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The Names of God

Iranian Christians, dancing together while chanting the many names of God. The faces have been pixelated to conceal the identity of the Christians involved, as Christians in Iran are in continual risk of persecution by government authorities.

Christmas Message of Peace

North Korea

Last year at Christmastime, a South Korean church lit a 100-foot tall Christmas tree-shaped tower on a hill near the country’s border with North Korea. A lighted cross stood at the top of the tower. Some people in South Korea hoped the tower would send a “message of peace” to North Korea. But officials in North Korea, where it is illegal to own a Bible or witness to others about Christ, called the tower “propaganda warfare.” They threatened to punish South Korea for allowing it to be displayed.

This Christmas, pray that North Koreans will come to know the Prince of Peace.

Christmas Cake

Christmas CakeMuslim converts to Christ in Iran celebrate Jesus’ birthday

A past issue of The Voice of the Martyrs newsletter told about believers in Iran who knelt around a chocolate cake to thank God for sending Jesus to earth. Muslims in Iran are leaving Islam and deciding to follow Jesus. Many Iranian Christians have been Christians for only a short time. They are full of love and gratitude for the savior who brought them from darkness into light. Their Christmas cake was an expression of their thankfulness.

Purnima’s Christmas

Purnima was 13 years old in 1993 when she was taken with more than 30 other Christians to the police station at a town in Bhutan. Bhutan is a Buddhist country. “Who gave you permission to celebrate Christmas?” an officer asked her. “This is Bhutan. You are not allowed to celebrate Christmas here! This is your last chance. Either return to Buddhism, or leave Bhutan.”

“I will not deny Christ,” Purnima answered. “I do not wish to leave my country, and I will not leave Christ. He is the only one who can save me, or you.”

Purnima and the other Christians were given five days to pack and travel from Bhutan to Nepal. Her parents had already kicked her out of their house when she became a Christian; now she was being kicked out of her country.

Purnima and her friends were later arrested for sharing about the love of Jesus in a marketplace in Nepal! They continued spreading the gospel after they were put in prison for witnessing to non-Christians.

Some of the prisoners appreciated Purnima’s words of hope. Others mocked and despised her.

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“Joy to the World” Illegal

A few years ago, officials at a town near Hanoi, Vietnam warned members of a house church that it was against the law to display a “Joy to the World” banner at Christmastime. The officials also said the church could not have a Christmas celebration with neighbors and friends. A few months later, the owner of the house was fined for the group’s Christian activities.

Officials in Vietnam still give tribal Christians a hard time, but the Christians still sing of their joy in Christ.