’s 10-15% Muslim minority is growing and becoming radicalized. The Al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabbab, which is based in neighboring Somalia, has been attacking Christians in eastern Kenya. In August, three Kenyan Christians in eastern Lamu County were beheaded when they refused to deny Christ by reciting the Islamic prayer of faith. One of the men was Joseph Kasena, age 42, who was an elder in his church. In July, al-Shabbab militants raided a village and went door-to-door looking for Christians. Seven Christian men—all poor farmers—were brutally killed by the attackers. In 2015, al-Shabbab terrorists killed 148 Christian students at Garrisa University near Kenya’s Somali border, and in 2016, the same group of militants murdered 48 Christians in Lamu County who could not recite Quaranic verses. Please pray for special grace for suffering Kenyan believers and their families who endure torture and death for their faith in Christ.
(Photo from www.uscirf.gov)