Despite being threatened with death and disowned by family members, Dawo was determined to share the gospel with the Fulani people. And his determination hasn’t wavered since losing his brother. The day after Dawo’s cousin burned Dawo’s Bible and kicked him out of the house, 20 young men surrounded the new believer, wrestled him to the ground and tied his hands and feet together with rope. When he had placed his faith in Christ three days earlier, he couldn’t have imagined that what he was about to endure would change so much for so many. As a member of the Fulani people group, it was assumed that Dawo was and would remain Muslim. He had moved in with his cousin in a large city in Bauchi state, Nigeria, intending to enroll in an Islamic school. However, his path was radically altered by a series of vivid dreams in which he saw heaven and encountered Jesus. Prompted by the dreams, he used the little money he had to purchase a Bible and learn more about Christianity. What he learned led him to abandon his traditional Fulani religion to follow Christ. Moved by the realization that he had received salvation, he declared

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Laila’s husband was away, and she was left to care for their two children alone. It was a cold winter in Central Asia, and her landlords had just kicked her out. “If you don’t leave, we’ll burn the house — and burn you too, if you stay,” they had told her. Laila and her family had been rejected for sharing Christ in the village, so they decided to shake off the dust, pack up and leave. The family had endured many difficulties and would continue to do so, but they felt it was worth it. It all began when Laila picked up a piece of trash from the floor. FINDING GOD THROUGH TRASH Laila sat in a hospital waiting room while her husband prepared to undergo surgery for bleeding ulcers. He was not expected to survive, and she felt absolutely hopeless. Noticing some discarded trash under a bench, she picked up the crumpled piece of paper, smoothed it out and saw that it was a Christian newsletter sharing the testimonies of other Christians. “I wanted to find other stories like this, so I asked my sister-in-law,” she said. It turned out that her sister-in- law had also become interested in

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Melissa was just four years old when she lost her mother. On July 1, 2012, she went to church with her mother in Garissa, Kenya, as usual. Melissa went to Sunday school while her mother, Sandra, joined in worship with other members of the Africa Inland Church. But the service ended abruptly when gunmen burst into the sanctuary and opened fire on worshipers. Melissa huddled with the other children in Sunday school as worshipers ran from the building. Later, after other parents had collected their children, Sandra’s best friend picked up Melissa and told her that her mother was in the hospital. The next day she was told that her mother had died. The attack, carried out by members of the militant Muslim group al-Shabab, had killed 14 believers and injured 58. Twelve children were orphaned that day, and The Voice of the Martyrs has helped support them since the attack. Melissa is being cared for by her elderly grandparents. Like many in the area, they are subsistence farmers in a drought-prone region where crops are undependable. The support from VOM will help ensure that Melissa is able to attend school and that she and her family will always be

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Many of the attack victims being cared for at a Christian-run rehabilitation hospital in Gboko, Benue state, Nigeria, cannot hide their wounds. Casts and crutches clearly identify which limbs have been hacked at — or cut off — by a Muslim extremist’s machete. But the wounds that 25-year-old Solomon Samaila received in a December 2013 attack on his village in Taraba state, Nigeria, are less apparent. He has to show you. After quietly and patiently sharing his story of the attack, he takes off his T-shirt and turns toward the wall. The scars and blistering on his back show that he has suffered severe burns. The burns are the price Solomon paid for refusing to deny Jesus as Lord. It’s a price he humbly accepts. “Christ, Himself, suffered,” he said. “The salvation that I have in Christ was not free, but paid with a price to save me. So I equally feel I am prepared to suffer in persecution for the salvation I have in Christ. I won’t turn back.” Attacked by Neighbors The attack on Solomon’s village wasn’t carried out by Boko Haram insurgents from the north or by Muslim Fulani herdsmen, who also attack Christian villages. It was

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Habila Adamu and his family were awakened by the sound of someone pounding on the front door of their simple home in northern Nigeria. It was 11 p.m., well past the hour for a neighborly visit, so the only reason for someone to be at the door was an emergency or, worse, an attack on their village. The pounding on the door was followed by the sound of men yelling for Habila to come out with his family. Habila rushed to get dressed. When he entered the front room with his wife, Vivian, and their young son close behind, he faced intruders wearing robes and masks. One was armed with an AK-47. Habila said a short prayer to the Lord. After announcing that they were there to do the work of Allah, the men began to question Habila. They asked him his name, his profession, whether he was a policeman or in the military, and whether he was a Christian or Muslim. “I am a Christian,” he replied. Vivian was terrified, knowing the men were members of Boko Haram. The intruders told Habila that they were giving him the opportunity to live — and live a better life — if

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Adam’s light skin and Arabic features immediately give him away as a Somali in his adopted country of Uganda. When his students at the missionary training school meet him, the first words that come to mind are “terrorist” and “spy.” But Adam relishes the opportunity to upend their stereotypes by sharing how he became a new creation in Christ after several decades as a practicing Muslim. On the Run At age 17, after his father had been killed by the Somali Islamist group al-Shabab, Adam joined the nearly 2 million other Somalis who have fled the violence in their homeland to live elsewhere. He moved to Uganda, where he had relatives among the 40,000 Somali refugees already living there. Reflecting on his experiences, he realized, “Somalis are not suffering at the hands of the people we hate, but we are suffering at the hands of the people we love.” If the Islamic faith had motivated al-Shabab to kill his father, Adam didn’t want anything to do with it. He began searching for something else, and he didn’t keep his thoughts to himself. He sought out Somali Christians online and even watched the JESUS film with a group of friends. While

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As Micah and Dorcas Magaji walked through their Nigerian village the morning of Dec. 18, 2014, they were confronted with a choice. A group of Muslim men surrounded them, demanding that they deny Christ. Micah and Dorcas could deny Christ and live, or remain faithful and face possible death. “We were born into a Christian family,” Micah told them. “We are still Christians today. There is no way we are going to turn around from our past.” The men then threatened to cut off Micah’s arm and kill him if he didn’t renounce his faith. “Only God can take life,” he responded. “It is from God, so you cannot take my life.” The Muslims then tried to intimidate Dorcas, but she also remained faithful. “I’m married to a Christian,” she said. “There’s no way I would go back. Wherever my husband goes, that is where I’ll go. I’m not changing from this faith to any other.” Dorcas’s response infuriated the men. They shot her to death and then hacked at both of Micah’s forearms with a machete before leaving him for dead. “The story of the attack got to Christian elders, so they sent people to rescue me,” 35-year-old Micah

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Eugenia lay on a gurney, in searing pain from the machete wounds on her back and shoulders, while behind a hospital curtain her 12-year-old son was being treated for a gash on his arm. Just outside the clinic, a confident woman in her 30s tried to calm a mob of villagers yelling angrily in Spanish and Tzotzil at a disheveled 15-year-old boy. Only hours earlier, the 15-year-old had brutally attacked Eugenia and her son, slashing them with a machete as they walked to a church meeting. Eugenia’s son had accompanied her for protection that day in February 2014 because her husband was away ministering at another of the six small house churches they oversaw in a rural part of Chiapas state, Mexico. As Eugenia was attacked, her son placed himself between his mother and the 15-year-old attacker. After Eugenia and her son were rushed to the clinic, angry villagers, some of them new believers from Eugenia’s church, seized her attacker and dragged him to the hospital. They threatened to burn the 15-year-old, viewing him as a coward for attacking someone who was helping the community. Opposed by Rebels and Priests in Southern mexico Eugenia Montejo Gomez, along with her husband

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Danjuma Shakaru’s grave is still empty. Villagers had dug the 13-year-old boy’s final resting place after he was critically wounded during a Jan. 28, 2015 attack on their village. When they saw his mangled, lifeless body covered in blood, they fully expected him to die. But God had other plans. Three months after the attack, Danjuma’s face is marked by horrendous scars where his right eye was carved out … and by a beaming smile. Danjuma’s memories of the attack begin with the gunshots he heard at about 6 a.m. on a Wednesday morning. He remembers running for his life and then being confronted by some of the more than 1,000 Islamic insurgents who attacked his Christian village, burning homes and killing villagers who didn’t manage to escape. Although his memories of the attack are incomplete, one thing he’ll never forget is the pain caused by a machete slicing through the left side of his head. The rest of the attack, by God’s grace, he doesn’t recall. “Then I found myself in this situation,” he said. “I can’t remember how the story continues again.” Terrifying Brutality Danjuma can’t recall the attackers hacking at his left arm with a machete. He

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Eight-year-old Nankpak Kumzwam watched his mother lie face down on the ground as a screaming Islamic rioter ran toward them. Her cheek was stained with dried blood from a gunshot wound, and she looked physically and emotionally drained. They had slept on the ground for the past two nights while fleeing marauding rioters. And they had just heard heartbreaking news — rioters had killed Nankpak’s father. When Nankpak saw his mother lie down out of fear and exhaustion, he did the same. The Muslim rioter running toward them knew they were Christians and that Nankpak’s father was a pastor, so he immediately attacked them with a machete. Assuming that he had killed Nankpak as well as his mother, brother and sister, the attacker finally walked away. But there was one survivor. The Young Survivor When Nankpak regained consciousness, he knew his mother, sister and brother were dead. Bleeding from machete wounds and the gunshot wound he had suffered the day before, Nankpak hiked through the bush to find help, eventually arriving at a friend’s house. After receiving treatment, Nankpak moved in with an uncle until he enrolled in a school in a safe area. VOM provided support to him, just

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