Insights From Cole Richards, VOM President, On Training Young Believers The following reflection is written by Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs. In this insightful passage, he offers insight on raising up a new generation of believers in our nation. Years ago, I was standing with the elders in a remote village near the border of Syria and Turkey as their Islamic festival began. My wife was across the square with other young mothers, and our two children, ages 3 and 2 at the time, were playing happily with a large group of toddlers. My wife, wearing the head-to-toes traditional clothing required for women, did not draw attention, but our children’s bright blond hair made them immediately noticeable to all. With the exception of us four, everyone in the village was devoutly Muslim. We knew that some were Islamists, people who sought to make their country entirely Muslim, by force if necessary. As a frontier missionary family, it had taken more than a year for us to gain enough respect to be invited to visit such an entirely unreached village. And they were still resistant to everything we shared about Christ. We were there to communicate eternal truth

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Insights From Cole Richards, VOM President, On Responding to Issues The following reflection is written by Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs. In this insightful passage, he offers insight on being united with our persecuted family members. When I tell people about persecuted Christians, I often receive a problematic but understandable response: “The world is a big place! I care about poverty, war, natural disaster, human trafficking, lack of education, persecution and many other troubling issues. But I can engage with only a few of these many problems and needs!” I heartily agree that we are not meant to be continually immersed in the world’s problems. However, there is a critical distinction to be made. Persecuted Christians are not a problem to be solved or a need to be met. They are our family, and together with us they are the body and bride of Christ. The truth we encounter in God’s Word is the highest, most important truth.  For example, the reality of a believer’s death in this world is eclipsed by the greater truth of that believer’s eternal life in the presence of the Lord. Similarly, while it is true, as I write this, that I am

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Insights From Cole Richards, VOM President, On Responding to Evil The following reflection is written by Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs. In this insightful passage, he offers insight on how the global body of Christ can respond to acts of violence against fellow believers. There are often stories in our magazine that describe acts of cruelty. We present these true testimonies carefully and responsibly, yet readers will surely experience strong emotions as they enter into fellowship with our precious Christian family members who have suffered. The word “inhuman” is sometimes used to describe acts of cruelty and abuse, and that usage has merit in declaring the truth of evil spiritual powers that inspire the acts of wicked men. However, scripture informs us that abominable acts are inherently part of the fallen condition of lost and sinful people. We may be shocked by cruelty and wickedness, but we should not be surprised. The Apostle Paul describes the lost as being “dead in their trespasses and sins” (Ephesians 2) and quotes the Psalmist in Romans 3:13–18 to explain the extreme depth of this lostness. Apart from God, he says, “all have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Insights From Cole Richards, VOM President, On the impact of god’s word The following reflection is written by Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs. In this insightful passage, he reflects on the impact of the Bible on the global body of Christ. Most of us are like Timothy, who from childhood was “acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15). We have had access to Scripture all our lives. But hundreds of millions around the world have not had a chance to hear of their Savior, Jesus Christ our Lord, and millions of those who have come to Christ in restricted nations are still waiting for their first Bible. Our enemy is the father of lies  (John 8:44), and among his most powerful deceptions are the false hopes he designs to resemble God’s truth. Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution is one example of such a deception. The Iranian people, convinced of the virtue in rejecting secularism, embraced the false hope of an Islamic theocracy. Since then, the Iranian people have suffered the failures of a false religion for four decades. Islam, like other deistic or

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Insights From Cole Richards, President Of The Voice Of The Martyrs, On Our Call to martyrdom The following reflection is written by Cole Richards, President of The Voice of the Martyrs. In this insightful passage, he dives into the call to martyrdom every Christian has received from Christ. Persecution has been part of the experience of serving and following God from the beginning of human history. Abel, the second human born into God’s new creation, was killed for his faith and obedience by his brother Cain. In response, God told Cain that his brother’s blood was “crying to me from the ground” as a testimony against Cain’s sin (Genesis 4:10). Only a perfect blood sacrifice could redeem the sin of mankind, and the writer of Hebrews points out that the blood of Christ declares a better testimony than that of the blood of Abel (12:24). Abel’s blood cries out for justice and vengeance, whereas the blood of Christ cries out for forgiveness and redemption. Our Lord’s death is the completed work of our salvation: “It is finished!” (John 19:30). He bled to save us from our sins, and we cannot add anything to what he has done to set us free.

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Remembering Christians who died during ISIS' wave of terror in and around Mosul, Iraq, in 2014

Free resources for your church, group or family.