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Cole Richards serves as President of The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). In this role, he leads VOM’s global ministry work, which includes significant outreach both in the U.S. and abroad. VOM ministers internationally by serving, and serving with, Christians who are severely persecuted for their faith. This is accomplished through a multinational team of 51 missions leaders from 22 nationalities, based in 23 countries. VOM accomplishes more than 1,600 projects annually in 68 hostile and restricted nations by responding to persecution and advancing God’s eternal Kingdom on the world’s most difficult missions frontiers.
In VOM’s U.S. ministry endeavors, Cole acts as executive editor/producer of VOM’s media and events. This includes VOM Radio, the VOM Advance Conferences and VOM’s monthly newsletter — an award-winning full-color ministry magazine that goes out to an average of 800,000 homes and churches each month. It also includes significant books and films such as Am N: Inspiring Stories of Christians Facing Islamic Extremists. All of these ministry tools and channels serve as a voice for persecuted Christians, bring American Christians into fellowship with their persecuted brothers and sisters, and allow believers in the U.S. to be inspired by the example of their joyful, bold and suffering family members.
Cole came on staff with VOM in 2006 after living and ministering in a least-reached and restricted nation in the Middle East where he, with his wife and children, reached out to Muslims and supported persecuted Christian house church networks. He has since worked in more than 40 hostile and restricted nations and is a close ministry associate and personal friend of indigenous Christian leaders in places like Iran, Syria, Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt and Burma.
Before entering into full-time ministry, Cole served as a military officer, with his military career focused almost entirely on the rise of Islamic terror groups in the Middle East. His life calling and passion is to see the Body of Christ unified to fulfill the Great Commission no matter the cost. His bachelor’s degree is in civil engineering, and he holds two master's degrees: missiology, with a focus on evangelism in the Muslim world, and business administration (MBA) in the context of organizational leadership.
Petr JašekGlobal Ambassador
Since 2002, Petr Jašek has worked with The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) to help aid and assist persecuted Christians in hostile and restricted nations. His background in hospital administration was beneficial in his role overseeing VOM’s efforts to provide medical care to Christians injured by Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria. As Petr traveled to meet with persecuted believers, he encouraged them with stories from his own experience growing up as the son of a pastor who was persecuted in communist Czechoslovakia.
In December 2015, Petr’s life changed dramatically when he was arrested at the airport in Khartoum, Sudan, after meeting with Christians there to evaluate how VOM could best serve them. Instead of continuing his work with imprisoned Christians and their families, Petr became a prisoner himself. Instead of delivering VOM aid to families of persecuted Christians, Petr needed VOM to help and support his own family.
Petr was convicted of espionage and sentenced to life imprisonment, before the Czech government negotiated his release in February 2017. Petr had times of discouragement, but he also found God’s faithfulness to be real and true in prison. He turned his imprisonment into an opportunity to grow in Christ, sharing his faith with others and encouraging the Christians imprisoned with him.
Throughout Petr’s 445 days in prison, VOM and Christians around the world stood with his family through prayer and other means of support. When Petr was released from prison, he returned to his wife, Wanda, and two grown children in the Czech Republic.
Petr continues to work with VOM, traveling around the world to speak about his time in prison and to encourage believers to stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer and action.
Todd NettletonChief of Media Relations and Message Integration
Todd Nettleton is the Chief of Media Relations and Message Integration for The Voice of the Martyrs and the host of
During 20 years serving at VOM, Todd has traveled to more than 20 nations to interview hundreds of Christians who have endured persecution. He has been interviewed more than 2,800 times by various media outlets, including CNN, the Associated Press, the
In 2014 VOM launched a weekly radio program, which Todd hosts and produces. Guests have included Christians persecuted for their faith and family members of Christians martyred for following Christ. The show was named
Todd was part of the writing team for four VOM books, including the best-selling
A former sportswriter, Todd is a graduate of Bartlesville Wesleyan College (now Oklahoma Wesleyan University). He has done postgraduate study at the University of Oklahoma.
The son of missionary parents, Todd spent part of his youth in Papua New Guinea and the rest in Southern California.
Todd and his wife, Charlotte, have two grown sons and recently welcomed their second daughter-in-law into the family. In his spare time, Todd enjoys reading, writing, music, travel and sports, including serving as commissioner of a fantasy football league. In 2015 he ran his first half-marathon.