International Christian Concern
PERSECUTION JULY 2012
Only that you are
glorified” Minutes after Semsa identified her husband’s mutilated body at the morgue, she gave God praise.Would you be so faithful to God before your spouse’s body is even in the grave?
I N T E R N AT IONAL CHRIS TIAN CONCERN
Your bridge to the persecuted church.
INSIDE THIS ISSUE July 2012
Only That You Are Glorified As the five-year anniversary of her husbandâ€™s murder approaches, Semsa Aydin reflects on what it means to be a widowâ€™s martyr, and still praise God for His blessings.
Disobedient: Counting the Cost of Leaving Islam Although she believed Jesus loved her, Fatima found it almost impossible to escape her oppressive Muslim household, even within the safety of the United States.
Blasphemy Laws: The New Rules of the Middle East As Islamists dominate the government sphere, they are ushering in blasphemy laws which target Christians and non-Muslims. Discover why experts are calling this the greatest threat to Christians in the Middle East.
Into the Wilderness: ICC on Location To increase our awareness and effectiveness overseas, ICC recently sent Regional Managers to Nigeria and Iraq. Read an excerpt from their journals.
Your Dollars at Work Read more to find out how your dollars are assisting the persecuted church today!
LETTER FROM THE
Semsa stood in the morgue looking at her murdered husband’s lifeless and brutalized body. He had just been horribly martyred and with all her heart she cried out “Necati, RISE, in the name of Jesus!” As you read Semsa’s story, I think, like me, you will be struck to the core at the heartbreak of this woman’s loss and her desperate desire to escape the painful desert she was just beginning to traverse. But if you really want to have your mind blown, keep reading and find out what God said to her. Persecution is concurrently a tragic and life-giving force. It is truly a mystery how in God’s kingdom, hatred, bloodshed, and murder produce love and life. Loved ones left behind are shattered and weep at the feet of Jesus, while in heaven, a martyr is welcomed home, embraced by love, and given a crown. Back on earth, the death of the martyr causes mostly fear among the Body. But in some, something deep and holy starts to come to life—a burning desire to live for heaven and our Father and to leave this world behind. They become willing
to pay any price to see others find what they have found: a relationship with the blazing author of love himself, Jesus. Like one candle touching another, their hearts are set aflame by Jesus’ heart and the magic begins. They boldy share the Gospel and respond to hate with love. Those around them notice that an ambassador from some other beautiful world has arrived in their midst. They are drawn to them and Hell quakes! I have to tell you that I am humbled to have met Semsa and had the opportunity to help her as well as other persecuted believers. Our work is a holy work and I invite you to join with us as we bandage, heal, and build the Body of Christ in the most dangerous places for Christians on earth. As you partner with us, I promise that we will use your gifts effectively, ethically, and efficiently.
Jeff King President, International Christian Concern
Only that you are
In one of the most brutal martyrdoms we know of, Necati Aydin and two others died for their faith, leaving Semsa, Necati’s wife, behind. Five years later, ICC President Jeff King and Senior Regional Manager Corey Bailey sit down with Semsa to hear about that fateful morning, and how she is able to rise each morning since.
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emsa Aydin stood in the morgue, looking at her husband’s mutilated body. “Get up, Necati!” she insisted: “Rise in the name of Jesus.” With tears running down her face the Lord spoke to her heart: “Do you really want to take this much honor and throw it in the trash so you can have a little more happiness on earth?” This is when Semsa realized that her husband was truly gone: “No, Lord,” she said. “I want only that you are glorified.” Five years ago, in Malatya, Turkey, Semsa’s husband, Necati, was martyred for his faith, and she became a widow. The morning he was murdered began like any other. Their children went off to school and she and her husband gathered in the living room to worship God and study the Bible. They read the story of Goliath and prayed that God would help them be faithful unto death. When Necati left to go to work, he smiled at his wife and walked out the door. She didn’t realize at the time that this was the last time she would see him smile. Necati was a Muslim convert to Christianity. Semsa was the one who led him to the Lord. He sat next to her on the bus, only because there was no other empty seat. “He was a radical Muslim and didn’t want to sit by a woman,” Semsa said. But the Lord had other plans. Over the
next few months Necati and Semsa would meet to talk about Jesus and the Bible. His family thought he was meeting to convert Semsa, but she says that with God’s truth and love softening his heart, he soaked up the Gospel “like a sponge.” Counting the cost, and knowing he would lose his family for converting, Necati gave his life to the Lord. Semsa remembers the response of his family: “If you want your family, you have to leave Jesus. But if you want Jesus, we’re going to leave you forever.” She said, “I believe he suffered when he put them on the altar, just like Abraham when he put his beloved son on the altar.”
With tears running down her face the Lord spoke to her heart: “Do you really want to take this much honor and throw it in the trash so you can have a little more happiness on earth?” -Semsa Years later they married and together, shared the Gospel in Turkey. They saw others come to the Lord as Necati pastored their local church. You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 4
Semsa with her children at Necati’s grave.
“Necati was a good shepherd. He thought about his lambs and he really showed God’s mercy to them. And he hugged them with God’s arm and tried to protect them more than himself.” -Semsa “Necati was a good shepherd,” said Semsa. “He thought about his lambs and he really showed God’s 5 | You can help today! www.persecution.org
mercy to them. And he hugged them with God’s arm and tried to protect them more than himself.” On April 18, 2007 five men stormed Necati’s office and brutally tortured Necati, Tilman Geske, a German citizen, and Ugur Yuksel, another Turkish convert from Islam. The attackers had begun a friendship with Necati, saying they wanted to know about Jesus. Necati feared that they were like Judas. However, Necati was determined to love these Judases the way that Jesus loved his Judas. Necati took precautions and only met them this day because there were other people around and it was mid-day.
The men asked for tea, and Necati welcomed them. After a little while they asked to invite more friends who wanted to hear the Gospel. Soon there were five Muslim “seekers” and three Christians. This is when the leader received the call to begin the attack.
that he was faithful and died giving glory to Jesus is a blessing. Semsa and Tilman’s wife, Susanna, publically forgave their husbands’ killers, in a moment that shocked
Ugur was stabbed over 100 times. Necati and Tilman were stabbed multiple times each. When the authorities finally arrived, our brothers were found tied to their chairs, disemboweled, their throats cut. All five murderers were immediately apprehended. Semsa said they were found with letters that said, “We killed them for our religion and for our nationality, and this is honor. You have to [be] proud with us.” Semsa was unaware of the attack until she received a phone call, telling her to turn on the news. Unable to get a straight answer from the authorities, she realized her husband was dead when she watched the news coverage and recognized her husband’s shoes sticking out of a body bag. Semsa’s prayer was simply this: That he had been faithful to Jesus until the end. “From when my husband died until now, to give him to Jesus in this way never broke my heart.” she says. “It is like living in a desert without him here with us… but…. To die for Jesus did not hurt me.” To her, the fact
“They make Jesus their daddy, and this way they are never an orphan.”
the nation. Semsa prays that the men who attacked her husband would come to know the Lord. Though it’s been five years, the court cases are not over. One day, despairing in court, Semsa was comforted by the Lord: “[The Lord] said, ‘On the cross when I died, did I have victory or not?’ I You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 6
said, ‘Yes, you had victory when you died.’ And He said, ‘They have victory when they died, because they were faithful to me. By their testimony, and by Jesus’ blood, they have victory, and Goliath [the murderers] lost.”
“The Lord said, ‘On the cross when I died, did I have victory or not?’ I said, ‘Yes, you had victory when you died.’ And He said... ‘By their testimony, and by Jesus’ blood, they have victory, and [the murderers] lost.’” -Semsa
In the midst of mourning Necati’s death, attendees took time to praise God.
Semsa’s two children have stopped asking when their Daddy will come home. They no longer ask her to take them to his office because “maybe daddy is at work.” The children encourage each other and decided to love Jesus the way that Daddy loved Jesus. “They make Jesus their daddy, and this way they are never an orphan,” says Semsa. Semsa and her children now live in the United States. They are in danger of losing their visas and are 7 | You can help today! www.persecution.org
seeking asylum. Semsa is worried about what could happen to them if they are forced to return to Turkey. ICC has been able to help by sending funds towards living expenses for her and her children. “Mommy, do not worry,” her son tells her. “Trust in Jesus!” And she chooses to do so daily. Not without hardship and not without pain, but never alone with Jesus by her side. Further projects to aid Semsa are in development. If you would like to help Semsa, please call us at 800-4225441, 9-5 EST, or go to www. persecution.org and designate your gift to “Suffering Wives and Children.”
DIS BEDIENT Counting the Cost of Leaving Islam
Fatima was only 12 years old when Christ appeared to her in a vision and said: “Give me your heart and I’ll love you forever.”
For some, a dream like that would just be a half-remembered, blurry image; but for a little Muslim girl searching for the truth, it was indelibly burned into her mind. Raised in an oppressive Muslim home in the United States, Fatima was expected to pray five times a day, read the Quran and do ablution (a cleaning ceremony). This little girl would ask her parents, “Mommy, why do we do this?” “Daddy, why does Allah say this?” Her questions were met, not with an answer, but with a smack across her face. Fearful of her father’s unYou can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 8
“All Muslim children want to make their parents proud. The worst thing you can do is disappoint them.” -Fatima questionable wrath, she grew up without a choice: She was a Muslim and would grow up to marry a good Muslim man. For her family, there was nothing to question. They were from Pakistan, and to be Pakistani was to be Muslim. There was no separation. Yet, in the midst of her desperation, Christ appeared to her. “I literally woke up seeing the world in color.”
Fatima, like millions of Muslims around the world, did not want to disappoint her family. Family is everything, and Allah is everything. To become a Christian meant leav9 | You can help today! www.persecution.org
ing everything she knew; leaving her family. “All Muslim children want to make their parents proud,” she said. “The worst thing you can do is disappoint them.” Barely a teenager, Fatima knew she wanted a truth different than the one her parents had taught her. And yet she feared the consequences: beatings, no doubt, but a reality where her parents denied her existence? Fatima was not ready to say goodbye, so she stayed silent.
In the next nine years, Fatima’s relationship with the Lord deepened. She felt if she didn’t tell her parents she was a Christian, she would be living a lie. “I told them that I saw Jesus in a dream; that I’d been wanting to live for Jesus, but couldn’t because of being a Muslim.”
Many Muslims struggle to give their lives to the Lord because Islam is so ingrained in the culture, that to consider another religion is unfathomable. To be Pakistani is to be Muslim. If one turns their back on Islam, they are also turning their back on their country, people and family. Saying “yes” to Jesus opens them up to beatings, persecution, being disowned, and possibly death. Fatima’s freedom as a U.S. citizen stopped at the front door of her house. Her Muslim family denied her the right to search out other religions, go to church or even read the Bible. She felt that being in this strict Muslim home was preventing her from being able to follow Jesus. Fatima remembers thinking at the time that things at home couldn’t possibly get worse. “I was depressed and being abused, but after I told my family that I was a Christian everything got worse,” she said. Her brother immediately disowned her, her sister ran out of the room crying, and her mother began sobbing. Her father’s response was the one she feared the most. “He gave me the worst beating of my life. He was hitting and punching me into the ground while everyone else watched. My mom, sister and brother just sat on the couch and watched. During the beating I had visions of God saying
[to me]: ‘It’s going to be OK,’ but I was scared and wasn’t sure if it was going to be OK. I knew I had to deny being a Christian or my dad was going to kill me.”
“I was depressed and being abused, but after I told my family that I was a Christian everything got worse....I knew I had to deny being a Christian or my dad was going to kill me. ” -Fatima Fatima’s father did not kill her that day, but instead began a campaign to win his daughter back to Islam. Her family watched everything she did and had to know where she was at all times. Her father beat her daily and brought an Imam to the house to convince her to turn back to Islam. She felt completely You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 10
rejected by her family and very confused about what to believe. In one hand, she had Islam, the other Christianity. She was rewarded when she acted a Muslim, and beaten when she questioned it. And yet, Muhammad had never shown up in a dream.
Despite her family’s efforts to shelter Fatima from outside influence, they allowed her to have a friendship with a Christian girl. This friend was a ray of hope in her dark days, but then her friend died suddenly and Fatima was truly alone. “I really had no one else to talk to. I was alone. My whole life was gone.” Her mother escorted her to the funeral, which was held in a church. She remembers that as she walked through the doors, she felt the Lord’s indescribable peace; something she had never felt from Allah. She left that day knowing she had to pursue Jesus. “Belief in God gave me the will to live. I remember thinking: ‘Get me out of this house. Get me out. I have nowhere else to turn but to Jesus.’” But Fatima, like many who want to leave Islam, had nowhere to go. About this time, Fatima met
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Christians at her university and was given a Bible. “I spent countless nights waiting for everyone to fall asleep to read it under my covers with a flashlight, shaking in fear of getting caught reading Genesis.” One night her eyes fell on Psalm 27:10 which reads: “If my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me in.” Fatima could not ignore her desire. “That’s when I knew I had to flee everything I knew so I could openly embrace this God of love.”
“Belief in God gave me the will to live. I remember thinking ‘Get me out of this house...I have nowhere to turn but to Jesus.’” -Fatima
Christians on campus and an organization called Open Doors helped plan and execute Fatima’s escape. It took four months and three failed
attempts before she was able to run to safety and freedom. She had to obtain restraining orders, coordinate with her university and the authorities, and change all her passwords. At a predetermined time, a handful of her new Christian friends spent 15 minutes at her home packing her belongings. During the weeks before she left, Fatima took something from each family member’s room to remember them by. “I spent extra time with each of my family members. I would agree with whatever they said, even though my heart didn’t, because I wanted to be near them just a little bit longer. I knew that they saw I was different. I know they saw Christ in me. I also knew I might never see them again.” Once she escaped, the local church and Christians she had met on campus became Fatima’s family. They let her stay in their homes and store her belongings in their cars. They met with her for prayer and Bible study. Hearing her story, one family let her move in with them. She lived there for over a year, becoming a part of their family.
Fatima says that since her escape everything has changed. “Now I see life with color. I’m happy. I’m
An American Tale Unfortunately, Fatima’s story is not uncommon. Muslim children who stop following Islamic teachings are targets for “honor killings” by their families, even in the U.S. In Arizona, Noor Almaleki was run over and killed by her father last year for becoming “too westernized.” in a safer environment where I’m told the truth. I’m living truth, even with the mistakes. It’s all worth it. My treasure is in heaven. Even if I hadn’t left, my treasure would be in heaven. If I didn’t do this, though, I wouldn’t be alive. I would have killed myself a long time ago. The depression was so bad. Either my dad would have killed me, or really, I would have killed myself because I wouldn’t want to die the way my dad would have killed me.” Fatima is a recent college graduate and has been estranged from her family for three years. Life is not easy on her own, but she is free to worship God. “I miss my family, but I’m never alone—that’s a big deal.”
You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 12
Blasphemy Laws The New Rules of the Middle East
“Butcher those who mock
ISLAM -Muslim protester
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America and much of the western world praised the Middle East’s ‘Arab Spring’ that toppled longstanding and oppressive dictators in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and perhaps, in the near future, Syria. The American ideal of democracy outweighed fears that greater freedoms in majority Muslim countries may usher in even more repressive
been arrested and brutally killed in Egypt and Syria, not to mention in the ongoing conflict in Iraq and under the oppressive regime in Iran. Even secular media, which tends to downplay or outright avoid reporting on religious violence against Christians, has given unprecedented coverage to many of these atrocities in the past year.
Top Photo: Protesters demand release of Asia Bibi, in Lahore November 21, 2010/Mohsin Raza
Protesters both for and against blasphemy laws gather around Pakistan. Photo by: AFP/Farooq Naeem
governments. There is no denying the immediate ramifications of the ‘Arab Spring’ on religious minorities, mainly Christians. Churches have been burned and destroyed in Egypt, Christian cemeteries have been desecrated in Libya and Christian girls have been abducted and forced to convert to Islam in Egypt. Large numbers of Christians have
However, perhaps more alarming than the churches that were burned or the Christians that were killed is what these new Islamist-dominated governments—given power by ‘democratic’ principles—are doing behind closed doors. The resurgence of blasphemy laws—which criminalize Christians and sometimes even Muslims for insulting Islam—are spreading like wildfire throughout the Islamic world. You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 14
They are perhaps the greatest threat against Christianity in the Middle East today. In May, Kuwait’s parliament approved the death penalty for insulting Allah, the Qu’ran, Muslim prophets, or Muhammad’s wives. The decision, similar to newly enforced laws in other Middle Eastern
The case of writer Mohammad AlMulaifi followed when he was sentenced to seven years in jail in May after publishing remarks deemed offensive to Shiite Muslims. A similar high-profile case is pending in Saudi Arabia. Other indications suggest that Kuwait is headed toward becoming
Members of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance gather to protest blasphemy laws and the incarceration of Asia Bibi. Photo by: Abid Nawaz/Express
countries, was a response to comments that were posted on social networking sites, Facebook and Twitter, that Muslims found offensive. Protests in Kuwait and throughout the Gulf states ignited when Hamad Al-Naqi, a Shiite Muslim, allegedly used Twitter to curse the Muslim Prophet Muhammad in March.
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an Islamic state, including a proposed law to prohibit the construction of churches and other nonIslamic places of worship. “The ground is now fertile to amend the second article of the constitution to facilitate the road to change making Sharia the sole source of legislation in Kuwait,” said parliamentarian Mohammed Al-Haif.
“The ground is now fertile to amend the second article of the constitution to facilitate the road to change making Sharia the sole source of legislation in Kuwait.” -Mohammed Al-Haif, parliamentarian
While there are relatively few Christians in Kuwait, it is Christians who have faced the brunt of such laws in Egypt. For example, on April 4, 17-year-old Gamal Abdou Massoud was given a three-year prison sentence for posting “insulting” cartoons on Facebook in the Upper Egypt province of Assiut. The cartoons, published in December, led to violent Muslim protests in neighboring villages that lasted for two days. Several Christian houses were burned and several Christians were injured during the protests. Massoud’s case followed similar charges filed against Christians and secularists in Egypt. On January 9, Christian telecom mogul Naguib Sawiris, who founded the Free Egyptians political party, was charged with “blasphemy and insulting Islam” when he reposted
a cartoon of a bearded Mickey Mouse and a veiled Minnie Mouse on Twitter. While an Egyptian court dismissed the case filed against Sawiris in March, other cases remain pending, including charges filed in early February against Adel Imam, the Arab world’s leading comic actor. Imam was given a three-month prison sentence by an Egyptian court for “defaming Islam” because of characters he portrayed in several films. In Tunisia, Nabil Karoui, the owner of Nessma TV, was fined for blasphemy in May after airing the French-Iranian animated film “Persepolis” which features a cartoon depiction of Allah and is considered sacrilege to some Muslims. Nearly 140 lawyers filed lawsuits against Karoui for “violating sacred values” and “disturbing public order.” Following the release of the
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film in Tunisia, a Muslim mob damaged Karoui’s house with Molotov cocktails in October. “I am very sad when I see that the people that burned my house are free while I am here because I broadcast a film which was authorized,” Karoui told reporters outside the courtroom. He described the trial as the “death of freedom of expression [in Tunisia],” The Associated Press reported. “We’ve become the ahl al-dhimma,” Abdelhalim Messaoudi, a journalist at Nessma TV, told The New York Times in reference to the second-class status to which minorities have historically been subjected in Muslim states. “It is like the Middle Ages.”
accused of breaking Section 295C of the Penal Code, which stipulates that “derogatory remarks” against Muhammad warrant the punishment of “death, or imprisonment for life.” On November 8, 2010, after spending more than a year in jail, Bibi was sentenced to death by hanging. Two of her closest advocates, Salmaan Taseer, the governor of the province of Punjab, and Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s sole Christian cabinet minister, were assassinated for publicly opposing the blasphemy law. While Bibi is the first to be sentenced to execution for blasphemy, 46 of the 1,060 people charged for blasphemy between 1986 and 2011 have been killed while awaiting trial or after having been acquitted, the Christian Post reported. For example, in 2009, 40 houses and a church in the town of Gojra in Punjab province were set ablaze by a Muslim mob. At least seven Christians were burned alive. The attacks were triggered by reports that Christians desecrated the
Asia Bibi, a young Christian mother, is first person to be sentenced to death for blasphemy. She is currently on death row in Pakistan.
Still, it is in Pakistan where laws against blasphemy are most severe. Asia Bibi, a young Christian mother, is currently on death row in what has become one of the world’s highestprofile blasphemy cases. Bibi was 17 | You can help today! www.persecution.org
“The battle, of course, is being waged by Islamists who want their interpretation of the religion to be declared as the only acceptable version.” -Barry Rubin, director of Global Research in International Affairs Center Qu’ran, violating 295B of the Penal Code. Hence, whether an offender is officially convicted in a Pakistani court or merely accused of blasphemy by a neighbor, the offense may still merit the death sentence in one form or another. In August, a Pew Forum survey reported that anti-blasphemy laws are a primary reason for the decline of religious freedom around the world. The report, titled “Rising Restrictions on Religion,” states that 59 countries have policies which forbid blasphemy at some level. Of those, 44 countries enforce punishments ranging from fines to imprisonment to the death penalty. More than 80 percent of those countries are in the Islamic world. “The battle, of course, is being waged by Islamists who want their interpretation of the religion to be declared as the only acceptable
version,” said Barry Rubin, the director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center. “Westerners don’t understand that when that happens anything more moderate or flexibly traditional hence becomes illegal and punishable. The Islamist counter-Bill of Rights proclaims that the country’s people have no freedom of speech or freedom of religion, no right to free assembly or of the press.” Rather than giving rise to greater individual liberty, blasphemy laws are turning the Arab Spring into a repressive winter, with tyrannical and intolerant Islamist forces dashing the hopes for greater freedoms. These laws will embolden radical Muslims to commit ever-more violent acts against perceived blasphemers and inevitably, the primary targets will be the Christian community. You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 18
Wilderness ICC ON LOCATION s part of our commitment to bringing assistance, awareness and advocacy to the persecuted Church, we routinely send our Regional Managers into their regions to get firsthand accounts of the situation. Despite the present dangers to both natives and foreigners, ICC managers arrive in some of the darkest places on earth to collect reports, foster relationships with contacts who send us information, and research how ICC can help. This past month, ICC sent Regional Managers into Nigeria and Iraq. These are excerpts from their journals. You can read their amazing reports in our August issue. 19 | You can help today! www.persecution.org
Nigeria On a cold March evening in 2010, a group of Muslims entered a village at 2 a.m. intent on killing the villagers. An attack this extreme had never been imagined by the townspeople. With only the moonlight to guide them, the Muslims macheted 500 Christians, showing no remorse for women and children who were slaughtered. On my sixth day in Nigeria, I visited the village called Dogo Nawa. Two years later, this village is defined by this attack. At the entrance to the city stands a large monument
in memory of the victims that no one can forget. I met with one survivor, a man named Elisha. On that fateful morning, gunshots awoke him. At first, his family decided to stay inside the house, but with his neighbor’s home set on fire and the attackers roaming the village, Elisha fled in an attempt to distract them from entering his house where his family was hiding. Elisha’s family was untouched, but he was cornered by the Muslims, beaten and cut with machetes. Miraculously, he survived. Over 10,000 Christians have died in Nigeria in the last 10 years. In next month’s issue, I will share firsthand accounts of Christians who praise God in the midst of this suffering.
Iraq “We have no militia. We have no way to defend ourselves. We are sitting ducks. And, when we are attacked, no one is prosecuted. How can we survive?” a Christian from Baghdad, who asked not to be named for security reasons, told ICC. Long before the U.S. pulled troops out of Iraq last year, the country’s Christians came to understand that they had been neglected and that one of the oldest and most vibrant Christian communities in the world is nearing extinction.
Terrorism targeting Christians in Iraq continues. “Last year there were two bombings outside our church,” a Protestant pastor from Kirkuk told ICC. “Thankfully, no one was killed, but the damage was done… only a few families remain in our congregation who were here before the war. Nearly everyone has fled to Syria or Turkey to immigrate to the U.S. or Europe. There is no hope for them here. How can I blame them for leaving?” In Kirkuk alone, three churches were bombed and at least five Christians were abducted for their faith in 2011. Three of them were found dead; one was beheaded. In Baghdad, I visited with the few church leaders and congregants who remain in one of the world’s most persecuted cities. The faithful remnant has seen their churches bombed and their fellow believers brutally murdered. Yet, they have found refuge in Christ alone. “We’re praying for the terrorists who think that they’re doing so for God, to wake up and know who’s the real God,” said the pastor in Kirkuk. “We’re praying for [Christians] to get closer to Jesus, for the many families who lost a loved one, their houses and money. [We pray] they’ll never forget that no matter what we lose, we’ll still have the place Jesus is preparing for us in heaven.” You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 20
K R O W T A OLLARS
Underground Pastors Orissa is one of the most difficult places in India to share the Gospel as there is much persecution. Two of our church planters asked for a motorbike so they could reach more people in a shorter amount of time. Currently, one of the church planters visits 10 house fellowships that are over 60 kilometers away. Due to the distance, he only visits the two farthest once a month by bus. These fellowships are seeing incredible growth and with better transportation can be visited once or twice weekly. The two church planters who will share this motorcycle have said: “[We] are very happy to receive the motorbike for God’s glory…. Now the ministry will grow twice faster than before. Thank you, ICC!”
Community Rebuilding We’ve recently received a report from one of our long-term projects in Burma. In this wartorn nation, where the military has shown itself to be openly hostile towards Christianity, ICC has been sponsoring relief teams to bring medical aid, clothing, and the Gospel to beleaguered women and children. As the most vulnerable members of society, women and children are often left to face life in a war zone with little support. Over the course of the last several months, ICC donors sponsored visits to 16 different villages, 60 schools, and some 3000 children. The children pictured here are just some of the kids whose lives were helped by this program. 21 | You can help today! www.persecution.org
Wives and Children of Martyrs Kemi’s husband was a missionary pastor. He was brutally murdered by Muslim attackers who came to his house to kill him because of his ministry. ICC provided financial assistance to help Kemi with expanding her small business. She was struggling with running her business and paying for her children’s school. Through our help, she was able to work and provide for the needs of her family. Kemi expressed her gratitude to the donors saying, “The money came at the right time. That time it was not easy. I was struggling to pay for the school fees of my children. The money I received really helped me to come back again (into business)….I thank God so much for [the donor’s] care because if they are not concerned about us, we wouldn’t do things like that (business). You make us feel that somebody cares for us.”
Bibles to the Persecuted Last month we received a report from one of our partners in China detailing the results of ICC’s efforts to put Bibles into the hands of believers across the country. We are happy to report that in March and April alone, more than 5,500 Bibles were delivered to Christians in provinces as far flung as Yunnan and Inner Mongolia. In addition, we have helped to distribute 7,000 Bibles in Burma, and will be sending 5,000 Bibles into North Korea in the next few months.
You can help today! 800-ICC-5441 | 22
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Published on Jul 1, 2012
International Christian Concern is committed to bridging the gap between the free church and the persecuted church. This newsletter serves t...