You've already heard the news and are probably asking yourself, "What can I do for the people locked inside North Korea?"
With the passing of North Korea's Kim Jong-Il, its inhabitants, family members around the world and neighboring countries are living in the fear of uncertainty. And because only God knows what will happen next, we can meet Him in prayer.
Please pray that:
- The new leader, Kim Jong-Un, will have a heart of mercy and end the cycle of inhumane dictatorial rule.
- Those in government who have been "secret Christians" will gain more power and influence.
- Christians who have been imprisoned because of their faith will have opportunities to lead others in prayers. And while they pray the Holy Spirit will be revealed to those who don't know Jesus.
- There will be an increase in opportunities to share about Jesus without fear of retaliation.
- The joy and hope of Jesus will be revealed to those who are sorrowful and feel uncertain of the future.
- North Korean Christians will gain a new boldness and wisdom and will seize opportunities to tell others about the Christmas story of Jesus' birth.
- On Christmas day especially, the light of Christ will penetrate every home and heart in North Korea.
- Refugees who have fled into China and become Christian will courageously return to North Korea and share the hope of Jesus to a hurting nation.
- The horrendous situation with starvation will not escalate even further because of the government's desire to demonstrate control.
- The thousands of starving children who are homeless will find shelter, comfort and love in a home with a believer.
Please pray with me and the entire Open Doors family that God will flood North Korea with His grace and peace in a manner that changes this country for His glory, forever. Just as He changed the world on the holiest of nights when Christ was born.
In Christ alone,
Open Doors USA
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Kim Jong-II Dead; North Korean Believers Face Uncertain Future: "Today
marks a significant day in North Korean history," says Open Doors USA
President Dr. Carl Moeller. "Though this brutal dictator, who was
responsible for so many atrocities, has died, the future is still
unknown. This is why it is vital that Christians around the world pray
for North Korea during this transitional time. Pray especially for the
brave Christians inside North Korea. There are an estimated 50,000 to
70,000 Christians being held in North Korean prison camps where they
face even more horrific treatment than other prisoners. People are
starving to death. The people of North Korea are living a nightmare that
never ends." Read more>>
Kim Jong-II Dead; North Korean Believers Face Uncertain Future: "Today marks a significant day in North Korean history," says Open Doors USA President Dr. Carl Moeller. "Though this brutal dictator, who was responsible for so many atrocities, has died, the future is still unknown. This is why it is vital that Christians around the world pray for North Korea during this transitional time. Pray especially for the brave Christians inside North Korea. There are an estimated 50,000 to 70,000 Christians being held in North Korean prison camps where they face even more horrific treatment than other prisoners. People are starving to death. The people of North Korea are living a nightmare that never ends." Read more>>
Update - Algeria Stalls Appeal of Convicted Christian
Since this summer, we have been praying for our Algerian brother Abdelkrim Siaghi. Given a five-year sentence for insulting the prophet of Islam and for giving a Muslim a CD about Christianity, Siaghi, a convert from Islam, has been unsuccessful in getting a judge to appeal his case. We however are grateful to learn that Siaghi is not required to serve his prison sentence until his appeal is decided.
SEOUL (Reuters) - The world watched anxiously on Wednesday as North Korea staged a huge funeral in the capital, Pyongyang, for former leader Kim Jong-il, searching for signs of what to expect from the isolated nation that may be close to attaining nuclear weapons capacity. Bleak pictures from state television showed a funeral cortege led by a limousine carrying a huge picture of the 69-year old, who died on December 17, passing serried ranks of olive green-clad soldiers whose bare heads were bowed in homage in the main square of the snow-covered capital.
Shouwang Church to End Outdoor Services; Gao Zhisheng Found Alive
The beleaguered Shouwang house church in Beijing celebrated its last outdoor service on Christmas Day. After nearly eight months of meeting in the park and facing weekly arrests, the church leaders say that in the upcoming year they will renew their efforts to gain government approval to hold worship services in the building they had previously purchased.
Also, after 20 months without communication, "disappeared"
human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng has resurfaced in an undisclosed
Update- Decision Stalled on Iranian Pastor Sentenced to Death
Yousef Nadarkhani, who was sentenced to death in September 2010 after a court of appeals in Iran found him guilty of leaving Islam and has been in prison since October 2009, has been told not to expect any movement on his case for another year.
Aidan Clay, ICC's Regional Manager for the Middle East, details an urgent plea for prayer he received from one of our contacts in Afghanistan. What is the future for Christians in a country where a man was beheaded for his faith in 2011?
Click here to get the full story.
God is Building His Church in Afghanistan
In spite of the resurging influence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, God Himself is building His church there. In the face of ever increasing challenges, great creativity is needed for finding new ways to bring the Gospel to the Afghan people and to strengthen His church in the country.
This post was modified from its original form on 13 Jan, 4:08
Authorities in China Continue to Deny Facility to Shouwang Church: Authorities
in China again thwarted efforts by Shouwang Church to lease a worship
facility at the years end. Lacking a facility, the Beijing congregation
was forced again to meet outdoors on Sunday Jan.1st which resulted in
the arrest of 48 members. The church has tried three different times to
rent venues for their church, but each time their rental agreements are
revoked due to pressure from the authorities. Read more>>
Authorities in China Continue to Deny Facility to Shouwang Church: Authorities in China again thwarted efforts by Shouwang Church to lease a worship facility at the years end. Lacking a facility, the Beijing congregation was forced again to meet outdoors on Sunday Jan.1st which resulted in the arrest of 48 members. The church has tried three different times to rent venues for their church, but each time their rental agreements are revoked due to pressure from the authorities. Read more>>
North Korea has been waging war on Christianity ever since the Japanese were driven out of the Korean peninsula in 1945. The Kim dynasty (Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-Il and now Kim Jong-Un) has deported and even killed entire families. With Kim Jong-Un as the new leader of the cruel regime, it is expected that times may become even worse for Christians.
days ago the police raided our house, Lazar said. They took away all
the Bibles and Christian books that we had in the house.
He is a Church leader in Uzbekistan, a country which does not often get mentioned in the news, but is known by Open Doors for the persecution of Christians. The roots of Communism have not seemed to wither yet. Uzbek Christians strive to live with faith in God's promises, despite the fear of surveillance, intimidation and imprisonment. Naomi, an Open Doors Journalist shares Lazars story:
On the corner of a busy street, I wait for Lazar. I don't know what he looks like or what kind of car he's driving. He knows equally little about me. Both of us only know the junction where we have agreed to meet. This is how it is with almost all my meetings in Uzbekistan: only a place and a time. If no one turns up, it may be that at that moment it's not safe for the Christians to meet me. The surveillance in Uzbekistan is extensive. As a traveler, you're made very aware of this. I have to register every day and the hotels issue me a confirmation that I had slept there. Upon leaving the country, I have to be able to demonstrate where I was from day to day.
Then a car stops and I suddenly realize: this is him. Lazar has recognized m e as a Westerner. I get in, we introduce ourselves to one another and Lazar drives off, looking for a place where we can talk quietly. Lazar has barely been talking for two minutes when he tells me about the raid, two days previously. Actually, the question was not whether the police would come but when, he said. Still the moment itself was nerve-wracking. Suddenly there were ten policemen on the doorstep. I was taken off in handcuffs as if I were a criminal.
In the wake of weeks of protests and a police revolt, the president of the Maldives resigned this Tuesday. In the Maldives, listed sixth on the Open Doors 2012 World Watch List of the top 50 countries where persecutions of Christians is most severe, every citizen is required to be Muslim and the government views itself as the protector and defender of Islam. Some had accused the ousted president of being too liberal on religious issues despite the continued pressure placed on even foreign Christians living in the country. Please pray for this nation as it struggles in chaos and spiritual darkness.
On 12 February 2012, the Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov will face seven other candidates in a presidential election. The current regime is one of the most restrictive regarding religious freedom in the region and believers hope that a new president would ease some of the present restrictions. Pray that Christians will experience more freedom of religion in Turkmenistan after the elections.
Iran's Ministry of Intelligence has ordered the last two officially registered churches holding Friday Farsi-language services in Tehran to discontinue them. "I believe 100 percent the whole movement in Iran is in God's hand," a source said. "This pushing [of the government] can stop the church buildings, but they cannot stop the Kingdom of God."