MIDDLE EAST: Persecution Gives Me A Taste Of Jesus
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Episodes

  • MIDDLE EAST: Persecution Gives Me A Taste Of Jesus

    Aaron Miller is just back from visiting persecuted Christians in the Middle East, including one of our Christian brothers who was formerly a Sunni Muslim, then became a Shia Muslim and ultimately found love, hope and truth in Jesus Christ.

    Aaron also met the family of a man who gave his life delivering Bibles to Iran. Rather than pull back, the family continues to be involved in secret Bible deliveries—in spite of the risk.

    Aaron will discuss Christians displaced in recent years by ISIS, by the situation in Syria and other persecution—and how VOM is encouraging and equipping Christians to reach out with the gospel in some of these difficult situations.

    Finally, Aaron will share about a young woman sharing the gospel with a “holy recklessness,” who points to one of the blessings of persecution: she says it gives her “a taste of Jesus.”

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    24 MIN
  • North Korea: Will You Choose Faith or Fear?

    Australian John Short was detained inside North Korea after leaving gospel tracts near a Buddhist temple. He was facing years in prison—but he wasn’t afraid.

    “Fear and faith cannot exist within my heart at the same time,” he says.

    In this second part of our conversation with Mr. Short, he shares how he prayed—out loud—throughout his captivity, how his captors responded to his faith and how his “letter of confession” and eventual release came about.

    He’ll also share how, upon landing back in China, he learned for the first time that his captivity was international news. He was deeply moved to learn that Christians in many nations were praying for him during his trial, including a group of Chinese house churches that prayed around the clock during his detention.

    Finally, Mr. Short shares specific ways we can pray for the “hermit kingdom” of North Korea.

    You can hear John’s wife, Karen, share her side of the story in this episode of VOM Radio.

    24 MIN
  • Prisoner In North Korea

    Australian John Short was detained in North Korea. He was repeatedly interrogated. He was forced to write a “confession” of his “crimes,” including the offense of wanting more North Koreans to follow Jesus.

    But if God asked him today, Short would happily go back to the "Hermit Kingdom." Short shares with VOM Radio how God strengthened him during his captivity, Scriptures and earthly examples of persecuted Christians that most encouraged him, and how he managed to take a measure of control back from his captors — and even make them nervous.

    Mr. Short agreed to only two media interviews after his release; one with his hometown newspaper back in Australia, and the other with The Voice of the Martyrs Radio.

    Hear the rest of the story when you listen also to our interview with Short's wife, Karen.

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    24 MIN
  • Christians: Prepare for Persecution

    Floyd Brobbel has been involved in ministry to persecuted Christians since birth! Today he leads the work of VOM – Canada, the ministry founded by his parents 50 years ago.

    Listen as Floyd tells the story of his first trip for VOM, and a Christian woman in Ethiopia that permanently changed the way Floyd thinks about Christian persecution and what it means to be part of the Body of Christ.

    Floyd will also tell of his experiences as a child and young man with Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM’s founders who were both imprisoned for their faith in communist Romania. Floyd knew the Wurmbrands were spiritual heroes, but he also saw their playful side as people and friends.

    Brobbel will also tell about his new book, Trouble on the Way: Persecution in the Christian Life (affiliate link).

    You can learn more about VOM Canada—and Canadian listeners can subscribe to the ministry’s free newsletter, at www.VOMCanada.com.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN
  • AFRICA: Christian Persecution Updates from Mozambique, Ethiopia and Uganda

    Christians—especially pastors—are being targeted by an Islamist insurgent group in Northern Mozambique, a group that already pledged allegiance to ISIS. A VOM worker recently visited the area and met with Christians who are among 800,000 displaced people. He heard horrible stories of violence and persecution, but also saw persecuted Christians continuing to serve and advance the gospel in spite of their suffering and loss.

    Sean Paton will tell us how the church in Mozambique is responding, as well as give an update to listeners on current persecution in Ethiopia and Uganda. Paton is Africa Regional Director for VOM.

    Sean will also encourage prayer for Eritrean Christians who fled for refuge into Ethiopia, but now face Eritrean troops who crossed the border during conflict in the Tigray region. He’ll share specific ways to pray for Christians in each nation discussed.

    Listen here to learn more about the situation in Mozambique from a previous VOM Radio guest, Will Hart.

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    24 MIN
  • CHINA: Great Suffering During 100 Years of Chinese Communist Party

    Just a few days before government-mandated “celebrations” of the 100th Anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party, we finish a conversation with Bob Fu, former prisoner for Christ and the founder of China Aid Association. Bob points out the terrible cost of decades of control in China by a philosophy that places zero value on human life.

    Bob will talk about the choice some Chinese Christians are making to stay in their country in spite of the constant threat of persecution. He’ll also tell how some Christians are choosing to leave, seeing no future under President Xi Jinping.

    China’s pressure and persecution efforts also reach outside their borders—including harassing Bob and his family in the United States.

    Bob will help us pray for Christians in China; he also says Chinese Christians are praying right now for the United States and believers here.

    Bob Fu is the author of two books: God’s Double Agent, which tells the story of Bob’s coming to faith in China and eventually being forced to flee the country; and The Politics of Inclusive Pluralism: A Proposed Foundation for Religious Freedom in a Post-Communist, Democratic China. You can listen to the first part of our conversation with Bob here.

    This month you can receive a free copy of When Faith is Forbidden, the new book by VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton, when you make any donation to help persecuted Christians through The Voice of the Martyrs. Learn more and give online.

    Never miss and episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN
  • CHINA: Worst Persecution in 40 Years

    Bob Fu is a former prisoner for Christ and the founder of China Aid Association, serving and sharing the stories of persecuted Christians in China. He says persecution of Christians in communist China is the worst it has been in 40 years—since the days of the Cultural Revolution.

    Bob will share a recent case of persecution and the story of how our brother Chen Wensheng—a former mafia leader—thought of ten days in prison as a “spiritual retreat.” Brother Chen went right back to publicly witnessing for Christ the moment he was released.

    Pastor Bob says Chinese Christians understand they are in a spiritual battle, rather than a physical one. Listen to hear how they gain strength to face opposition and persecution, and how the church prepares believers—even youth—to stand strong.

    Bob Fu is the author of two books: God’s Double Agent, which tells the story of Bob’s coming to faith in China and eventually being forced to flee the country; and The Politics of Inclusive Pluralism: A Proposed Foundation for Religious Freedom in a Post-Communist, Democratic China.

    This month you can receive a free copy of VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton’s new book, When Faith is Forbidden, when you make any donation to help persecuted Christians through The Voice of the Martyrs. Learn more and give online.

    Never miss and episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    26 MIN
  • PAKISTAN: Persecution is Like The Air

    Paul wrote to the Corinthian church that, “a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries” (I Cor. 16:9). “Brother Aaron” says Paul’s ministry description could have been written about Christians in the restricted nation of Pakistan in 2021.

    Listen as Aaron shares how Christian persecution is “like the air” in Pakistan—something that’s always present and almost taken for granted by people there. He’ll also explain how the church prepares believers—especially young people—to be strong in their faith and ready to withstand societal pressure and persecution.

    Aaron will also talk about the types of persecution faced by former Muslims who leave Islam behind to follow Christ. Finally, he’ll equip listeners with specific ways to pray for Pakistan and the church there.

    To learn more about how you can pray for Christians in Pakistan and other restricted nations, request your free copy of VOM’s 2021 Global Prayer Guide.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN
  • Decades Serving China’s Church

    “Uncle Monnie” has worked alongside Chinese Christians for decades. He says the pressure and persecution Christians face there today is even worse than during the Cultural Revolution.

    Listen as Monnie shares about the changes he’s seen in China and the response of believers he’s trained to face persecution and continue to advance the gospel. Some of those Monnie helped train now serve Jesus in restricted Muslim nations in the Middle East and around the world.

    Learn how you can pray for Chinese Christians, and how persecution is teaching Christians from different backgrounds to work and minister side-by-side. Finally, Monnie will provide an update on current events in Myanmar.

    Listen to Uncle Monnie’s first visit with VOM Radio here.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    26 MIN
  • IRAN: “God Always Advances His Kingdom Through Trouble”

    Tune in this week for the second half of our conversation with Pastor Tat Stewart, who lived and ministered in Tehran as the Islamic Revolution swept through Iran. Listen to how he was encouraged by his final conversation on Iranian soil before he and his family were expelled from the country. You’ll also hear how God showed him he could have a more far-reaching ministry to Iranians outside the country than he could ever have living inside the Islamic Republic.

    “I could not stay away from what God was doing with Iranians,” he says.

    Tat also shares how hungry the Iranian people were for the gospel—even teenagers craved deep teaching and were willing to invest long stretches of time in Bible study and prayer.

    Tat continues to minister to Iranian Christians through Talim Ministries, including publishing and mentoring Iranian pastors.

    If you missed the first half of our conversation with Tat, which included how God called him to Iran as well as his experiences on the day the US Embassy was taken over in 1979, listen here.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN
  • IRAN: On the Ground In Tehran During the Islamic Revolution

    “Let’s drive by the American Embassy and see what’s going on…”

    It was November 4, 1979 when Tat Stewart said those words to his wife as they drove home from church in Tehran, Iran. Iranian students had overrun the US Embassy that day. They would go on to hold 52 embassy staff members and others hostage for 444 days.

    Stewart, his wife and their children moved to Tehran earlier that year, just months after Ayatollah Khomeini arrived back in Iran and the Islamic Revolution took control of the country. Tat went to serve as the pastor of a church for expatriate Christians. But his experiences in Iran began many years earlier, when his parents moved there to serve as medical missionaries.

    Listen as Tat shares how he continued to minister as the Islamic revolution went on all around him, how he became a contact person for American citizens needing help amidst the chaos and how God protected and provided through that dangerous season—and ultimately led them to leave Iran.

    Tat Stewart continues to serve and train Iranian church leaders today through Talim Ministries.

    Find more conversations with Iranian Christians in the VOM Radio archives, or search for VOM Radio on your favorite podcast app.

    30 MIN
  • INDIA: When The Word of God Came, Things Changed

    “Brother Bennie” is back to talk about persecution of Christians in India, including the story of three close friends recently arrested for their evangelistic work. Hear how God worked during their time in prison—especially once they received a copy of the Bible.

    Bennie will talk about recent passage of anti-conversion laws in several Indian states, and how Christians and churches are affected by such laws. He says the India of today is dramatically different from the India he knew as a child, and even from how the nation was five or ten years ago.

    In addition to praying for India during the current coronavirus surge, Bennie will give listeners specific ways to pray for imprisoned Christians there, and for the nation as a whole.

    Learn more about Alpha Ministries, and read Bennie’s book, My Father’s Business.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    37 MIN
  • MISSIONS: My Calling Will Not Be Cancelled

    When Susi Childers met a woman who’d had three children killed in an attack in Northern Nigeria, God used the pain of three miscarriages in Susi’s life to open the door for a powerful time of connection and ministry. Listen as Susi shares the story, and offers encouragement to Christians wrestling with suffering, loss or even persecution right now.

    Paul and Susi Childers have spent more than two decades working to spread the gospel through Youth With a Mission (YWAM).

    They will give advice about blending the responsibilities of marriage and family with the missionary calling God has placed on their lives to serve Him—including very practical things that they do in their home and with their children.

    Listen to the first half of our conversation with Paul and Susi from last week, and previous VOM Radio conversations with Paul Childers.

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    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: The Next Step is Never Too Difficult

    Paul and Susi Childers have spent more than two decades working to spread the gospel to the nations at Youth With a Mission (YWAM).

    Listen as Susi shares how God called her from a career in photography to go as a missionary—and how He turned her camera into a bridge-building tool for sharing the gospel. “Don’t think because you don’t have a typical ‘Christian’ job that you can’t be used [in missions],” she says.

    Susi started out by committing to serve for one year, a commitment that has now been renewed for 24 years! She will offer advice if you sense God may be asking you to get involved in spreading the gospel to the world.

    Paul and Susi will also tell us how they think about risk—for themselves and for each other—and how they involve their children in sending and praying as they answer God’s call to go into all the world.

    Hear previous VOM Radio conversations with Paul Childers.

    Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the VOM Radio podcast.

    24 MIN
  • MISSIONS: Hold On To God's Call

    “Brother Jeff” served as a long-time gospel worker in South Asia and Indonesia—places with intense Christian persecution. Today he helps lead Assemblies of God World Missions (AGWM).

    Listen as he shares about the time he was arrested for his work, how God worked to set him free and how his arrest actually opened a doorway to more (and more secure) ministry opportunities.

    He’ll also talk about the challenges he and his wife experienced in their early years of missionary service, and how God’s clear call on their lives became an anchor they could hold on to in difficult seasons. His stories will help you know how to pray for missionaries currently in the field.

    Jeff will also offer advice to listeners sensing a call to serve God cross-culturally, including the need for a sense of adventure: “In 23 years [of overseas ministry],” he says, “the greatest things we did were not planned.”

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.

    37 MIN
  • A CHOICE IN ETHIOPIA: Jesus or My Gun?

    Brother Alayu was a very young man when he became a follower of Christ. Soon after, he was persecuted for that choice, even facing a communist official who told Alayu to “choose Jesus or my gun.”

    Alayu chose Jesus—and he continues to do so. Today, he is a leader with Global Call, a church-planting work in Ethiopia and surrounding nations, where he has seen great hunger for the gospel and a great move of God—in spite of the persecution Christians often face.

    Listen as he shares about ministry today in areas dominated by Ethiopian Orthodox teaching—a mixture of ancient Jewish teachings, some Christian ideas and even traditional African religious and witch doctor practices. Alayu and his workers have seen many people—even Orthodox priests—come to life-changing faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord.

    Alayu will also describe the importance of delivering Bibles and equip us to pray for Ethiopia and for the church there.

    24 MIN
  • When Her Husband Was Detained in North Korea, She “Simply Trusted the Lord”

    Karen Short’s husband, John, was detained inside North Korea, held incommunicado. Yet Karen never felt panicked about what would happen to him. “I simply trusted the Lord,” she says.

    John Short, an Australian Christian, was detained in North Korea in 2014 after leaving gospel tracts outside a Buddhist temple while part of a tour. Karen was home in Hong Kong, dealing with media attention, praying for her husband and receiving words of encouragement from all around the world.

    Listen in as Karen shares:

    • How God ministered to her during John’s detention
    • How she and John stayed connected through Scripture—even though they couldn’t communicate during his detention
    • How journalists and others responded when they observed Karen’s calm assurance and faith in God
    • How she learned that her husband would be released and allowed to return home
    • The one thing she wishes she’d done differently—it will surprise you!

    The story of Karen’s faithfulness will inspire you to trust more deeply in God and dive deeper into His Word, even if you’re not planning a trip to North Korea.

    VOM Radio also shared John’s side of the story of what happened in North Korea. Listen here.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio. Subscribe to the podcast!

    24 MIN
  • Richard Wurmbrand’s Editor: He Focused on Jesus

    Through books and other writing, Pastor Richard Wurmbrand became a voice for persecuted Christians all over the world. This week we’ll meet the woman who shaped and polished so many of Richard’s printed words.

    Ellen Oblander served many years as the editor for Richard Wurmbrand, co-founder of The Voice of the Martyrs. She worked on many of his books, as well as on VOM’s free monthly magazine. Over the years Ellen became much more than an editor; she grew into being almost a member of the family.

    Listen as she shares the story of being given a copy of Tortured For Christ, then soon afterwards hearing Richard Wurmbrand speak for the first time and meeting his wife, Sabina. She saw, first-hand, Sabina’s incredible behind-the-scenes ministry supporting her husband and advancing the work of VOM.

    Ellen will also talk about Richard’s constant writing, his editing process and the times she’d pick up the phone to hear Richard unpack some Scripture passage he’d just read or a spiritual truth he was pondering.

    She’ll also tell about her time with Richard and Sabina in the latter years of their lives, and how Richard always looked to be a witness for Christ.

    Learn more about the lives of Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand by reading WURMBRAND: Tortured For Christ The Complete Story. Order your copy today. Listen to an interview with the principal writer of the book here.

    24 MIN
  • Surrounded by ISIS: Imprisoned For Christ in Sudan

    Petr Jasek was imprisoned 445 days in Sudan. He traveled to the country on behalf of The Voice of the Martyrs to meet with and encourage Sudanese Christians. His first cellmates were arrested ISIS fighters—men who hated Christians and quickly began to persecute Petr.

    In his lowest moments, God brought to mind names and faces of other persecuted Christians—men and women Petr had met personally during his years serving with VOM. He began to pray for other persecuted believers, and his spirit lifted as his focus changed from his own difficulties to his prayers for other Christians.

    Listen as Petr shares how God prepared him to face persecution, how he had prepared his own family for his arrest, and how he prays for Christians after his experience of long months in prison and facing a death sentence for his gospel work.

    This conversation with Petr was recorded as a part of the Imprisoned For Christ Virtual Event. You can still watch the entire event—featuring three former prisoners for Christ sharing their stories—on-demand when you register here.

    Petr’s first VOM Radio interview was recorded just eight days after his release from prison.

    Never miss an episode of VOM Radio. Subscribe to the podcast.

    24 MIN
  • Imprisoned for Christ: Former Prisoners Brunson, Baumann Speak

    Dan Baumann and Pastor Andrew Brunson were arrested in Muslim nations because of their Christian faith. They both experienced depression and even thoughts of suicide in prison, yet testify that God was faithful even in those desperate moments.

    Listen as they share the challenges of prison and their thoughts on loving our enemies and how much they don’t miss being in prison.

    One of the things that helped Brunson during his time in prison was something Baumann had written in one of his books. He’ll share that story—and then hear how Dan responds to the idea that God used something he’d written to sustain and bless a fellow Christian during a season of suffering.

    This conversation happened as a part of the Imprisoned For Christ Virtual Event, already viewed by more than 150,000 Christians in 50+ countries. The event is still available for you and your church. Register here.

    Both Dan and Andrew have previously been guests on VOM Radio (as well as Andrew’s wife, Norine). Listen to the full VOM Radio interviews with Dan Baumann and Pastor Andrew Brunson.

    31 MIN