Gospel workers in restricted and hostile nations risk their lives to spread the gospel. One worker in the Middle East, Jacob, was kidnapped last month and held by a terrorist group. He was kept blindfolded, not knowing if it was day or night. The group threatened to hang him. Even in captivity, this young newlywed pastor’s heart was to share the good news and help build God’s church by spreading his Word.
Thankfully, Jacob has been rescued from captivity and reunited with his wife and baby. Listen as John Samara, founder and executive director of Ananias House, shares how Jacob had memorized Scripture before being taken captive, and how he held onto several passages during his time in darkness.
With the scripture indelibly written on his heart and mind, Jacob was encouraged by the promises of God despite persecution for his faith. One verse that encouraged Jacob was Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage. Wait on the Lord.”
John also shares about a new book, Through the Eyes of a Child: Encounters with God in the Middle East. Ananias House is working in schools, sharing the gospel as they provide an education to children who might otherwise not receive one.
John will share stories from the book of a teen imprisoned and violated for her faith, yet praising and glorifying the Lord in the midst of it; and of a young child who prayed with his classmates over their small amount of food and saw God perform a miracle.
You’ll also hear how John and his team are training up women, who often face disrespect in that culture. Now many are reaching other women with the gospel and even leading their husbands to Christ!
John will equip listeners to pray for Ananias House and for the Body of Christ in the Middle East and North Africa.
There had been reports of a pending terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, when Hannelie Groenewald went in work as a medical doctor on November 29, 2014. Hannelie didn’t know that the Taliban attack would target her own home and family.
When she arrived home that evening, a sea of police and military personnel were all around the smoking ruins of her house. Reporters were already there, asking her for comment. She still didn’t know what had happened; that her husband, Werner, and two teen aged children, Jean-Pierre and Rode, had been killed in a Taliban attack on their home. She was taken to a neighbor’s house, where she read, over and over, Psalm 91, praying through its promises of help and divine covering. God’s overwhelming peace washed over her.
As a mother, she wished to have been with her children, to comfort them during the attack. But Hannelie is reminded that God is sovereign. Listen as she shares how God carried her through the days following the attack, and how Afghan people were impacted by her peace and spirit of forgiveness. Hannelie also tells of God’s blessings to her even as flames engulfed her home.
Pray for new believers in Afghanistan, that God would use the martyrs blood that has flowed there to bring forth a spiritual harvest, and that God’s church will be built up, even after the Taliban takeover of that nation in 2021.
Listen and watch Hannelie’s story on the new VOM App, and find her new book, Tragedy in Kabul: Fulfilling a Life Purpose for God’s Glory (affiliate link) to learn more about how God remained faithful and encouraged her as she continued to serve Him.
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It’s been two years since the Taliban retook control in Afghanistan. Pressure and persecution against Christians in the country continues to rise. Hannelie Groenewald, a former gospel medical worker there, paid a high price for her faith when her husband and children were martyred in their home in Kabul in 2014.
When the 9/11 attacks happened in New York, Hannelie Groenewald was living a comfortable life in South Africa with her family. Werner, her husband, took a short-term mission trip to Pakistan and Afghanistan and came home with a burden for Afghans to have a relationship with Christ. Werner shared his heart with Hannelie. After agreeing to go on a short-term outreach herself, she experienced the Holy Spirit in a new way and felt a shared desire to serve the Afghan people.
There was still a wrestling within her as she thought about her children and their safety in a war-torn land. Listen as Hannelie shares the small ways she knew the Lord was encouraging their family to go and serve in Afghanistan.
Hannelie describes Werner as “fearless,” and tells of his continuous preaching on having faith rather than fear. One month before Werner was martyred, he said in a sermon, “We only die once. It might as well be for Jesus.”
Watch as Hannelie shares her story and how God remained faithful and encouraged her. You can watch the short video of her story online or order the Heroic Faith DVD. The DVD also includes videos about other persecuted Christians on some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous places to follow Christ. The Hannelie video is also included in the VOM App
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Isaac Santiago, VOM’s Regional Leader for Latin America, and his team are standing with Christians suffering for their faith in Mexico, Colombia and other nations. They are also reaching out to Christians in Latin America who aren’t currently facing persecution, telling them the stories of heroic faith and inviting them into fellowship with persecuted Christians.
Listen as Isaac shares his excitement for VOM’s Spanish resources. These include tools for pastors to share stories with their congregation and next year will also include The Voice of the Martyrs Radio in Espanol. Last month, people all across Latin America also joined in the Hearts of Fire Virtual Event.
In addition to telling the stories of persecuted Christians in Spanish, Isaac is also walking alongside brothers and sisters directly facing persecution.
Listen to hear the story of Mateo and Elena, husband and wife church planters in the “Circle of Silence,” an area of Central Mexico where less than 1% of the people are Biblical disciples. Mateo and Elena boldly moved to the area to answer Christ’s call; they faced pushback and persecution almost from the first day they arrived. Read more about how God continues to work in Mateo and Elena’s lives and pray for their continued ministry.
You can visit VOM’s Spanish website at www.vom.org/es. Please pray for wisdom and protection as Isaac and the Latin American team at The Voice of the Martyrs navigate their dual-focused Spanish ministry.
Ten years ago, there were 3,000 unengaged, unreached people groups around the world--peoples who had never had a witness to share the gospel with them. Today, that number is less than 500 unreached, unengaged people groups. God is moving and His church is growing!
David Bogosian shares this week how Christian Aid Mission, where he is CEO, is training and equipping indigenous gospel workers to go and serve among those remaining unreached peoples. David formerly served as a missionary in the Philippines. He is amazed at the difference of each testimony, how God is uniquely revealing Himself to people all around the world.
David will share stories of places where missions leaders have seen the last remaining unreached people groups in a region reached for the gospel – even amidst difficult times for the church. He says 90% of the recently unreached are being served by local or near-culture Christians.
Listen as David shares about a persecuted Christian who was beaten and threatened by Muslims in his community—but forgave them and later invited them to partner in his thriving business. Today he is praying and reading the Bible with them, and now being he is defended in the community by his former persecutors!
“That’s the amazing thing about persecution,” David says. “It allows us to demonstrate the gospel in a way that nothing else could.”
In the next ten years, David says we could see the final groups on earth reached with the gospel, a prelude to the fulfillment of Revelations 7:9, which promises that in eternity there will be people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb…” Yet many Christians are unaware of these exciting times we are living in.
Listen for David to share the one question people ask when they hear the gospel for the first time.
Pray for boldness and courage for front line workers reaching those around them. Pray for spiritual protection as the enemy tries to thwart the efforts of their gospel work.
Pastor Mele was detained in Laos after police found copies of God’s Word. Now, police attend his church services every week, looking for reasons to detain him or close the church. “As a human,” he says, “I have fear. But I trust the Lord to protect me and guide me.”
Pastor Mele became a Christian in 2003 when a school friend shared the gospel with him and his classmates. Everyone ignored his Christian friend but Mele, trying to escape constant spiritual oppression, prayed and accepted Christ. From that day on, the spirits no longer tormented him.
Mele immediately felt a burden to share the gospel with others. Within two months his bold witness brought Christian persecution. Teachers ordered him to renounce his newfound faith in the “foreign religion” of Christianity or lose all opportunities for further education.
Their threat didn’t discourage Mele but actually it encouraged him! He had read in the Bible that all Christians will face persecution for their faith (2 Timothy 3:12), and he was encouraged to know that what the Bible says is true. Mele says he was never tempted to renounce his faith. “I was so focused on my soul, my salvation, because I need to be with the Lord. Nothing is solid or permanent in this world…but my salvation in Christ, that’s what is firm and solid.”
Mele was accepted to Bible college and there he met his wife. Mele went on to be an associate pastor at his home church and began to evangelize other villages. As his ministry expanded, God gave Mele a heart to share the love of Christ with everyone, not just his own tribal people.
His ministry hasn’t been easy, and the pressure against him is constant. Listen as Mele shares about a time when three police officers sat right next to him as he was getting ready to preach.
Pray for Pastor Mele’s safety as he continues to be active in ministry and pray for 14 new churches that they may faithfully endure persecution, and for Christians facing pressure and trials in Southeast Asia.
Imagine worshipping the Lord while the walls of your church building are being torn down. It can be hard to fathom what our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ go through in restricted and hostile nations. How do Christians in free nations understand the Bible’s promise that “all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12)?
Floyd Brobbel, CEO of VOM Canada and author of Trouble on the Way: Persecution in the Christian Life, explains that persecution is not about the amount of pain inflicted, but about the goal of silencing the church. For many in free nations, the threat of ridicule is enough to prevent Christians from evangelizing their neighbors. Yet, the church continues to grow in places where Christians are kicked out of their families, beaten, imprisoned and even killed.
Recently, Floyd was able to sit down with a pastor from Burma who started a ministry and was part of leading many Buddhists to faith Christ. He was arrested seven times and tortured in ways he didn’t want to talk about. The pastor’s wife was also arrested. Both were sustained by God’s Word in the midst of their suffering.
Floyd shares how this couple reminded him of a modern-day Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, the founders of The Voice of the Martyrs.
Listen for an update on Christian persecution in India, where pressure against the church has increased dramatically during the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pray for VOM Canada’s leadership as the ministry continues to grow. Pray for brothers and sisters in India, and pray for the persecutors.
Listen to Floyd’s previous conversation with VOM Radio about his book, Trouble on the Way.
Brother James followed the Lord’s leading to serve in the Middle East. He arrived for what he expected to be one year of service knowing almost nothing about Islam or the culture in which he would be serving. He remembers being startled awake the very first morning by the Muslim call to prayer, wondering who was screaming at 4:30 in the morning!
Soon he would understand that he was serving in a culture where choosing to follow Christ could cost one’s life. He would also come to understand that God’s call would last much longer than one year.
He acknowledges that there are times when fear rises up in him but says as Christians, we must not let fear drown out the call God has placed on us. His prayer in times of fear is a simple one: “Lord, don’t let them see me shake.”
During years living among Muslims, the Lord clearly confirmed James’ calling to serve in the Middle East through several Bible verses – Isaiah 40:28-31, Isaiah 41: 10-13, and John 14:13-14. And he has experienced God’s protection and covering, sometimes in miraculous ways. Listen for the story of James asking Jesus to be “the Great Mechanic”—and how God answered his prayer.
Christian persecution for our brothers and sisters in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Jordan or Lebanon often comes first from members of their own family. Many Muslims there have an incorrect view of Christianity and are often surprised when they meet a follower of Jesus and understand what the Bible really teaches. James says Muslims are often open to conversation about religion, and shares stories from his time in the region.
James encourages listeners to pray for persecuted Christians in the Middles East as they face attacks from family members and governments. And he offers advice for those seeking to reach out with the gospel to Muslims here at home.
On September 11, 2012, Islamist fighters attacked a United States diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans were killed in that attack. Just a few months later Ronnie and Anita Smith, a young American couple, moved to Benghazi with their infant son. Their goal was to live out their faith in Christ and have opportunities to introduce Libyan people to Christ.
“We wanted to live our lives out in a place that didn’t know Jesus,” Anita Smith says.
Anita acknowledges that there was fear moving to a dangerous place, especially so soon after a deadly attack on Americans. But Anita shares how God gave both her and Ronnie peace about residing in Libya to further God’s Kingdom. Days after Ronnie’s death in December of 2013, Anita was on national TV in the United States and on Arabic-language TV all over the Middle East, forgiving her husband’s killers and expressing her love for the Libyan people.
Listen as Anita remembers the day she found out her husband had been martyred and how she received comfort from the Lord through her family, church and Christian friends—the Body of Christ in action.
Ronnie Smith taught chemistry to high school students at the Benghazi International School and was admired for his knowledge and chemistry skill, but even more for his warm personality and love for his students. Listen as Anita shares how their Libyan neighbors looked out for them and really welcomed them into their families, spending time together, drinking tea and talking about life and faith. Such conversations gave Ronnie and Anita many opportunities to share how Christianity is different from Islam and Jesus is different from Mohammed.
Listen as Anita shares how she was able to forgive the ones who murdered her husband—expressing her forgiveness to a national audience on CNN and CBS This Morning. When Anita hears of Libyans who started following Christ after hearing the testimony of her and Ronnie, it’s a powerful reminder of how Christ is using their sacrifice. Listen also as she shares how we can pray for the widows of persecuted Christian martyrs all over the world today.
Anita was just one of the four amazing women who shared their stories of persecution and God’s faithfulness during the Hearts of Fire Virtual Event. Worship music for the event was led by award-winning Christian music artist, Michael W. Smith.
Highly restrictive religious laws. Surveillance cameras lurking around every corner. Police knocking on doors and raiding church gatherings. These are a few among the many challenges our persecuted family in China face each week.
Yet despite the communist government’s many attempts to control Christians, the church in China is still growing! Brother Enfu, pastor of an unregistered church, shares on VOM Radio this week the excitement of a growing Body of Christ and the challenges of leading an illegal church congregation.
As communist efforts to control and close down churches have escalated, large church gatherings have become almost impossible. This has led to many more meetings with smaller numbers of Christians, raising the need for trained leaders. Brother Enfu will share how Chinese Christians are meeting that need and help us pray specifically for God to raise up leaders within Chinese churches.
Brother Enfu serves as a leader in an underground Chinese seminary, training and encouraging pastors and their spouses to take on the challenges of leading a congregation. Graduates need to be equipped to lead their flock well and prepared for persecution, ready to face police questioning and even arrest. You’ll be encouraged as Enfu shares the story of five imprisoned church elders and the surprising report he received back of their sweet fellowship together and the spread of the gospel in the jail.
Listen as Brother Enfu shares how house church Christians work together in managing the risks of Christian ministry in a communist nation.
Pray men would be raised up to be godly leaders in their home and the church. Pray pastors in China would glorify God through their marriage and families. Pray our persecuted brothers and sisters in China will continue to fix their eyes on Jesus Christ, even in times of tribulation and suffering.
To hear more about persecuted Christians, register for the free and watch it on demand. Be inspired as you listen to four women who have been persecuted for their faith and how God has been faithful to them, as well as worship music led by Michael W. Smith.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was recently welcomed to the White House by US President Joe Biden. In addition to a State Dinner held in his honor, Modi was given opportunity to address a joint session of Congress. Noticeably absent from American leaders’ public remarks surrounding Modi’s visit: the rapid rise of Christian persecution and other religious freedom violations in India since Modi and his Hindu nationalist party came to power in 2014.
Christians in India face harassment, physical assault and arrest from radical Hindus who believe all Indians should be Hindu. Multiple Indian states have passed anti-conversion laws which make it a crime to tell a Hindu about Jesus’ love. This week on VOM Radio, Brother Raj, a ministry leader from India, shares his own experience with Christian persecution, including friends that turned their backs on him after he came to faith and repeated encounters with Indian police.
He’ll also tell how he grew up in a Hindu family but became depressed and attempted suicide before a friend—a Hindu—encouraged him to seek baptism at a Christian church. A pastor at the church gave Raj a Bible, and his journey to finding Jesus began. Listen as Raj shares how his life changed from that moment on and what his parents’ reaction was to his newfound Christian faith, how God called him to ministry and what his gospel work looks like today.
As persecution has grown in India, Raj’s ministry work has changed, too. Listen to learn how he and other Christian leaders train and encourage new believers to be ready to face persecution by trusting in God’s promises in the Bible, understanding pressure tactics they may face and learning how to confront these tactics wisely. Raj will also tell how God used his own time of persecution to eliminate fear of sharing his faith with others. Now, he shares Christ with anyone – even the police.
Pray fellow believers in India will share their faith with wisdom and courage. Pray they would even be able to see opportunities to share Christ’s love even during interrogation or imprisonment.
The first time he went to a Christian church, during the time of the Islamic revolution in Iran, Mansour Khajehpour was a teenager. He went only to determine the best way to burn down the church building. But the woman who opened to door was caring and kind—and her Christlike kindness altered the direction of Mansour’s life.
The woman pointed Mansour to a Farsi-speaking pastor. Over the months to come, that pastor answered Mansour’s many questions—but only one question per week—and gave him a Bible. At first, Mansour’s heart was hard, but over time God softened him until the day he found himself closing his eyes, praying in a loud voice and committing his life to Christ.
Today, Mansour is the pastor of a church in Seattle and a leader in the Iranian Bible Society, working to get God’s Word into the Islamic Republic of Iran and to Farsi-speaking people in other nations as well.
Listen as Mansour shares how three older missionaries made an impact on his life for the Lord and how he became involved—through his future wife, Nahid, who is now the Executive Director—in the Iranian Bible Society. Together they both experienced persecution for their Christian faith.
Friends and pastors Mansour and Nahid knew well were martyred. Listen to Mansour tell how their examples were an inspiration, especially Pastor Hossein Soodmand’s deep love and respect for God’s Word. You can listen to past VOM Radio episodes with Rashin Soodmand and Gilbert Hovsepian, the children of Pastor Soodmand and Pastor Haik Hovsepian who were both martyred for their faith in Iran.
Mansour will encourage listeners to memorize scripture and spiritual songs—which provided him great help and hope in prison for his faith. Pray for Mansour and Nahid’s continued work providing Bibles for our Iranian brothers and sisters, and for the persecuted church inside Iran.
Islamist jihadists are moving southward across the continent of Africa. Their goal: the eradication Christianity. In the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a new addition to VOM’s 2023 Global Prayer map, persecuted Christians have been deeply affected. Believers have been forced to flee their villages. Pastors have been killed. Many Christians have lost family members in violent attacks.
Aaron Miller, Vice President of International Ministry for The Voice of the Martyrs, recently visited traumatized believers in multiple African nations.
Aaron was stunned as he witnessed Christians worshipping and praising God after returning to the same village where they’d faced intense persecution for their faith. Psalm 138 resonated in Aaron’s heart throughout his trip: “Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you revive me. You saved me from my enemies.” God sent Aaron and the team from VOM into the midst of trouble to minister and encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters on behalf of the global body of Christ.
Listen as Aaron tells of meeting one woman who couldn’t continue telling the story of losing her husband; she simply buried her face in her hands and wept. Being able to listen, minister, pray, laugh, and cry with believers in the midst of their trouble is a powerful encouragement to them. Aaron talks about “the ministry of presence” as VOM workers go to fellowship and serve.
God has uniquely prepared Aaron for this role, including giving him a small personal taste of Christian persecution in India. Pray for our brothers and sisters to be encouraged in their faith and for the church to be unified in Central Africa.
Thousands of people—including many who never met her—considered Elisabeth Elliot (1926-2015) as their spiritual mentor. Kathy Reeg was one of those people. Today she is president of the Elisabeth Elliot Foundation, carrying on the legacy of Elisabeth and Jim Elliott.
Despite her fame in the Christian world, Kathy says Elisabeth always gave glory to God. She received thousands of letters from people seeking her advice; she responded to each one, directing each person to the Word of God and onto their knees in prayer.
Kathy first met Elisabeth in the 90s and later got to know Lars, Elisabeth’s third husband and manager. Suffering from dementia in the latter years of her life, Elisabeth lost her mode of communication yet never lost the presence of the Holy Spirit.
The night of Elisabeth’s funeral, in 2015, was the first time Kathy visited her and Lars’ home in Massachusetts. She was astounded by artifacts in their home from Elisabeth’s time serving and living among the “Aucas,” later known as the Waodani, the tribe that had murdered five missionary men, including her first husband, Jim, in 1956. Listen as Kathy shares about what happened that evening as a group of Elisabeth’s caregivers spent time in prayer.
A few years later, the Elisabeth Elliott Foundation began. Artifacts that had been in Lars and Elisabeth’s home were transferred into the care of Museum of the Bible in Washington DC. Earlier this year, an exhibit opened to the public at Museum of the Bible showcasing Elisabeth’s life and her time among the Waodani. Kathy hopes those who walk through the exhibit will be inspired by an ordinary woman who trusted and obeyed the Lord—no matter the cost.
The Voice of the Martyrs is one sponsor of Through Gates of Splendor: The Elisabeth Elliot Story at Museum of the Bible. The exhibit is open to the public until January 28th, 2024. You may also explore many of Elisabeth’s past speaking events, radio broadcasts, newsletters and more at the Elisabeth Elliot Foundation website.
Children develop attitudes and opinions about the Bible from an early age. Awana has been discipling children for more than 70 years. Today Awana is active in more than 130 countries—including places where Christian persecution is common—helping 5.6 million children to know Jesus as Savior, belong to a church that supports them and become all that God wants them to be. Steve Cahoon is a leader at Awana. Listen this week as he shares how their discipleship program may look different in India, Pakistan or the Middle East than it looks at an American church. He’ll also discuss the focus on leader development, raising up future leaders who will teach more kids about Christ.
Steve will share how Awana finds local volunteers and gives curriculum and training to these leaders to equip them to go and train up others. He also will tell how God opens doors for Awana workers to reach children who aren’t growing up in Christian homes—Hindus and Muslims and those of other faiths.
“Our goal is to see every child everywhere reached and discipled for the Lord Jesus Christ.” It takes only one willing person to start an AWANA program.
Listen as Steve shares testimonies from Awana alumni and more about how their program is adapted for use in other countries, including being welcomed into public schools in Africa.
Pray for the work of Awana, especially inside hostile and restricted nations. Pray God would allow continued ministry in underground church situations, training leaders and seeing the gospel flourish.
June 29 marks Day of the Christian Martyr, when Christians around the world honor a persecuted Christian who laid down their life for the cause of Christ. This year’s resources from The Voice of the Martyrs—including a short video—focus on the story of Abdiwelli Ahmed, an ethnic Somali former Muslim gunned down in northern Kenya in 2013.
Watch the video about Abdiwelli’s faith and ministry and access all the resources for this year’s Day of the Christian Martyr to bless your church, small group or family with his inspiring example.
In 1997, Warren and Donna Pett sold their 96-year-old family farm in Mukwonago, Wisconsin, after sensing God’s call to the mission field. In 2002, they moved to serve in Uganda’s Yumbe district, one of Uganda’s poorest districts and the only majority-Muslim district in the country. Warren and Donna provided agricultural training and spiritual discipleship at the Evangelical School of Technology in Aringa (ESTA).
On March 18, 2004, ESTA was attacked by masked men with guns. Warren and Donna, along with a Ugandan student, were killed.
Ezra and Saul Pett are the sons of Warren and Donna. Listen this week as they share on The Voice of the Martyrs Radio about their parents’ ministry and how Saul and Ezra wrestled with God and their own faith after their parents’ murder.
“My faith basically evaporated,” says Saul. “This event devastated me.”
But in the years since, God has gently and faithfully ministered to Saul and Ezra. He has comforted them in their loss and helped them address the anger they felt at their parents’ death. Today, they see His plan to produce eternal fruit, even when we may not understand what He is doing.
Listen as Saul and Ezra talk about renewing their faith, accepting God’s plan and even going to minister in the very place in Uganda where their parents were killed—and seeing the legacy Warren and Donna left even in their short time of missionary service.
June 29 marks Day of the Christian Martyr, when Christians around the world honor a persecuted Christian who laid down their life for the cause of Christ. This year’s video and other resources from VOM focus on the story of Abdiwelli Ahmed, an ethnic Somali former Muslim gunned down in northern Kenya in 2013.
Watch a video about Abdiwelli’s faith and ministry and access all the resources for this year’s Day of the Christian Martyr to bless your church, small group or family with his inspiring example.
It’s been more than a month since fighting broke out in the capital city of Sudan. Christians and non-Christians alike are dealing with extreme hardship, difficulty, and terror as the battle between two warring Islamist factions continues.
For our Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan, war has made life even more difficult than usual as they try to survive the fighting, find food and shelter and still face persecution for their faith in Christ. Brad Phillips, founder and president of Persecution Project Foundation began working in Sudan in 1997 and has partnered with The Voice of the Martyrs to serve Sudanese Christians since 2002. Listen as he explains the current fighting and tells how our Christian family members are being affected.
Brad and the PPF team are daily hearing stories of tremendous loss in the church, yet also stories of heroism as persecuted Christians risk their lives to serve others in this season of upheaval and need. Others are trying to flee major cities for the Nuba Mountains—which previously was a site of great persecution and repeated bombings by the Sudanese military.
Listen as Brad shares how to pray for persecuted Christians in Sudan, and invite a Christian friend to pray with you for followers of Jesus caught in the crossfire there.
As the Taliban retook control of Afghanistan in 2021, many Afghan Christians—especially those widely known to be followers of Christ—had to flee the country. Today, many of those Christians grieve the loss of their homeland, especially as they watch the suffering of their countrymen under Taliban rule. Some desire to return but while they wait are still faithfully reaching Afghans through a variety of digital means.
In Part 2 of our conversation with author John Weaver (Part 1), he calls us to pray God will bless Afghan people—including both persecuted Christians and the governing Taliban—and that God will draw many to Himself.
Listen as Weaver, the author of Najiba: A Love Story from Afghanistan (affiliate link), shares what life is like for Afghans now under Taliban rule. He will also tell what life is like for those who’ve fled the country and deal with the culture shock of navigating healthcare, education, work and relationships in a completely new environment and culture. As Christians, John gives us advice on first steps in welcoming Afghans into our communities and churches.
Christians in Afghanistan are seeing increased response to the gospel as they discern hearts that are hungry and seeking truth. Once they become followers of Jesus, new Afghan Christians hunger for like-minded fellowship.
Pray for the Taliban to lead with peace and focus on what’s best for Afghanistan’s people. Most importantly, pray for their salvation. Pray for our brothers and sisters in Afghanistan to know God is with them and for endurance in their faith. Pray for Afghans sharing the gospel through social media as they continue in their ministry.
Twenty months into the second Taliban rule of Afghanistan, all Afghans—but especially Afghan Christians—face great challenges. What pressures do our persecuted brothers and sisters face living in Afghanistan today, and how has their life changed under the strict Islamic rule of the Taliban?
Listen as John Weaver, author of Inside Afghanistan, A Flame on the Frontline, and Najiba: A Love Story from Afghanistan (affiliate links), explains what life is like for Muslims and Christians in Afghanistan as they experience economic crisis and lack of assistance from the outside world.
Many of the Taliban fighters come from the Pashtun people group, one of the largest unreached people groups in the world with 50 million people primarily in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Persecution against Afghan Christians has always come from local mosques, communities, and families. With the Taliban takeover, the nation’s government is now also openly opposed to the gospel.
Amid isolation and economic hardship, many Afghans are desperate and dissatisfied with Islam. That dissatisfaction means they are more open to the gospel. Christian brothers and sisters in Afghanistan continue boldly witness in conversations with Muslims. Listen as John tells how Christians are carefully sharing the gospel and finding “people of peace” in their communities.
Pray for Afghan Christians outside the country who are reaching their people through digital tools and pray for wider distribution of the Pashtun Bible. Pray the Holy Spirit will draw more Afghan people to become followers of Jesus Christ.
It is illegal to bring a Bible into North Korea, and illegal to possess one inside the country. But VOM continues to find ways to get God’s Word into the hands of North Koreans. Dr. Eric Foley, CEO of VOM Korea in Seoul, says everything changes every day in North Korea, bringing new challenges and requiring new responses to continue bringing the gospel to desperate people in “the hermit kingdom.”
Listen to hear how persecuted Christians in North Korea practice biblical obedience in spite of a brutal regime that demands utter loyalty. How can Christians follow the first commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me,” while living in a country that deifies members of the Kim family? Dr. Foley shares how, despite the consequences for even the slightest hint of Christian behavior, our brothers and sisters continue to boldly take risks and exercise wisdom to follow Christ inside North Korea.
One way members of the persecuted church in the DPRK are encouraged and discipled is through VOM radio broadcasts sharing passages from the Bible or sermons delivered in the North Korean dialect. With five broadcast times throughout the day, Dr. Foley asks us to pray that the Lord would continue thwarting efforts of the North Korean government to jam these Christian radio broadcasts.
Dr. Foley, author of These Are The Generations (affiliate link), will also share his own story of persecution for spreading the gospel to North Korea. He reminds us that getting God’s Word out, even just one copy, is worth it.
Pray for North Koran Christians to be faithful to Christ as they go about their daily lives in this restricted nation, and for more North Koreans to be able to read and listen to the Bible for themselves.