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Persecution Ministering to Persecuted Christians around the World

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The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail ...and you can be a part of it!

February 2009


The Gates of Hell ...and you can be a part of it!

All across the world, Christians are being attacked and their church buildings are being closed. All of this persecution is aimed at destroying the church. It’s estimated that over 250,000 Christians are killed for their faith every year. Millions more are persecuted by family, governments, in the workplace and in schools. Everywhere we look, persecution is on the rise.

we see persecution on the rise, we also see the church standing strong and reaching out with the good news of the gospel.

But that’s not the end of the story. Jesus told the apostle Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18 ESV) While

Here are three recent testimonies of the church under persecution, yet resilient for the Gospel of Jesus.

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One of the most exciting ideas of our time is that we can all play a part in pushing the gospel forward! You, me and everyone who is a Christian has a role to play in getting the supplies and support that is needed to the front-lines of the gospel.

Christians in Laos gave up their homes and farms to follow Jesus. Please pray for them.


l Shall Not Prevail Myanmar: Church Building Closed Pastor Joy Win Tin has been a church planter in Yangoon, Myanmar for many years. Two years ago he started a church in an area where he said, “...there are ten thousand un-reached people”.

Last month the authorities in his area decided to shut down Joy’s church. He shared, “On December 22, 2008 at 6:00 pm, Mr. Ko Ko Hlaing and his party, who are local authorities in the township came to the church building and said that

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Pastor Joy’s church was recently closed by authorities in Laos. Your prayers can make a difference.

we built it without permission and they locked the door.� This is a common harassment tactic in Asia to prevent the growth of churches. Vietnam: Church Building Razed These testimonies are being repeated across Asia. On December 17th in Vietnam, local government

officials in Dak Lak Province made good on their threat to destroy a new wooden church building erected in September by Hmong Christians in Cu Hat village. At 7:00 am a large contingent of government officials, police and demolition workers arrived at the site of a Vietnam Good News Mission and Church, razing it by 8:30 am. Police wielding electric cattle prods beat back hundreds of distraught Christians who rushed to the site to protect the building. Five injured people were taken away in an emergency vehicle authorities had brought to the scene. The injured included a child who suffered a broHand powered players strengthen the church in very rural areas by bringing Bible lessons. Because of their uniqueness, families will listen to them for hours.

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ken arm and a pregnant woman who fainted after being poked in the stomach with an electric cattle prod.   One sad Vietnamese church leader said that the demolition of the church ahead of Christmas showed the heartlessness of officials toward Christian believers.   “They think no one will notice or do anything about what they do in a remote area,” he said.   Nearly eight years ago a congregation numbering more than 500 Hmong Christians had joined thousands of others fleeing persecution in Vietnam’s northwest provinces, migrating to the Central Highlands. They aspired to construct a church building so they could worship protected from the rain and sun.   In September, they were finally able to assemble materials needed to erect a 2,600 square foot church building, large enough for them to meet together. Eventually they were

able to put a durable tile roof on the building, and with great joy they began worshipping together in a single location.   Although virtually all buildings in this area of Vietnam are erected without building permits, local authorities accused the Christians of “illegal construction” and ordered the congregation to “voluntarily” tear it down. On Dec. 2, Krong Bong district officials made a formal decision to demolish the church within two weeks if the Christians would not do so themselves.  The Vietnam Good News Mission and Church is an organization that for more than a year has tried to register over a hundred of its congregations without any success. Contrary to Vietnam’s new religion legislation, these requests for registration have either been denied or ignored. Laos: 119 Christians Stand Strong In early December Lao government officials forced 119

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Christians to leave their houses, farms, all their animals and their church building as they were evicted from their village. They could have denied Jesus and stayed, but their love for their Savior was more important. Their crime, was that they are Christians worshiping the only living God. They were forced to move where they can be more easily watched by the police. After settling into their new area they scavenged enough bamboo from the jungle to erect a small church building just before Christmas. They planned a large Christmas celebration on December 27th and 28th. On December 26, the day before the big celebration, four police arrived at the new church building. They proclaimed that the Christians would destroy the building. When the Christians refused, they arrested four of the church leaders.

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The men, whose names are being withheld for security purposes, were taken to jail, interrogated and intimidated, but later released four days later. At press time it was unclear if the church building was destroyed as the police had wanted. Are you a Missionary? What can be done to help our brothers and sisters who suffer for their faith in Jesus? The answer is to become a missionary. Yes, we generally think of missionaries as people who take the gospel overseas. While many of us cannot go ourselves, we can all participate in getting the gospel into these areas. You can become a missionary to Laos, Myanmar and to many other places on the globe. Missionaries can help these 119 Christians by praying and by writing a letter of encouragement. Focus on Persecution will translate and deliver your letters of encouragement when it’s possible.


Missionaries can also pray for our brothers and sisters in Vietnam and Myanmar. They have stood strong in the faith--many times paying for it with their property, well-being and sometimes even their lives. Missionaries can also bring Bibles and teachings to strengthen and encourage. You may not be able to make the long trip. You may not speak the languages, but you can provide the resources necessary for others who can, to bring in these vital

forms of encouragement. On the surface, these items may seem to be just supplies for a church. But on the front-lines of the gospel they communicate the language of love, support and encouragement. These items say, “You are not alone.” Yes, missionaries do that too! Sources: Focus on Persecution Compass Direct

A Vietnamese pastor whose church was declared illegal, looks at a sign referring to Rev 2:10 which says, “...Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”

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FOCUSonPERSECUTION.com Did you know that you can listen to the latest testimonies and prayer request from Focus on Persecution? The Persecution WordCast, a podcast, is available online at FOCUSonPERSECTUION.com or by subscribing to it through iTunes. Subscribe in iTunes (Best Option): • Open the iTunes program. • Within the program click on “iTunes Store” • Once inside the store type “Focus on Persecution” inside the search box on the top right-hand part of your screen. • Click on the “Subscribe” button next to the Persecution WorldCast logo. iTunes will now automatically download new episodes as they become available.

} THE PROBLEM Annually over 250,000 Christians are brutally killed for their faith in Jesus Christ. Millions more are actively persecuted by governments, neighbors, and family members. WHO WE ARE Focus on Persecution is dedicated to ministering to persecuted Christians around the world. We also believe their testimonies must be shared to glorify God’s faithfulness. WHY WE SERVE Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ and scriptures like Hebrews 13:3, we believe Christians are to encourage, equip, and embolden our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith. HOW WE SERVE Focus provides Christian educational opportunities, Bibles, Christian literature, and other forms of media to help strengthen and encourage the church on the “front-line” of the gospel.

Listen to Persecution WorldCast from the website: • Visit the FOCUSonPERSECUTION.com website. • Click on WorldCast inside the menu at the top of the home page. • The website will direct you to the WorldCast page from which you will be able to listen to the Persecution WorldCast episodes currently available. • Don’t forget to check back as they are updated periodically.

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Focus on Pe rse c u t ion

YOU CAN MINISTER Partnering with Focus on Persecution provides tangible ways to honor God and minister to those Christians who are undergoing persecution for their faith. You can minister to these faithful. The Focus on Persecution newsletter is published monthly. You may subscribe by emailing to info@focusonpersecution.com or by mailing a request to: Focus on Persecution PO Box 1042 Bartlesville, OK 74005 All donations to Focus are tax deductible. Please address donations to Focus On Persecution, PO BOX 1042, Bartlesville, OK 74005. For secure online donations, please visit FocusOnPersecution.com We promptly receipt any donation above $5.


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