Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Voice of the Martyrs Update

When these updates come in, it always makes the woes & small problems of my own life seem small & meaningless. Praise God that I can live in Canada and don't have to face these kinds of things that many of our brethren are facing all over the world!

"Remember the prisoners as if chained with them and those who are mistreated, since you yourselves are in the body also." Hebrews 13:3

SOUTH KOREA UPDATE: Korean Hostages Told Convert to Islam or Die -“ British Broadcasting Corporation On September 12, South Korean Christian aid workers held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan for six weeks, reported being beaten and ordered at gun point to convert to Islam, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). According to the BBC, the former hostages told a press conference they were made to work like slaves while in captivity. Jae Chang-hee told reporters, "We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around. Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion. I was beaten many times. They pointed a rifle and bayonet at me and tried to force me to convert." Jae Chang-hee added, "We lived like slaves. We had to level the ground for motorbikes, and get water and make a fire." BBC reported that Yu Jung-hwa said she thought she was going to die. "The most difficult moment, when I had a big fear of death, was when the Taliban shot a video. All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taliban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me. They said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras." Recalling how Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu was led away to his death, the BBC said Han Ji-young, in tears, added, "Bae didn't even look at us when he was leaving the room. He only said, 'Overcome with faith.'" Continue praying for God to touch the lives of these believers as they deal with their experience in Afghanistan. Pray God comforts the families of the two that were killed. Pray the testimony of these Christians will draw non-believers into fellowship with Him. Deuteronomy 28, Psalm 91
INDIA Christians Beaten by Militants in India “ VOM Sources
BANGALORE: On September 8, Pastor Angam Haokip was attacked by more than 30 men in the village of Geddalahalli, Bangalore. According to The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts in India, the men forced Pastor Haokip to stop his vehicle. VOM contacts reported, "They asked him if he was a pastor and when he said 'yes,' they pulled him out of his car. The men accused him of 'ruining' the nation and beat him in front of several witnesses. They tried to crush his legs with boulders and also kicked him in the neck." The pastor sustained severe injuries to his back and chest and his car was destroyed. When he tried to file a complaint with local police, it was rejected because the police said a complaint had been registered against him for negligent driving.

HYDERABAD: On September 9, Pastor Sudhakar and four Christians visiting from Singapore were attacked by members of Hindu militant groups while leading a worship service at Bethel Gospel Church in Amberpet, Hyderabad. According to, a report from the All India Christian Council, approximately 300 believers were gathered when the militants forcibly entered the church building and began to shout obscenities against Christianity. The intruders assaulted Pastor Sudhakar with a rod. Prior to the attack, the militants had filed a complaint with local police alleging the pastor and the Singapore team were involved in forcible conversion.Pray for healing for those injured in the attacks. Ask God to bless the ministry of these pastors and other Christians who are spreading the gospel in India. Pray God touches the lives of the persecutors and leads them to faith in Christ. Romans 8:11, Isaiah 40:31
CHINA UPDATE: House Church Leader Released from Prison “ China Aid Association On September 10, prominent Beijing house church leader, Pastor Cai Zhuohua, was released after three years in prison. According to The Voice of the Martyrs' contacts, "Cai was in good spirits when he was released. Cai was not allowed to read or have a Bible for the past three years. Since his release, he has been picked by the Public Security Bureau (PSB) and taken to their office. He has to report to the PSB office once a month and has been warned not to speak out or attend church services." Praise God that Pastor Cai has been reunited with his family. Pray God gives him and other believers in China courage to continually live for Christ, despite the immense challenges they face. Pray their testimonies will draw non-believers, even PSB officers, into the knowledge of Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:7, Psalm 27:1
AZERBAIJAN Imprisoned Pastor's Appeal Resumes - Forum 18 News-UPDATE: On September 6, the lawyer for imprisoned Baptist Pastor Zaur Balaev expressed optimism as the appeals process began in Sheki Appeal Court in Azerbaijan. According to Forum 18 News service, Gazalfar Rzaev said, "Of course I am optimistic." Illya Zenchenko, head of Azerbaijan's Baptist Union, was also hopeful Balaev's two-year sentence, on charges he assaulted five police officers, would be overturned. However, Zenchenko does fear Balaev might not be fully exonerated. He told Forum 18 News, "This is a dilemma for the court. Clearing Balaev would mean incriminating the police officers who falsely testified against him." On August 8, Balaev was convicted under Article 315, Part 1 of the Criminal Code, which punishes the application or threat of application of violence against a state representative when he or she is carrying out official duties. Balaev was sentenced to two years in prison. Pray for Pastor Balaev and his family while he is in prison awaiting the outcome of his appeal. Ask God to encourage believers in Azerbaijan. Isaiah 54:7, 2 Timothy 1:7
CHINA House Church Leader in Xinjiang Formally Arrested, Church Leaders Released - China Aid Association
XINJIANG - On August 31, house church leader Zhou Heng was formally arrested for receiving three tons of Bibles. He is currently detained at Xishan Detention Center. According to China Aid Association (CAA), Zhou Heng's formal arrest notice accused him of "illegal business operations." CAA reported, "Our contacts recently spoke with a released inmate who shared a cell with Brother Zhou. He reported that Zhou was severely beaten by inmates and prison guards." Prior to his arrest on August 3, Zhou Heng managed a bookstore called Yayi Christian Book Room and sold religious books. "Local authorities have closed the bookstore. The Bibles Zhou was collecting were reportedly donated by South Korean churches and were intended for distribution to local believers free of charge. However, the Chinese government only allows officially sanctioned (state) churches to print and distribute a limited number of Bibles each year," CAA added.
INNER MONGOLIA: UPDATE - China Aid Association reported that authorities have released the seven house church leaders arrested on August 21. The Christian leaders were arrested during worship services. Praise God for the release of these Christian leaders. Pray for house church leader Zhou Heng and Christians in China who face challenges because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Psalm 27:1, Isaiah 54: 14
ERITREA Christian Tortured to Death in Eritrea - Compass Direct News/Open DoorsOn September 5, Eritrean authorities tortured to death 33-year-old Nigsti Haile for refusing to recant her Christian faith while being held at the Wi'a Military Training Center. Haile is the fourth Christian killed in Eritrea in less than a year. Compass Direct News reported, "She was one of 10 single Christian women arrested at a church gathering in Keren. They have spent 18 months under severe pressure. Haile was killed for refusing to sign a letter recanting her faith." In May 2002, government officials called in the leaders of all evangelical churches in Eritrea and told them they would not be permitted to hold further public services. Only the "historic religions" of Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran and Islam have been allowed to hold public worship since that time. Compass Direct says that more than 2,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned. Not a single one of them has been formally charged or had a public trial, and all have been denied legal representation. Amnesty International released a report yesterday that said most of the more than 2,000 imprisoned Christians have been held for more than two years in harsh conditions, with little or no medical care. Pray for the Holy Spirit to comfort the family of Nigsti Haile. Ask God to protect and encourage Christians in Eritrea, especially believers imprisoned because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Philippians 4:6-7, 2 Corinthians 10: 5-6


  1. Just this past Sunday a preacher and his wife were beaten up and their motorcycle damaged in a village 5 hours from here. The thatched church where they conducted village worship services was burnt to the ground. We saw this on TV and read about this in the newspaper.The guilty were arrested.

    one reason our chruch leaders are concerned about sharing our church with other churches is that they are evangelizing among non-Christians and they are afraid that we might become targets of opposition.Pray that this fear may leave them.

  2. This is a battle and recently we've been hit hard by the enemy. But we'll fight on. Thanks for faithfully bringing the persecuted ones to the forefront. I'm due to make a post very soon. Thanks.

  3. I'm familiar with VOM, but it is so hard to listen/read about our fellow believers who are constantly in peril. I do not think I would be strong enough to carry on were I in their shoes, and that makes me feel terrible.