North Korea, Belarus, and Iraq, VOM Prayer Update 110411

VOM-USA Prayer Update for November 4, 2011

The Voice of the Martyrs USA: www.persecution.com
Oh come, let us sing to the LORD! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:1–2

North Korea—Millions Listen to Illegal Christian Radio—VOM Contacts

1 Kings 19:13
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”

Experts on North Korea say that up to 20 percent of the North Korean population listens to illegal foreign radio broadcasts, and an estimated 2 million regularly listen to VOM-sponsored Christian programs, according to VOM’s partners working in North Korea. Radio broadcasting is one of the most effective ways not only to bring the gospel and the voice of true freedom to the people of North Korea but also to communicate with and influence North Koreans. This month on the “Freedom in Christ” program, our partners are sharing stories from the Gospel of Luke as well as eight plays from the “Hardship of Christ.” A special speaker also shared a message of encouragement with North Korean listeners and promised to continue praying for them. “We intentionally focus on broadcasting the biblical gospel through testimonies of believers, leadership training, and equipping resources for this support of the North Korean church,” wrote our partner. The foreign radio broadcasts are understandably hated by the North Korean government. Please pray that the government’s attempts to jam the broadcasts will be futile and that North Koreans who tune in will be sensitive to the truth of the gospel.

Iraq—Christians Murdered in Kirkuk—Release International

Psalm 61:1–3
Hear my cry, O God;
Attend to my prayer.
From the end of the earth I will cry to You,
When my heart is overwhelmed;
Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For You have been a shelter for me,
A strong tower from the enemy.

Two Christians have been murdered recently in Kirkuk, and Iraqi Christians have asked officials to improve security in the area. Thirty-year-old restaurant worker Bassam Isho was shot to death on Sunday, Oct. 2. And one day earlier, the body of 60-year-old Hanna Polos Emmanuel was found by the side of a road on the outskirts of the city. Middle East Concern reports that local Christians interpret the attacks as a deliberate effort to destabilize their community. “The attacks on Christians continue, and the world remains totally silent,” an anonymous Christian told AsiaNews. “It’s as if we’ve been swallowed up by the night.” Tensions in the region have increased as religious and ethnic minorities, especially Christians, have increasingly become targets of kidnapping and extortion. Three Assyrian Christians and a Turkman Muslim were kidnapped as they returned from a hunting trip on Sept. 21. They were released after their ransom was paid. Please pray that authorities will take decisive action to improve security in the area.

Belarus—Pastor Fined for Worshiping in House—Forum 18

Acts 5:42
And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

Belarusian pastor Aleksei Abramovich was fined an amount equal to several weeks’ wages in September for leading unregistered religious worship. Churches in Belarus are required to register with the state, but Abramovich belongs to a church that refuses to register on principle. “We don’t interfere with state policy,” Abramovich wrote in a letter to Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko. “Our worship meetings are purely religious. It’s not a crime if believers worship in my house.” Authorities say the church, in Zhodino, near Belarus’s capital city of Minsk, broke the law. Meanwhile, several independent Protestant churches have given up on trying to gain state registration after their attempts repeatedly failed. Please pray that God will give churches in Belarus the strength needed to overcome these difficulties.

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP) is on November 13, 2011. Will you pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ? Visit http://www.persecution.com/idop to learn more.

-posted by Tim A. Blankenship

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