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KOREA: Accused as Criminals for Bible Distribution

KOREA: Accused as Criminals for Bible Distribution

The Bible remains essential to the church in North Korea today, and The Voice of the Martyrs Korea is determined to continue getting God’s Word into this closed nation through the use of various innovative methods. However, these efforts have recently become a point of contention with leaders of the South Korean government who are seeking to appease demands from the dictatorial government of Kim Jong Un in North Korea.

The co-founders of VOM Korea are presently facing possible criminal charges, as well as a review of the ministry’s status as a registered NGO. In a recently sent email, Rev Dr Eric Foley and his wife Dr Foley wrote, “We stand accused in our own country as criminals, and we do so alongside our North Korean Christian brothers and sisters.” The couple released a fascinating account about the “Bible Christians” of those earlier days and how they connect to the current situation in both North and South Korea.

When missionaries first arrived in Korea in the late 19th century, they discovered that the Gospel message had already preceded them. Koreans who had been assisting with Bible translation in China consequently came to faith in Christ. By smuggling portions of the New Testament into their homeland, they were also able to lead others to Christ. The resulting believers came to be known as “Bible Christians”.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs Korea

  • Please keep VOM Korea and staff covered in prayer as they navigate how to wisely deal with these present challenges while endeavouring to honour God.
  • Pray that the people of North Korea who have received the distributed Bibles will be touched by the Word, resulting in their eternal salvation.
  • Intercede for the governmental leaders of both North and South Korea that they would not only cease opposing the Gospel but also willingly embrace our Heavenly Father’s love to the point of becoming convicted of their need to accept His Son Jesus as their own personal Saviour.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

TURKEY: Christian Convert Teacher Dismissed from Duties

TURKEY: Christian Convert Teacher Dismissed from Duties

Turkish Christians request prayer for Christian convert, Esma, who has been withdrawn from her teaching duties. She is being investigated by the National Education Board after the Turkish press accused her of missionary activities through her social media account.

Esma, 40, a graduate from Ataturk Religious Faculty of Erzurum University, has been working at Hasan Fatma Onal Anadolu High School in Kusadasi for the last two years, teaching religion and morality.

On 6 November the Turkish conservative newspaper, Milli Gazete, published an article drawing attention to Esma’s faith as a Christian and accusing her of missionary activity through her private social media accounts. This ‘news’ was then picked up by other Turkish media outlets.

As a consequence, Esma was removed from teaching duties and the National Board of Education started an investigation into her capability as a Christian of teaching religion and morality. Esma has opened a court case against the press and the National Board of Education and has requested that the defamatory and discriminatory remarks be removed from public sources.

Friends report that Esma is a much-loved teacher and that her students have begun a petition in her support.

A Turkish church leader remarks that Esma’s case is significant for a number of reasons in that it highlights the obligatory nature of lessons on religion, the question on whether Christians have equal opportunities as civil servants, the freedom to change one’s religion and discrimination against Christians in Turkish society.

Source: Middle East Concern

  • Please pray that Esma will hold firm to her faith during this time of uncertainty. Pray she will trust in the Lord for the outcome.
  • Pray that Esma will be freely able to pick up her teaching duties at the school again soon.
  • Pray the publicity surrounding the case may be used by the Lord as a witness for the Gospel.

Post your prayer in the comments below.

PAKISTAN: Christian Accused of Blasphemy

PAKISTAN: Christian Accused of Blasphemy

A Pakistani bike shop owner has been accused of blasphemy after telling one of his customers that Christians believe Jesus to have been the final prophet. Ashfaq Masih, 28, was arrested following accusations that he had “disrespected” Islam’s prophet, Muhammad.

The incident took place in Lahore on 15 June at Masih’s shop in the Bagarhian suburb of the city, near a sizeable Christian neighbourhood, the majority of whose inhabitants work as manual labourers.

As the argument unfolded, the owner of a nearby shop, Muhammad Ashfaq, joined a crowd of people who had amassed to hear what was going on. Muhammad Ashfaq, a complainant in the case, told World Watch Monitor: “Even when other men had gathered, Ashfaq Masih maintained a disrespectful stance. “While the argument was going on, someone informed the emergency police, who reached the spot and immediately put him in the police van and left.”

A local police chief, Wasim Akhtar, said the incident had been “unfortunate” but that the situation was “under control”.

“Most of my customers are Christians and I have been running this shop for the last 17 years and no religious argument has ever happened before,” added Muhammad Ashfaq. “Masih took over the shop about two years ago and this is the first time an argument like this has taken place. However, now a few children have informed us that he used to talk about religion.”

Masih’s lawyer, Riaz Anjum, said he would file an application for bail. “The family is extremely poor and have now fled,” he added. “We are in touch with the police and working so that the family can soon return to their home.”

Pakistani Christians make up only 1.5 per cent of the total population but over a quarter (187) of the 702 blasphemy cases registered between 1990 and 2014 were against Christians.

Source: World Watch Monitor

  • Intercede for Masih and his family. May the Lord’s strength and protection be upon them. Pray they may remain faithful to Him during this difficult time of testing.
  • Pray this case will very soon be resolved so that Masih may be released.
  • Ask the Lord to somehow use this situation for good, in His perfect timing for Masih, his family and the Christian community.
BURMA: Pray for Brother Xi, Falsely Accused

BURMA: Pray for Brother Xi, Falsely Accused

Brother ‘Xi’ has been falsely accused of human trafficking because of his Christian activities in Burma. “I have peace in the Lord, though I was falsely accused because of my faith and Christian activities,” he said.

“The opposition has tried to cause me problems in many ways. But the more I face persecution in my life the more my church members and I grow in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Our prayers always work.”

Please pray for Brother Xi, whose court case is expected to take several months. VOM is helping with
legal fees.

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Thank the Lord for the faithfulness of Brother Xi; pray he will continue to be dependent on the Lord, even in the midst of suffering and uncertainty.
  • Pray the Lord will be glorified through Brother Xi’s testimony; may other believers in Burma be encouraged to stand firm when tested.
  • Pray the truth of this case will come to light; pray justice will be done.