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Persecuted Pastors Pray

Pastors meeting

Thirty-five persecuted pastors in Asia gathered to pray recently. In their country, pastors have been beaten up and arrested, and their families threatened.

What do you suppose the pastors prayed for? In an email, the pastors told VOM:

“We focused this month on South Sudan and Senegal. We prayed for [VOM projects]. Every month our prayer meeting number has increased. Next month we are going to have 70 pastors…. Please pray for our team.”

The persecuted pastors prayed for other persecuted Christians in different areas of the world! They are following the Bible’s command to “Remember the prisoners as if chained with them — those who are mistreated — since you yourselves are in the body also” (Hebrews 13:3, NKJV).

Kids of Courage in Russia

KOC in Russia
Дети отваги
(Children of Courage)

The U.S.S.R. (often called “the Soviet Union”) was the largest communist country in the world. In the early 1990s, it broke up into many smaller countries.

People in the smaller countries have their own languages. But many still speak Russian, the language of the Soviet Union.

Russian-speaking Christians have started a children’s website using Kids of Courage stories.

Go to the Map of Visitors page on this site to see if anyone in the former Soviet Union has recently visited Kids of Courage. The countries formed when the U.S.S.R. broke up are: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.

You can find out what life is like for Christians in some of those countries in the Countries section of this site.



Susan (learn more about her in a previous post) is a Christian in Uganda. Susan’s father kept her locked in a room in their house with very little food for several months. He was upset because Susan had become a Christian.

After her harsh treatment, Susan was sick and weak, and she needed two operations on her legs.

She is with other Christians now, and she is safe.

More About Pastor Shestakov

The Shestakov family

A previous post told about Pastor Dmitri Shestakov’s time in prison for his Christian activities.

Pastor Shestakov recently told a VOM worker about letters he received in prison from Christians around the world.

“The letters that you wrote…that was fantastic, because the prison was getting sacks full of letters. And when another sack was carried in, everybody knew that the letters were for [me]….

“I remember very well what happened when the first sack of letters came. The head of the security department called me in. He was in shock. I saw the letters scattered around the entire office. I myself was shocked. He was looking at the addresses of the senders: America, Australia…. He yelled at me, ‘Who are these people?’

“I said, ‘These are my brothers and sisters.’

“’Why are they writing to you?’

“I said, ‘I don’t know. They are praying for me.’

“’Tell them to stop writing.’

“I said, ‘How can I stop them?’

“They did not give me any letters to read…. When another sack of letters would come, they would call me in and yell at me. But after that, they did not beat me as much as they used to before the letters began arriving. They began speaking with me more politely.”

Through VOM’s Prisoner Alert website, readers sent Pastor Shestakov 6,274 letters.

To Discuss and Do

  • Go to, Remember the name of one prisoner who is still in prison for his faith, and pray for him or her today. Ask someone to help you use the information on the site to write to a prisoner.

Movies, Bunk Beds, and Pizza

North Korea
North Korean school boys

Every day, there are people in North Korea making plans to escape from their country. The government controls the lives of the citizens, and often there is not enough to eat. Many North Koreans believe they will have better lives if they escape.

Learning to Share the Gospel
After they escape to other countries, some of the North Koreans hear the truth about Jesus and begin to follow him. Christian teachers help them learn more about Jesus and the Bible. Then some of the North Koreans make a bold, surprising decision. They decide to go back to North Korea and share the gospel with their friends and relatives! It’s a risky decision because Christians in North Korea are often arrested and treated harshly in prison.

Korean Orphans
Some North Korean women marry men in their new countries after their escape. Their children are often not treated well because they are part North Korean.

The Voice of the Martyrs has received a report about five of these children. The mothers of the children had been caught and sent back to North Korea, or they had left the family. Their fathers and grandparents are too poor to care for them, so a Christian missionary let them live in his house.

At first the children were disobedient, did not do their schoolwork, and stole each other’s possessions. However, the missionary is teaching them well, and the stealing has stopped. The children are copying Psalms and Proverbs by hand.

New Experiences
Recently, some of the North Korean adult escapees who have decided to follow Christ secretly met with the children from the missionary’s home. The escapees showed the children the Jesus: He Lived Among Us DVD. It was the first time the children had ever seen an animated Christian movie.

Then the adults took the children to an amusement park and a zoo, and ate pizza with them. The children had never eaten pizza. According to the adults, one of the boys laughed that day for the first time.

The escapees also bought the children bunk beds. The orphans were grateful and realized that the gifts were provided by God. They even said they wanted to be more like Jesus. The adult visitors prayed for the children and encouraged them to grow closer to God. Maybe someday they, too, will share the gospel with their North Korean relatives.

To learn more about North Korean Christians, download Bold Believers in North Korea from the Downloads section.