Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Living their best life now

Three Christians Killed, Two Others Wounded in Kirkuk, Iraq

On April 26, three Christians were killed and two others wounded in Kirkuk, Iraq, according to CNN.com.

Local police in southern Kirkuk told CNN attackers slit the throats of a Christian woman and her daughter-in-law, killing them both. Meanwhile in a nearby neighborhood gunmen attacked another Christian family shooting the father and his three sons. One of the sons died instantly and the others were wounded.

This incident is the latest in a series of attacks on Christians that have occurred in Iraq in recent years. In October 2008, more than seven Christians were killed and more than 200 families displaced. The Christian community in Iraq is estimated to be 3 percent of Iraq's 26 million people, or about 800,000. Since 2003, Christian leaders, churches and businesses in Iraq have been targeted by Islamic extremists. As a result, many believers have fled.

Pakistan – Six Churches Attacked and Christian Homes Burned by the Taliban

On Feb. 22, the Taliban attacked six churches, burned several Christian homes and four Bibles and injured children in Karachi, Pakistan, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

Eye witnesses reported the Taliban shouting, "Accept Islam, Accept Islam, LA ILAHA ILL ALLAH MUHAMMADUR RASOOL ALLAH," meaning there is no god, only Allah, Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. The churches that were attacked are, Christ United Church, Philadelphia Pentecostal Church, ARP Church, Salvation Army Church and two public churches.

Khmu Christians in Laos Stand Firm Despite Intense Persecution

Fourteen Khmu Christian families in Laos are standing strong in their faith, despite the Communist government forcing them to relocate to another village and their homes and church building being destroyed, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts.

In 2003, the families were evicted by the government and relocated to another village where they were moved again. "After these 14 families stayed at this village for a year, the Communist party members of the village found out that the head of the village loved them," VOM contacts said. "[The village leader] even allowed them to build a bamboo church on his land."

The Communist district governor was not happy with the head of the village. "... [The] governor kicked him out from his post and then replaced [him] with another man. The new head of the village started persecuting them from 2006 to 2009," VOM contacts report. The leader refused to allow them to register, making them illegal residents and he stopped them from farming land, the contacts said.

Only after each family paid 50,000 kip (US$6) were the 14 families allowed to stay in the village and farm. Locals in the village have also tried to tear down the bamboo church where the families worship. VOM contacts say village officials continually threaten to destroy the church and its bamboo roof has been repeatedly ripped off. VOM has assisted these families with resources to rebuild their homes and church every time they have been displaced. The ministry has helped with zinc roofs, pigs and cattle, among many other things.

In spite of the hardship endured, and the Communist government treating them like second-class citizens, these families remain strong in their faith. "Although this bamboo church has roof tops ripped off, they are still holding worship three times a week with joyful hearts. They love God and are willing to die for their God any time for any cause,"


Please remember to pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are being persecuted on a daily bases for their faith in Christ.


Steve Martin said...

The "religion of peace" is at it again.

Murdering peaceful, innocent Christians is SOP for many Muslims.

But the media could not care less.

Paul Latour said...

Last week while I was open air preaching at a bus stop in response to the atheist bus ad campaign, my wife, who was among the crowd giving out tracts, heard someone say to another about me: "That guy is a buffoon!"

Well, there you have it. Such is the extent of my "persecution". Reading the likes of what you posted, I almost feel ashamed.

Let us not forget but, rather, TAKE ADVANTAGE of the freedoms we have here in North America while we still have them, to live and preach the gospel as we have been called to do.

There may come a day in the future when true Christians might suffer true persecution here. But as it stands right now, what we may "suffer" for proclaiming and living our faith is a ticklefest compared to what our brothers and sisters in Christ truly suffer abroad.

Let us remember them in our daily prayers.

ExPatMatt said...

My thoughts go out to the families of all those caught up in these senseless conflicts.

In Iraq, I imagine there is a strong feeling of resentment towards the 'Christian West' (I'm not sure they get just how secular the west has become) and a Christian family is an easy target that makes a big political statement.

The Taliban are a bunch of animals. My cousin's been out for a couple of tours in Afghanistan and he said he'd never seen people so eager to die and deal out death - totally nuts.

I guess Laos is similar to the Chinese regime, where religion is seen as a threat to the hegemony of the state - where complete obedience to the state is required, you can't allow people to be devoted to another cause.

Unfortunately, in all these cases, Christians are an easy target because the religious teachings are inherently non-violent. Easy targets will always be picked off first.

Very sad indeed, but I'm glad these people have such strong faith to give themselves hope.