Aaron Miller is just back from visiting persecuted Christians in the Middle East, including one of our Christian brothers who was formerly a Sunni Muslim, then became a Shia Muslim and ultimately found love, hope and truth in Jesus Christ. Aaron also met the family of a man who gave his life delivering Bibles to Iran. Rather than pull back, the family continues to be involved in secret Bible deliveries—in spite of the risk. Aaron will discuss Christians displaced in recent years by ISIS, by the situation in Syria and other persecution—and how VOM is encouraging and equipping Christians to reach out with the gospel in some of these difficult situations. Finally, Aaron will share about a young woman sharing the gospel with a “holy recklessness,” who points to one of the blessings of persecution: she says it gives her “a taste of Jesus.” Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe the podcast.

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Categories: VOM Radio

Four teenage girls walked down the path leading to Poso ChristianHigh School. The sun was shining in a cloudless sky and the girlslooked forward to another day of classes. It was a holiday for theIslamic schools in the area, celebrating the holy month of Ramadan. ButChristian schools like the one the four girls attended were still in session.Their friendship and fellowship brought smiles across their young facesas they enjoyed the peacefulness of the early Saturday morning. The stillness of the air was broken as six men dressed in black andwith veils covering their faces jumped out of the bushes and ran towardthem. Before the girls could move, the men surrounded their young victims and viciously began swinging machetes. Screaming for help, thegirls fought for their lives. Only one, Noviana Malewa, was able toescape. Covered in blood from cuts mostly on her face, she ran to findhelp. The bodies of Theresia Morangkir and Yarni Samube (both fifteenyears old), and Alfita Poliwo (seventeen), were left on the ground, theirheads severed from their bodies and missing. A couple of women walking to the nearby market heard the girlsscreaming for help. Filled with fear, the women ran toward the militarypost, reporting what they heard.

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Categories: Foxe: Voices of the Martyrs

After several years of ministry work in Colombia, “Santiago” and his wife, “Mariana,” are used to fear. They have planted churches throughout Colombia’s “red zones,” where villagers are dominated by various guerrilla and paramilitary groups that target Christians as a threat to their existence. Followers of Christ refuse to join their violent cause, and when group members become Christians, they invariably leave the group. As Santiago and Mariana travel from village to village encouraging and supporting believers, they hear stories of rebels extorting money from families and raping women in the jungle. And some of the groups’ crimes occur closer to home, like the time guerrilla fighters slit the throats of eight people about 60 yards from their own house. Despite the danger and their own fear, they continue sharing God’s Word and shepherding their churches. This sometimes means working after midnight, six hours past the curfew enforced by the guerrillas and paramilitaries. “What helps me continue is the desire in my heart,” said Mariana, who’s had relatives killed by paramilitaries. “I don’t care about threats; I don’t care about violence. What fills me [with] the most joy is when I take people who are intimidated a Bible.” Although the

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Categories: Stories from the Field

When Poonam quietly left Hinduism in 2012, the Bible she obtained instantly became her most prized possession. The young Indian wife and mother of three secretly read God’s Word in her home each day, growing in her understanding of God’s love for her. But she feared that her husband would find out about her new faith, and he soon did. After overhearing her praying a Christian prayer one day, he found her Bible and angrily tore it to pieces. “From today on you stop reading the Bible, and as long as you live in this house you better not pray!” he scolded. Poonam’s husband then beat her, eventually kicking her out of the house and refusing to let her see their young sons and daughter. Her Christian faith cost her everything. In India, where a rise in persecution of Christians has paralleled the rise in Hindu nationalism, Bibles are a precious resource that help new believers continue to grow in faith amid persecution. After losing her Bible and her family, Poonam stayed with relatives and prayed for the return of everything she had lost. A pastor and another believer who lived near her relatives visited Poonam regularly to pray with

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Many Christians are afraid. They are afraid as they watch American culture and society continually turn away from the biblical teachings and Christian values they hold dear. They are afraid that the persecution our brothers and sisters face in nations like China, Nigeria, North Korea and Libya may soon be much more than something we read about. It may be the path that we — Christians in the “land of the free” — are called to walk. The problem with this attitude is that the Bible tells us not to be afraid. When communist authorities in Romania forced VOM’s founder, Richard Wurmbrand, into a van as he walked to church on Feb. 29, 1948, he had good reason to be afraid. Here’s how he recalls his thoughts that morning in his book In God’s Underground: I knew that I faced questioning, ill-treatment, possibly years of imprisonment and death, and I wondered if my faith was strong enough. I remembered then that in the Bible it is written 366 times — once for every day of the year — “Don’t be afraid!” 366 times, not merely 365, to account for leap year. And this was February 29 — a coincidence that

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Ibrahim is 65 years old and the father of 14 children. He has lived his life following no religion aside from belief in evil spirits. But Ibrahim now trusts in Christ. He heard the gospel when a young Fulani front-line worker explained the Scriptures to him, carefully helping him understand the salvation that is available only through Jesus Christ.

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Categories: iCommitToPray

Asim and Zarah followed separate paths to faith in Christ, but when their paths converged in Cairo, Egypt, they became one in service to the Lord. The science lectures Asim was hearing at university didn’t seem to agree with his family’s Muslim faith. Doubtful and disillusioned, he began hanging out in cafes with atheistic friends, mocking the Quran. Although he had no interest in religion, Asim agreed to join a Coptic Christian friend at her church’s Christmas Eve service one year. After leaving the service, he couldn’t get the words of one song out of his mind: “You died for me, and You took my burdens for me.” Curious to learn more about the mysterious words, he returned to the church and soon began studying the Bible with a man he met there. *             *             * Zarah was zealous for Islam, beginning study under an ultraconservative Salafi Muslim cleric, even joining him as an anti-Christian Muslim missionary. She would stand outside the Bible Society office in Cairo, passing out leaflets and berating anyone who walked out with a Bible. But as she continued to study Islam and search for ways to attack Christians, the flaws in her own religion grew

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Categories: Stories from the Field

Every morning, Pastor Navid and his wife, Shadi, wake up knowing they could be behind bars by nightfall. In Iran, where authorities infiltrate house churches and tap believers’ phones, Christians must always be prepared for the possibility of arrest and imprisonment. For Navid and Shadi, however, the threat of imprisonment means little compared with their burden for those around them who don’t know Christ. Fortunately, the more they secretly share Christ in Iran, the more people they find who are ready to hear. Before the couple married, Navid witnessed firsthand the persecution of Christians by Iran’s authoritarian Islamic regime. While serving in seven different cities, including the capital, Tehran, he saw more than 40 Christians arrested. In one city, several Christians were arrested after the intelligence agency tapped a woman’s phone to identify local believers. In another city, Christians were arrested after a neighbor called police to report hearing Christian worship music. Elsewhere, someone pretended to be a Christian in order to infiltrate a house church. And at another location, a book of Christians’ names and church locations was stolen and given to police. Navid said the Christians he knows haven’t denied their faith when confronted by authorities. Most of

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Categories: Stories from the Field