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.
Born and raised in a Muslim family, Brother Maksud says it’s a miracle he is now a follower of Jesus Christ.
Maksud’s first years of life were under communist rule as his country was part of the Soviet Union, but it became independent, and more Islamic, after the fall of the USSR. As different factions battled for post-Soviet control, civil war broke out, a difficult time for Maksud and all of his countrymen. Yet good news was coming.
Listen as Maksud tells how he was impacted by seeing the JESUS Film and hearing Jesus speak Maksud’s own language. He’ll share how a Christian stepped into his family’s life, becoming a faithful friend and sharing stories from the Bible about God. Years later Maksud heard those same stories at a free Taekwondo lesson, another step on his pathway to following Jesus.
When Maksud first stepped into a church, he was shocked. It was a completely different atmosphere from anything he’d known. It was full of love; people greeted him by name with hugs. He was floored when believers at the church told him they had been praying for him for more than a year.
At age 18, Maksud made the decision to follow Jesus. His younger brother wasn’t far behind. When they shared their Christian faith with their mom, she cried, knowing their family would be shamed and face persecution in their Muslim culture. Maksud’s father was not home when they announced their newfound faith to their mother. When he heard of their decision, he asked both brothers to confirm their decision to follow Jesus. Expecting their father to be angry, both young men said that yes, they had become Christians. Their father’s response shocked them:
“Thanks to God. Two years ago, I gave my life to Christ. I didn’t know how to tell you, but I was praying for you guys.”
Many people in Central Asia, upon sharing their faith in Christ with family members, face beatings, rejection, and being kicked out of their home. Even though Maksud didn’t experience persecution from inside his home, he knew that he and his brothers would be persecuted by others.
Today Maksud is a pastor, and his brother also pastors a church. Listen as he tells how we can pray for his people in Central Asia, including praying that whole families will come to Christ together.
One night, TK, extremely sick, found himself in his room praying, “I am ill and if you are the one true God then I will commit my life to you.”
TK slept through the night and woke up completely healed! From that moment, he was committed to following Christ. His father—a former drug dealer who met Christ in prison for his crimes—encouraged TK to learn more about the one true God.
With passion for following Christ after he had experienced God’s power over disease, TK went to Bible school in Thailand. Returning to Laos with Christian materials to help his ministry, TK was arrested at the border and imprisoned for three months before God ordained his release from prison.
Today TK serves persecuted Christians inside Laos and holds a leadership position within Laos’s registered church organization. He says at the time of his arrest it was common for Christians in Laos to endure physical suffering for being a Christian—arrests, beatings and other pressure. Today, he says, mental and spiritual pressure for following Christ is more common, including being ostracized by family members, cut off from work or educational opportunities and even kicked out of your village.
Listen as TK shares what our persecuted church family faces in Laos today. TK will also explain how he is serving persecuted brothers and sisters there. Pray for communist authorities in Laos and for wisdom and discernment for TK as he assists persecuted Christians.
This week we complete our conversation with Richard and Jeanette, an American couple who had served 10 years in China when police came knocking on their apartment door and they knew their gospel service in China was over.
When we left off last week, Richard was being interrogated at a Chinese police station while Jeanette, his wife, prayed and was ministered to by their local church pastor and other Christian friends. Richard’s interrogation continued the next day before police let him return home but warned him not to tell anyone—even his wife—about the questioning. He knew the interrogation wasn’t over. In the ensuing weeks he was repeatedly called back to the police station.
When he arrived home, Jeanette watched her husband closely, looking for signs of beatings or torture. The stress of each day—and not knowing when authorities would demand another trip to the police station—left Richard, at times, barely able to function. Some days he couldn’t even get out of bed. He couldn’t tell his wife what happened with the police, fearing anything he said would put her in danger of also being arrested or interrogated.
Chinese police mockingly asked why he would follow Christ. They thought Jesus selfish to ask His followers give up family, jobs, money and success just to end up being locked in a police station. Yet even as they questioned him, Richard felt guidance from the Holy Spirit in how to answer their questions and even tried to plant seeds of the gospel in their conversations.
Finally, Richard and Jeanette learned that they would be allowed to leave China but would likely never be allowed to return to the land and people they love deeply. Listen to hear how they were finally set free, and when they finally had the chance to talk to each other about all they’d gone through at the hands of communist Chinese police.
You’ll also hear how they are both thankful for the persecution they endured—and the fruit they’ve seen in their own lives and their family that grew directly out of their time of trial. They’ll also help listeners pray for Christians in China as they endure persecution and suffering for their faith—without the opportunity to leave the country or the protection of a foreign passport.
We left off last week as Richard and Jeanette’s apartment was raided by 25 Chinese policemen. The couple knew that their time in China was over after 10 years of ministry, but they didn’t know how long it might be before they were allowed to leave. Listen now as Jeanette recalls exactly what happened when she returned to their apartment to find police searching through their bookshelves and closets and questioning her husband.
Despite the chaos of the raid, Jeanette continued relying on the sovereignty and goodness of God, reminding herself often that He is trustworthy no matter our circumstances. She prayed fervently for Richard as he was taken away by the police.
Richard experienced God’s sovereignty and the Holy Spirit at work as he sat in the police station interrogation room, living in the truth of Luke 12:11-12. In spite of police threats, Richard relied on scripture God brought to his mind and four things he knew he had to stand firm in as he tried to answer the police accusations.
Listen also for how Chinese Christians supported Richard and Jeanette during their ordeal, including a local church pastor who knocked on their door and offered a bold prayer for Richard. Their local Christian community brought Jeanette great comfort, providing practical proof that the Lord was with them.
Pray persecuted Chinese Christians will stand firm in faith and be encouraged by the Body of Christ.
One group of Chinese Christians, the Mayflower Church, made the decision as a congregation to flee their homeland. Pastor Pan, leader of the group, was our guest on VOM Radio last month. Listen this week for a praise update on this group of believers and their immigration case.
Richard and Jeanette had served in China for several years when—around 2018—they began hearing stories of foreign Christians forced to leave the country. “Everyone knows it happens, but no one thinks it’s going to happen to them,” Richard says.
The couple decided to stay in China as long as God kept the door open—even when Covid put the entire country under lockdown. They were prepared to be kicked out; they’d even begun to think about when it would happen instead of if it would happen. The threat gave them a sense of urgency in their ministry as they continued shepherding and teaching God’s Word to Chinese people.
Richard and Jeannette felt the Lord work in their hearts during their college years, and both knew that overseas gospel work was God’s call for them. They met after Jeanette returned from two years working in China, married, and then received an invitation to serve in China. Listen as Richard and Jeanette share how they thought about risk and danger of serving in a Communist country, and the joys and challenges of their first years of missions service, including learning Chinese.
You’ll also hear about the day Richard opened the door of their apartment to find 25 uniformed Chinese national police and knew their time of serving the Lord in China was coming to an end. Richard and Jeanette will return to VOM Radio next week to continue their story.
One million to one. One million lost people for every one gospel worker.
When Brother David heard the million-to-one ratio of population to gospel workers in the Arab world, he and his wife knew that was where God needed them to serve in missions.
Today, Muslims in North Africa and the Middle East are more open to asking questions and seeking information about Jesus, the Bible and Christianity—especially through the internet. Brother David leads Operation Mobilization’s North African and Middle Eastern work and emphasizes the need to have more workers reaching Muslims for Christ.
David’s leads OM workers across 20 countries as they reach out to Muslims and disciple new believers. His teams also work to train Muslim background believers to reach, disciple and lead their own people and churches. He knows there will be Christian persecution as the church grows; he’s seen persecution directly on members of his team and his own family. But, from his own experience, he’s also seen how God uses persecution of His followers for His glory and purpose.
David will advise listeners who want to reach out to Muslim friends and coworkers with gospel conversations. He has seen the insecurity many Christians have engaging with Muslims, but encourages us to jump into conversations about faith and beliefs. He says stories from the Bible and our witness to God’s hand in our own experiences are powerful ways to plant gospel seeds with our Muslim friends.
He’ll also help us know how to pray for gospel work in the Middle East and North Africa.
Moving to a new place can be difficult, especially if you don’t know anyone in your new community. Muslims from across the world have moved to America for work or school yet they are often ignored by those around them—even Christians. Fouad Masri, president of the Crescent Project, says our job as believers is not to convert anyone, but to shine the light of Jesus and rely on him to draw our Muslim friends to himself.
Masri is the author of a new book, Sharing Jesus with Muslims: A Step-By-Step Guide (affiliate link). Listen in as he talks about conversational apologetics, thought-provoking questions to ask a Muslim friend, and myths still circulating within the Muslim world about the Christian faith. You’ll also hear Fouad’s joy as he shares about his ministry and stories of Muslims coming to Christ.
With over 30 years of sharing the gospel with Muslims, Fouad reminds us we are not called to bring anything new, but to pray for sincere hearts ready to receive the gospel. He emphasizes that we should pray for the leading of the Holy Spirit to help answer Muslims who are seeking spiritual truth, and to ask questions that provoke self-examination.
Jesus is building his church among former Muslims—including inside hostile and restricted nations where Christian persecution is common and among Muslims living in the United States and other nations with more religious freedom. To learn more about how to witness and build bridges cross culturally with Muslims, sign up for the Sahara Challenge in Nashville, TN from May 1-3, or join online from May 23-25.
How can I share Christ with Muslims when I don’t know more about Islam? What if I can’t answer all their questions? What can I do to overcome my fear of sharing the gospel?
Fouad Masri, founder and president of Crescent Project, answers these questions and more in his new book Sharing Jesus with Muslims (affiliate link). For more than 30 years, Masri has been training Christians how to share Jesus with Muslims. He says Muslims are more open today than ever to hearing the gospel, and many are actively searching for Christian books or information online.
Yet many Christians are still fearful to reach out to Muslims. Fouad says his goal is to move believers from fear and fascination to compassion, and it is that passion that led to this new book.
Fouad encourages us to pray for God to open the door for friendships and conversation with the Muslims we meet in our work, school or community. He says one of the first challenges is to learn to listen. Listen to what our Muslim friends are telling us and listen for God to open the door for a spiritual conversation. Listen as Fouad shares an example from his own life when he really didn’t want to have a deep conversation but realized the Lord had already been at work preparing his new friend to hear the gospel.
He will also discuss Christian persecution of Muslim-background believers in the context of western nations. Do MBB’s face pressure and persecution in the United States as they do in Middle Eastern nations like Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Yemen?
Pray the openness of Muslims right now will result in a great harvest of people coming to know Christ in a personal way. If you want to learn more about sharing your faith with Muslims, Crescent Project’s Sahara Challenge provides an in-depth training on how to serve unreached Muslims locally and globally. The event is offered in-person from May 1st-3rd in Nashville or online from May 23rd-25th.
Would you like to hear more about how God is working in the Muslim world? You’ll be encouraged as you listen to more stories of Muslims who came to faith, like Rachid from Morocco, Al Fadi in Saudi Arabia, and Benesh in Iran.
Just before Covid shut down the Peoples Republic of China, Pastor Pan Yongguang and members of his congregation, known today as the Mayflower Church, made the difficult decision to leave their country. After 16 families from the congregation arrived in South Korea in 2019, relatives and other family members still in China faced increasing pressure from the communist government, especially when members of the church went public about the persecution they’d faced and their decision to leave China.
Listen as Pastor Pan shares about his life before he became and believer, how he came to faith in Christ, and how the Lord raised him up to be the pastor of the church he was baptized in. Before Pastor Pan considered personally following Christ, he knew people in China must pay a price for being a Christian. He says, “That’s a special part of Chinese Christians. They know they have to pay a price.”
The roots of the decision to leave China trace back to a day in 2018 when Pastor Pan had lunch with Pastor Wang Yi, who is now serving a nine-year sentence as a prisoner for Christ. Christian persecution was rising in China. Wang Yi knew he faced imprisonment for his faith; he challenged Pastor Pan to prepare himself to go to prison as well. Pan will share about the regular visits he received from police after Wang Yi’s arrest.
Pastor Pan and his church members had a decision to make. Should they leave China, or should they stay? Many had good jobs in China, but they worried about raising their children in Godly truth amidst communist pressure and indoctrination. After a year of discussions, knowing each Sunday could be their last one together, they felt unified in the decision to leave China.
Today, Pastor Pan and the Mayflower church are educating their children to follow Christ as they wait to receive refugee status from the United Nations and resettlement in a free nation. Pray for favor for them in the UN refugee application process. Pray also for family members still in China, who constantly face threats and intimidation.
“As we commit daily to being Christ’s witnesses to a lost world, we must understand that we will be opposed. In fact, the more faithful we are, the more serious the opposition.”
Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs, joins VOM Radio this week to talk about helping Christians in free nations, like the United States, discover what it means to follow Christ when it’s unpopular or even costly—something Christians living in restricted nations and hostile areas deal with every day. We’ll also introduce a new resource from The Voice of the Martyrs to inspire believers to learn about and develop a faith worth suffering for.
Cole recently wrote a series of editorials in The Voice of the Martyrs free monthly magazine on the topic, “Prepared for Persecution.” The Bible promises opposition (John 16:33) and persecution (II Tim. 3:12) when we live out our faith as biblical disciples of Christ. If Christians in free nations don’t learn these scriptural truths, we will be unprepared to face persecution when it comes.
Cole and Todd will also discuss The Sabina Group Study, a new resource from The Voice of the Martyrs offering inspiring examples of Christians who have taken up their crosses and followed Christ in spite of opposition, persecution, suffering and pain. Examples in the study come from the lives of VOM’s founders, Pastor Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, and also from seven “modern-day Sabinas,” women who endured intense persecution as faithful witnesses for Christ in our day.
A FREE copy of this brand-new video resource, including the full-length Sabina feature film and six video study sessions, is available right now to anyone who makes a donation to The Voice of the Martyrs.