In spite of all the violence in America, and a growing hatred for God and His Word, we are still very blessed as Christians to be Americans because of the religious freedoms we have. That could be changing. But we have not yet suffered to the point of torture or death for our faith in Jesus Christ.
The same cannot be said for millions of Christians suffering around the world, whose very freedom and life are in danger because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs joins us to look at our brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who remain faithful to Jesus despite imprisonment, torture and even martyrdom. Will we be as faithful to Christ if and when it comes to our shores?
Fascinating stories shared by Todd Nettleton on today’s podcast:
- Ongoing crackdown against the church in CHINA:
- Pastor Wang Yi was arrested last December; his case is expected to go to trial soon, but his lawyers have been prevented from seeing the case file, from meeting with Pastor Yi, and one was even encouraged to quit the case “for his safety”!
- One county is experimenting with a star-rating system for all religious sites. If you don’t keep your rating up, your registration can be cancelled. And one way that you can increase your rating is by reporting unregistered religious gatherings (aka house churches)!
- I’ve interviewed two house-church pastors in the past month about the current situation, and the challenges that their congregations are facing.
2. I travelled to KENYA last month to interview one of the first (maybe the very first) ethnic Somali to become a follower of Christ. Quite an amazing story of how he came to Christ 50 years ago…and the persecution he’s endured since then, including from his own family, but also the amazing ministry of planting 22 churches!
3. Met this week with Susanna Koh, the wife of Pastor Raymond Koh, who was abducted in MALAYSIA more than two years ago and has not been seen or heard from since then. A couple of updates on their story:
- The Human Rights Commission in Malaysia released a report earlier this year blaming the special forces of the Kuala Lumpur police as the abductors, and recommended a special commission to re-investigate that case. That commission has been formed, but there have been delays in the process.
- Susanna was SO THANKFUL for the prayers of Christians around the world for her and their family. She talked about what it meant to know people were praying for her literally all around the world.
4. NEPAL: Nepal changed the law in 2017 saying that foreigners involved in converting people would be sentenced to five years in prison. Now, a South Korean Christian has been arrested and charged under that new law. He was released to go to the hospital…but could be facing five years in prison.
5. SYRIA: Great story in our August VOM magazine about a brother in Syria who was kidnapped for being a Christian—even though he wasn’t a follower of Christ! He was born into a “Christian” family, then kidnapped and held for ransom. But through that experience he truly met Jesus…and is now following Christ and serving Him!
6. ERITREA: Please keep praying for Eritrea! There was a wave of arrests of Christians in June, with as many as 500 Christians being taken into custody. This even after the “peace agreement” between Ethiopia and Eritrea last year that was supposedly going to produce better human rights situation for Eritreans…
7. TURKEY: Interesting story about laying the foundation stone for the first new church building in Turkey in more than 100 years. Of course it is for the Orthodox community and NOT a church for Muslim converts, but it is a significant thing, and even the president of Turkey was there for the occasion. Hard to know right now if this is PR or if this represents a true change in the government’s treatment of traditional Christian communities there.