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Project: Support for Five Pastors in Brunei

Project: Support for Five Pastors in Brunei

In 2019, with the help of our supporters, Voice of the Martyrs is providing support for five pastors in Brunei, a country where Christian evangelism is prohibited.

Currently, there are only 20 legally registered churches and no new church buildings are allowed. House churches are becoming the most effective way for Christians to meet and worship.

Our contact in Brunei reports:

With all the challenges they face, these pastors continue to serve the Lord faithfully. They are each very active in doing the work of God. A lot of their work is in witnessing to and discipling tribal people at long houses in Brunei. They also distribute Bibles all over Brunei and at the border of Malaysia.

Since the pastors are very active in evangelism they have been persecuted by their own people. In Brunei you are not allowed to evangelise. You can be arrested. Many evangelists have been arrested. Some of them have been detained in prison and/or given a stern warning.

The pastors’ goal, along with sharing the Gospel all over Brunei, is to establish more house churches.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia in your tax returns.

Project: 4WD for Pastor Y in Brunei

Project: 4WD for Pastor Y in Brunei

Brunei is a Muslim majority nation, where the people live under the rule of a dynastic sultan. The law of the land is a version of Islamic Sharia. While some historic churches exist in Brunei, no new church buildings are allowed. Christians make up 9% of the population, and there are approximately 20 legally registered church buildings in the country. Churches are often afraid to reach out to Muslims because they are monitored closely by the religious police.

Despite the risk, a few bold Christians, including Pastor Y, continue to bring the light of the Gospel to this dark land.

Recently, with the help of our supporters, Voice of the Martyrs Australia provided funds for Pastor Y to purchase a Toyota Fortuna 4WD.

Every week Pastor Y travels approximately 400-500 kilometres throughout Brunei to oversee several house churches. He regularly drives to the border of Malaysia, where he distributes Malay Bibles (illegal in Brunei) to tribal people. He can now navigate on roads that are in bad condition and/or flooded during heavy rain.

Pastor Y has baptised several secret believers this year alone, using his new car to transport many of them to the river.

If you would like to financially support the work of Voice of the Martyrs, please go to: vom.com.au/donate

Voice of the Martyrs Australia is an endorsed deductible gift recipient (DGR) by the Australian government. This means you can claim tax deductions for all donations over $2 to Voice of the Martyrs Australia in your tax returns.

From our CEO: May 2019

From our CEO: May 2019

Malaysia and Brunei are very interesting, yet complex countries. They both have Muslim-majority populations and both apply their own manner of control over their inhabitants, based on their brand of Islamic law.

I hope this month’s newsletter provides some insight into the challenging environment in which Muslim background believers embrace their new-found faith in Jesus Christ and stand firm in the face of immeasurable resistance for their bold step.

New believers are forced to walk away from friends and family who won’t tolerate apostates, and start life over. Islamic radicalism is constantly present and is pressuring the authorities to implement more of their brand of Sharia law.

While visiting these two nations recently, I met many Christians who are steadfast in their pursuit of God’s love and His presence. Praise and worship in the flourishing house church movements are electrifying with the power of the Holy Spirit – the presence of the Lord is tangible.

Be greatly encouraged, as I was, with how Christians are coping with the ever-changing pressure to renounce their faith and are overcoming these challenges by immersing themselves in God’s Word and spending quality time with Him.

Discipleship and leadership training are needed to enable them to go forth and share the Gospel with others. The house church movement is growing rapidly, and the church needs quality leaders to undergird this growth as they build a solid foundation that will withstand the constant barrage of Islamic radicalism.

The team present were immensely blessed and honoured to share in meetings with local believers, have meals together and enjoy Christ-centred conversations. We sang praises, worshipped with one heart, prayed together, and the tears flowed freely. We give praise for such an anointed time together.

The Body of Christ is healthy in these countries.

God bless.

Tony Benjamin
CEO

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If you would like to financially support our Front Line Ministry fund please go to vom.com.au/donate.

Pastor Ahmad

Pastor Ahmad

Churches in Brunei must be registered and are heavily monitored; for this reason there has been considerable growth in secret, house churches.

Pastor Ahmad oversees a number of these house churches, which he says can operate in relative freedom – albeit with much caution – to minister and encourage the body of Christ. Unfortunately, house churches are shunned by registered churches.

He told us, “We do not let strangers into our church for fear of them being spies. The Muslim government is strict on non-Islamic gatherings and spies are everywhere.”

The handsome reward for informing on believers encourages people to become spies. The reward can be a house, car, secure job or promotion. Sadly, the temptation of the reward can be too much for even some Christian believers. Pastor Ahmad told us that some of his own church members have become informers, due to their desperate circumstances.

When asked what the Western church can do to help, Pastor Ahmad said, “The Western church can help us by praying for unity in the churches in Brunei. As a unified church we can effectively support believers during this dangerous time of authorities trying to eradicate Christianity.”

Please pray for our persecuted brethren in Brunei.

Subscribe to our monthly print or e-newsletter at vom.com.au/subscribe

If you would like to financially support our Front Line Ministry fund please go to vom.com.au/donate.

Hope for Revival in Brunei

Hope for Revival in Brunei

Even through imprisonment and interrogation, faithful servants, Jasmin and Nazif, continue to evangelise in Brunei and pray in hope that, one day, they will be able to do so freely.

Jasmin and Nazif have both been imprisoned for evangelising and, at one time, Jasmin was interrogated in prison for 19 days.

“Each time, after I’ve been arrested, people offer me places to live in Indonesia or Malaysia to minister there and I just say no, I will not go. I am believing for revival in Brunei,” says Jasmin.

Conversions to Christianity in Brunei are on the rise and, despite what their government may report, they far outweigh conversions to Islam. Due to these numbers increasing, the government is becoming stringent and evangelising outside of homes is increasingly difficult.

“Anything relating to the gifts of the Spirit, ministering to people, praying for healing, crusades are all forbidden here,” says Nazif.

Recently, they had the opportunity to pray for a Muslim man who discovered he had a brain tumour. The entire church fasted and prayed for three days and the man said he saw a bright light and felt the tumour go. When he returned to the doctor, the X-ray showed no sign of a tumour. When questioned by the hospital staff about how this happened, he told them that a Christian man had prayed for him.

This incident sent the entire hospital into uproar and government officials questioned the man and convinced him to return to Islam. They have not seen or heard from the man since.

Muslims in Brunei are not able to join in Christmas or Easter celebrations, even in their Christian friends’ homes. New Christian converts are even paid by the government to convert back to Islam.

“It’s getting more complicated,” says Nazif.

“The most effective way for Christians to reach unbelievers is through their testimony and the fruit of their life – they need to see the difference.”

“There are CCTV cameras everywhere,” he says, “they record and watch your conversations and the only place you can speak freely and relax is at home.”

Pastors and Christians alike, long for the day they can register their churches, as they are still seen as ‘underground’. They often meet late in the evening – sometimes at midnight – to come together for fellowship as a church, in remote areas, unseen by prying eyes.

“I’ve heard various testimonies from Malaysia and Indonesia where the Lord intervenes and prayers are answered,” says Jasmin.

“I strongly believe, one day with these prayers we’re praying, God will open doors and we will have our own church and be registered. Even if it doesn’t happen soon, we are trusting the Lord it will happen for the generations to follow.”

Subscribe to our monthly print or e-newsletter at vom.com.au/subscribe

If you would like to financially support our Front Line Ministry fund please go to vom.com.au/donate.