Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Focus Country- Iraq

3 Iraqi Christians Killed in 24 Hours
By Ethan Cole
Christian Post Reporter
Wed, Oct. 08 2008 11:42 AM EDT
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Three Christians in the northern city of Mosul, Iraq, were killed within the short span of 24 hours on Tuesday, an Iraqi news agency reported.
Assyrian Christians 'Most Vulnerable Population' in Iraq
Iraqi Priest, 3 Christians Gunned Down after Church Service
Five Years Later, Where are the Christians in Iraq?
Two Christians Kidnapped, Then Killed in Iraq
Iraqi Christians: Politicians Pushing Us to Leave
Assyrian Christians Protest Iraq Election Law
A man and his father were shot dead at their workplace, while in another district unknown gunmen forced their way into a pharmacy and killed a Christian assistant who worked there, according to Aswat al-Iraq news agency.
“The gunmen fled to unknown place,” the source told Aswat al-Iraq, without giving further details.
Mosul is the capital of Ninewa province and is located some 250 miles northwest of Baghdad. The city is a historic center for Assyrian Christians, who view it as their ancestral homeland. It is home to the second-largest community of Christians in Iraq, after Baghdad.
The original city of Mosul lies on the west bank of the Tigris River, opposite the ancient biblical city of Nineveh on the east bank. Mosul contains the tombs of several Old Testament prophets including Jonah and Nahum.
Although Assyrians are the indigenous people of modern-day Iraq - tracing their history in the region back some 6,000 years – they are denied their most basic human rights and are the target of incessant attacks.
In recent years, Christians in Iraq have suffered increasing hostility from the Sunni al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist group and by the Shiite militias.
Kidnappings, death threats, church bombings, and murders have become a regular part of life for the Christian community threatened with extinction in Iraq.
Prior to the 2003 U.S.-led Iraq war, there was an estimated 1.4 million Christians in Iraq. Now the number has plummeted to less than half a million.
Christians, in response to
persecution and instability, have fled Iraq in droves, making up nearly half of the refugees leaving the country even though they make up only three percent of the population, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Recently, the Iraqi Parliament passed a new provincial
election law that would make life even harder for Christians.
The new law drops Article 50, which reserves a quota of the seats in the provincial councils for minorities. Without the quota system, Christians and other minorities fear that they will now have absolutely no voice in their country.
"We do not want to immigrate to the U.S. or Britain - we want to stay in Iraq and have our representatives in both the provincial councils and the legislature,” said the Rev. Louis al-Shabi, a preacher at a Chaldean church in Baghdad, according to The Associated Press.
“We want to be treated equally as Iraqis living with the Muslims and other nationals in a united brotherly spirit."
The United Nations as well as Iraqi Christians in the United States have urged the Iraqi Parliament to reinstate Article 50.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Focus Country- North Korea

Hebrews 13:3, Matthew 25:34-40, Matthew 5:10, 1 Peter 3: 13-17, 1 Peter 4: 12-14

North Korea

Economy Notables Prayer Points Country Profile: NORTH KOREA
People: The approx. 25 million North Koreans are made up of 99% Korean and 1% Chinese. Population is largely in the western lowland plains. About 60% of the people live in the cities. People live a life of repression and fear. Freedom of movement, assembly, and association are strictly controlled.
Politics:Kim Jung Il, the “Dear Leader” is head of the country. The government indoctrinates and fosters its ideology through education and culture. Kim Il Sung the “Great Leader” has been exalted and revered as a god to be followed with obedience. The newspapers, radio and TV are under control of govt. run Korean Central News Agency. The dominant political party and source of power is the Korean Workers Party.

Religion:About 70% of the people are non-religious. Religious freedom is guaranteed in the constitution, but in reality religious activity is discouraged. The Word of God is banned in North Korea. Majority of the people have never heard the Word of God, seen a church, or heard about Jesus Christ. Many Christians are in prison camps because of the faith in Jesus Christ. The people have been taught that Christians are “crazy people”.

Economy:Most soil lacks organic material and is relatively infertile. About 38% of the people engaged in agriculture. There are many conifer forests in the mountain regions. NK has major reserves of coal, iron ore, tungsten, and graphite. All industry is nationalized and the agriculture is collectivized. NK has doctrine of self tolerance and has downgraded role of foreign trade. Principle crops are rice, corn, potatoes, and other vegetables.

Notables:This is one of the most ethnically homogeneous countries in the world. North Korea is one of the richer nations in terms of mineral resources. Once there were many Christians and Jews – called the Jerusalem of the East. A food crises hit in 1996 and is still going today. Estimated 2 to 3 million people have died.
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The Three Year North Korea Prayer Campaign - Join with tens of thousands of believers around the world who are committed to praying for the people of North Korea, that God would tear down the walls of oppression. Read more about life in North Korea in Escape From North Korea.Prayer Points:
Salvation of Kim Jung Il and his leadership team
Effective prayer ministry
Safe travel for those fleeing the country

Pray for Prisoners:

Location: North KoreaArrested: January 2006Days Imprisoned:

Print Fact Sheet Son Jong Nam, an underground Christian in North Korea, has spent more than a year in prison, awaiting public execution. He risked his life returning to North Korea to preach the gospel and VOM contacts believe he is still alive, although contact is limited. Write a letter of encouragement. Let Son know you pray for him and other believers in North Korea. Let your friends know about persecution in North Korea; encourage them to pray and write. Also, write to North Korea officials requesting Son’s release. Pray for Son today

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

First New Post

Hi everyone, I just wanted to set up the new Persecution Pages. Obviously as the name implies, this will be a place that displays Christians being persecuted in countries all over the world. It is sad that not many people realize just how many people are being beaten, jailed, murdered, thrown out of homes and societies etc. All because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Bible Christians know from the Word that persecution will happen more and more, so I wanted to bring these stories to everyone so you can pray for our brothers and sisters who are suffering, and to be able to know that this is really going on. God Bless- I will post more soon! Love Carolyn