Visiting Middle East Christians
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Visiting Middle East Christians
January 22, 2022
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  • Bangladesh: A Living Testimony
    Brother Sean oversees VOM’s work in South Asia. As he prepared for a recent trip to Bangladesh, word came that a pastor there had just been martyred for his Christian witness. Listen as Sean discusses his thoughts as he went to meet members of that pastor’s family and the challenges they and other families of martyrs still face each day. You’ll also be encouraged and amazed by the story of “Stephen;” he was shot in the face, stabbed and had his throat slit, but survived to continue preaching the gospel in his village! Learn how VOM helped Stephen and helps other persecuted Christians in Bangladesh, how our international staff members make decisions about the best ways to provide help, and how you can pray for a nation where less than one percent of the population knows Jesus.
    28 MIN
  • Pakistan: When You Carry a Cross
    Brother “Samuel” leads a media ministry in Pakistan, reaching out to Muslims with the gospel of Christ. It isn’t always a popular message: Samuel has been threatened, his staff has been beaten and his office has been attacked. Charges under Pakistan’s blasphemy law are a constant threat. But God is at work! Muslims are accessing ministry resources and meeting Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Listen as Samuel shares the challenges of serving Christ in Pakistan—“anything can happen at any time”—and how he constantly re-commits himself and his family to the ministry that God has called them to, whatever the cost may be. In spite of the danger, Samuel says it a privilege and joy to see God standing with them and see Muslims coming to faith in Christ. Your faith will be strengthened as Brother Samuel shares this week on VOM Radio.
    28 MIN
  • Martyr’s Widow: Grace to Forgive
    Semse Aydin’s husband, Necati, was one of three Christian men martyred for their faith and ministry in Turkey. The next day, on national TV in Turkey, Semse offered forgiveness to her husband’s killers, along with the widow of one of the other martyrs. Listen this week as she shares how the Holy Spirit enabled her to forgive, and how God has sustained her and her two children since she gave Necati to Jesus. You’ll also hear how Necati dealt with family members who were still Muslims, and how he went to meet with his killers, even though he thought their motives might not be pure. You’ll be inspired by God’s faithfulness and equipped to pray more for the nation of Turkey and for the families of martyrs this week on VOM Radio. This interview with Semse was recorded live at a VOM Advance Conference; to find a conference in your area, visit
    28 MIN
  • Iran: “Let the World Know”
    The Islamic Republic of Iran is the home of the fastest-growing church in the world. Thousands of Muslims there are choosing to follow Christ. Dr. Mike Ansari leads a movement called Heart 4 Iran, a movement to reach more Iranians with the gospel message of Christ’s love. Mike was born into an Iranian Muslim family, but his mother came to faith in Christ and was radically transformed, ultimately changing her entire family. Today Dr. Ansari broadcasts the gospel message into Iran, where people are hungry to hear. He’ll share how Jesus is transforming Iranian hearts, and how new Christians are boldly witnessing, even at great risk to themselves. Mike will also help you understand how to reach out to Muslims around you, and he’ll share about a project VOM was a part of that delivered thousands of Bibles into Iran. Learn more about God’s work in Iran and how you can pray for our brothers and sisters there this week on VOM Radio.
    28 MIN
  • Tibet: “I Never Felt Jesus So Close”
    This week Sister “Amber” shares the rest of the story of her imprisonment and torture in Tibet, including how God ministered to her in the hardest moments of her suffering. You’ll hear how she was eventually released, and the way God showed her that her persecution wasn’t the end of the story. You’ll also hear how God laid on the hearts of people around the world to pray for Amber, including one who drew a picture of Amber and the policemen in the interrogation room. Months later, when Amber saw the picture, it matched exactly the setting of her interrogation, and it contained a ray of spiritual hope. Your faith will be challenged as you hear Amber’s thoughts on what the New Testament calls the “honor” of being persecuted, and she’ll give you first-hand advice on how to pray for Christians in prison right now. Listen to Part 1 of Amber’s story: Photo credit: “Tibet” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (
    30 MIN
  • Tibet: “I Could Only Rely on Jesus”
    Sister Amber spent more than a decade in Tibet, providing vocational training to the people and sharing the gospel message of Christ’s love. She felt God’s call especially to work among Tibet’s nomadic tribal people, who jokingly call themselves “the roof on the roof of the world.” Amber watched as God brought about a great ministry breakthrough: people who’d been totally closed to her message were now asking to learn more about Jesus. But just days after the breakthrough Amber experienced persecution as police came pounding on her door. Listen as she tells the story. You’ll hear how the Holy Spirit strengthened and spoke to her, and how God brought Amber from a place of terror to the point of being able to express Christ’s love, even to the men violently persecuting her. Photo credit: “Morning Kora in Lhasa, Tibet” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (
    28 MIN
  • “The Insanity of God”
    Nik and Ruth Ripken went to Africa as missionaries. They experienced great works of God, and also great hardship and loss. Malaria almost killed them. Four Christian friends were killed on one day in Somalia. Their 16-year-old son died suddenly. Amidst such loss and suffering, they wondered, “Is Jesus for the tough places?” Seeking an answer, Nik and Ruth travelled the world to sit down with Christians faithfully enduring persecution. They went not as teachers but as students, asking simply to sit at the feet of persecuted believers and learn from them. Your faith will be challenged as Nik and Ruth share some of the faith lessons they learned from the examples of our persecuted family. Photo courtesy of IMB.
    28 MIN
  • North Korea: “I Simply Trusted the Lord”

    The last two weeks on VOM Radio we’ve heard from John Short, the Australian Christian detained in North Korea in 2014 after leaving gospel tracts outside a Buddhist temple. This week we hear another side of the story, from John’s wife, Karen, who was at home in Hong Kong dealing with the media, praying for her husband and receiving encouragement from all over 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 at all during his detention
    • How journalists and others responded to Karen’s calm assurance and faith in God
    • How she found out her husband would be coming 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.

    If you missed our conversation with John, you can listen here: Part 1 and Part 2.

    Photo credit: “Pyongyang couple, DPRK (North Korea)” by Matt Palsh is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (

    28 MIN
  • North Korea: 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.

    Listen to the first part of our conversation with Mr. Short here.

    Photo credit: “Star of the DPRK” by John Pavelka is licensed under CC BY 2.0 (

    28 MIN
  • Arrested in North Korea

    Australian John Short was taken prisoner 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, the Scriptures and earthly examples 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 Network.

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

    28 MIN
  • I Am N

    I Am N

    March 4, 2016
    Cole Richards and Jason Peters served as executive editors for a new project from The Voice of the Martyrs: I Am N: Inspiring Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists. This week on VOM Radio they share with us some of the powerful stories of these believers and their faithfulness, and the themes of their stories—Sacrifice, Courage, Joy, Perseverance, Forgiveness and Faithfulness—that inspire each of us in our own walk with Christ. Habila forgave Boko Haram fighters that shot him in the face. A Syrian Christian father continues to serve Christ in spite of his son being kidnapped by radical Muslims. Jason and Cole give us a peak behind the scenes at the creation of the I Am N project, and worship leader Greg Sykes talks about writing and performing a new song inspired by the faith of these bold believers. See all the I Am N resources available at
    28 MIN
  • Turkey: “Prepare Our Hearts”
    “Lance” is a gospel worker in the nation of Turkey, a nation where 99.8% of the almost-80-million people are Muslims. This week on VOM Radio, Lance shares some of the challenges he faced in moving to a Muslim nation, building relationships and reaching out with the gospel. Lance also helps train students and others to impact the Muslim world for Christ, and he’ll share some of the most important qualities needed to work effectively among Muslims. He’ll also encourage listeners with ways we can pray for God to move in Turkey, and invite you to be a part of what God is doing in that nation from wherever you live.
    28 MIN
  • China: Persecution “Part of the Package”
    For Christians in China, persecution is just “part of the package” for those who follow Christ. Dory, part of VOM’s newsletter staff, just returned from China, where she met Christians who face arrest and imprisonment for following Jesus Christ. In fact, one of her meetings with a pastor had to be cancelled because the pastor was arrested before she could meet him. Dory found Christians who are not surprised by suffering, and in fact prepare to face it. She’ll share about her visit to China and tell the stories of the bold believers she met there, and about tracing part of her own family heritage to a martyrs’ graveyard in China.
    28 MIN
  • Dale Rhoton: “God Is Able to Triumph”
    How would you respond to the person who betrayed you to the authorities, leading to 14 years in prison? Richard Wurmbrand’s response was simple: “We all make mistakes.” Dale Rhoton, co-founder of Operation Mobilization, joins us again this week on VOM Radio to share about his visits with VOM founders Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, including a walk with Richard when they met the man who had betrayed Richard, leading to his arrest. Dale also shares thoughts and advice for those sensing a call to missions and talks about his own early days ministering in communist and Muslim nations, and fellowshipping with Christians who faced arrest and persecution for serving the Lord. Even in the worst of human circumstances, Dale testifies, God is able to triumph. (Photo courtesy of Operation Mobilization)
    28 MIN
  • Dale Rhoton: “Total Commitment to Jesus”
    As a young man, Dale Rhoton was invited to join a prayer meeting to ask God to move across the nations. The young man that invited him was George Verwer; later the two would help send thousands of young people into gospel work around the world through Operation Mobilization (OM), the ministry they founded. On one trip taking Christian literature from Europe to the Middle East, Dale and his team stopped in to visit a Romanian pastor who’d just been released from prison: Richard Wurmbrand. Dale shares this week on VOM Radio stories of Bible smuggling, what Richard Wurmbrand was like and how Richard inspired Dale and others to live a life of total commitment to Jesus. Photo courtesy of Operation Mobilization.
    28 MIN
  • Iraq: Strongholds Being Shaken
    Dr. Jason Peters and VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton just returned from meeting Christians and delivering aid in northern Iraq. This week they’ll share about the Christians they met, many of whom have been displaced by the advance of ISIS over the past 18 months. They’ll also talk about some of the ways VOM is helping these Christians, including the launch of a new effort inviting American believers to prepare a medical first-aid kit to give to these displaced Christians. They’ll share other ways VOM is helping Christians, and the story of a displaced Christian who is experiencing joy and contentment in spite of living in a tent surrounded by enemies of the gospel. There is good news coming from the Middle East; we’ll talk about what God is doing in the region, and how longstanding strongholds are being shaken, this week on VOM Radio.
    28 MIN
  • China: Prison Prayers

    China: Prison Prayers

    January 22, 2016
    For the first few days after Bob Fu was arrested for his Christian work in China, his prayers were pretty simple: “Lord, get me out of here!” He even prayed that God would punish his interrogators for persecuting God’s children! But as days passed, Bob saw that God had a ministry for him in prison, and his prayers changed. Instead of praying only to be released, he asked God to USE HIM while he was in prison. And God answered his prayer. Today Bob is the president of the China Aid Association, a bold advocate for China’s Christians and author of God’s Double Agent. Listen as he shares why the Chinese government is so afraid of the growth of the church, and how persecution is spreading even to government-sanctioned churches. We’ll also talk about the biggest needs of the Chinese church, so that you can pray effectively for our brothers and sisters in China. Get the book “God’s Double Agent” at VOM Books:
    28 MIN
  • Earthly Suffering, Eternal Fruit
    Turn on the news and you’ll see upheaval in every corner of the world, including attacks on our Christian brothers and sisters. But Cole Richards, Executive Vice President at The Voice of the Martyrs, reminds us that in the midst of this earthly suffering God is producing eternal fruit every single day. Listen as Cole shares some of the ways God has allowed VOM to help persecuted believers in the past 12 months—especially Christians displaced by ISIS. He’ll also give listeners a preview of an exciting new way YOU can be involved to directly help Christians facing persecution, as well a new book coming soon from The Voice of the Martyrs.
    28 MIN
  • North Korea: “Different Challenges”
    Balloon launches are one of the key ways that VOM is delivering Bibles into North Korea. This week Dr. Eric Foley shares how weather balloon and GPS technology are even allowing us to pinpoint where the Bibles are landing. Recently North Korean government press also confirmed the delivery of these Bibles, and threatened to turn South Korea into a "sea of fire" if the balloon launches continued. Dr. Foley tells how South Korean police tried to stop the balloon launches after the threats...and how God opened a path. We’ll also talk about the best books to read to truly understand the situation for our brothers and sisters in North Korea, and hear from a reader blessed by VOM Radio. Thanks for joining us this week on Voice of the Martyrs Radio.
    28 MIN
  • North Korea: Pillars of the Church
    The North Korean government has built a counterfeit religion to control it s people, a mirror image of Christianity that features their own trinity, their own meeting halls, their own sacred writings and even their own hymns to their god – Kim Il Sung. Following a different deity, like Jesus Christ, is a treasonous act deserving of death. Many describe North Korea as “the worst place in the world to be a Christian.” But Dr. Eric Foley, the leader of VOM Korea, tells us that North Korean Christians don’t say that! Instead they focus on serving Jesus Christ in spite of watchful government eyes and great danger. This week on VOM Radio you’ll hear how North Korean Christians pray—sometimes right out in the open!—and how you can pray for them more effectively.
    28 MIN