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Notes to Nigerians

Cards

The August The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter included notecards for Nigerian Christians. Readers can write words of encouragement on the cards and return them to VOM. The cards will be delivered to persecuted Christians by VOM field workers.

If you do not subscribe to the newsletter, you can order packs of 75 cards from VOM for your family or another group. For more information, go to VOM Books.


Community Voice Shares Resources

VOM Voice

Bill I. is a VOM Community Voice (read more about VOM Voices here). Bill sent the following email to VOM.

“I have been printing up the Kids of Courage coloring books and handing them out to homeschooling moms. And I have been telling them to sign up on the Kids of Courage website. The site is a combination of current events, history, and evangelism.”

How can you share information about persecuted Christians with others?


Trusting God at the Police Station

Afghanistan police
A policeman in Afghanistan

An officer of the secret police in a Muslim country sent for Pastor Zareef, a Christian preacher. Secret police usually work in countries where citizens don’t have a lot of freedoms. They secretly spy on citizens to see if anyone is doing things the government doesn’t like. Pastor Zareef knew he could end up in jail if he gave answers the officer didn’t like.

The pastor believed the Bible verse, “Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist” (Luke 21:14–15). Trusting in God’s word, he went to the meeting at the policeman’s office.

At the meeting, the officer shook a pamphlet in Pastor Zareef’s face and asked, “Who wrote this?” A friend of Pastor Zareef’s had written the pamphlet to explain the truth about Jesus to Muslims. The pastor knew that his friend might get in big trouble if the police found out who wrote it.

Suddenly, Pastor Zareef began laughing! He surprised even himself!

“Why are you laughing?” the officer growled.

“Because I thought YOU were the secret police, not ME!” answered the pastor. “You are the ones who know secrets, but you are asking me who wrote it?”

“Okay,” said the officer. “I’ll let you go this time.”

After he left the office, Pastor Zareef was amazed at what happened. He had not planned beforehand what he would say, yet God helped him speak.

Praise God for His faithfulness!

Read another story about God helping a Christian speak.


Doing Nothing

Indonesian Pastor

The Voice of the Martyrs reports about Christians who are persecuted so that Christians in free countries can help them and pray for them. It is often helpful when praying for people if you learn true facts about their lives and their country.

Two Common Mistakes

  • Some people believe that persecuted Christians are “super Christians.” As a VOM worker said, “Persecuted Christians are not super Christians, but ordinary people who through God’s grace and power have been enabled to do extraordinary things. We serve the same God and have access to the same grace and power.”
  • Some people believe that no Christians can ever worship in countries where Christians are persecuted. But in many countries where VOM works, there are Christian churches in large cities.

    “Some of them obey laws against witnessing to others,” said a VOM worker. “Those churches are not persecuted because they aren’t doing anything.” They may obey laws against talking about Jesus outside of church, teaching children about Jesus, or allowing non-Christians to visit their church.

    But often other Christians in their country are persecuted because they obey God’s command to “make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:19). The Indonesian pastor in the photo above preached outside after his church was destroyed by enemies.

  • To Talk About

    • Read John 15:20–21. Why are Christians persecuted?
    • How can we pray for churches whose members are persecuted?
    • How can we pray for churches whose members love Jesus but are afraid to tell others about Him?
    • Are you ever afraid to tell others about your faith?
    • If there were a law in your country against talking about Jesus in public, would you ever be arrested?

How do North Korean Christians Pray?

North Korea
A secret meeting in North Korea

In North Korea, it is against the law to choose to follow Jesus or to own a Bible. A listener on VOMRadio.net asked the following questions.

  • In a country like North Korea, how do Christians pray?
  • How do they gather together?
  • What is a worship service like in North Korea?

Todd Nettleton, host of VOM Radio, asked Rev. Eric Foley the listener’s questions. Rev. Foley is the leader of VOM Korea.

Rev. Foley: A lot of ideas we have about North Koreans hiding under a blanket to read the Bible or sneaking out of their homes at night aren’t exactly accurate. And the reason why is that everyone in North Korea is required to spy on homes that are near their own.

Things like hiding under a blanket or sneaking out of your home would make the neighbors suspicious. So when things like that happen it is usually on the border of North Korea.

North Koreans who are in the interior of North Korea who have been Christians for generations actually worship very differently. They have developed ways of worship that they can do even when people who are not Christians are watching.

One of the ways is that underground [secret] believers pray with their eyes open. They look at the person they are with as if they are having a conversation with that person. And instead of referencing God, for example, they use a phrase like “Dear Leader.” [“Dear Leader” is a title used for the former leader of their country, who is now dead. In this case, Christians are using the title to talk secretly about God.]

So instead of bowing their heads and closing their eyes, they might look at the person sitting next to them and say, “I am so concerned about Sister Kim, who is sick. But I am thankful that our Dear Leader will show special care for her as she needs love and attention.” That would be how underground Christians pray.

The way that they have worship services is on a family level. People in the same family worship together. But people from different families typically do not gather together for worship in North Korea.

(Source: VOMRadio.net. Edited and paraphrased for length and clarity.)

Rev. Foley’s book about Christians in North Korea, These Are the Generations, is available at VOM Books.

Enter “North Korea” in the Search box on this site to find more stories about North Korean Christians.


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