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Monday, September 24, 2007


From Voice of the Martyrs :

Korean Hostages Told, Convert to Islam or Die


September 12, 2007

South Korean Christian aid workers held hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan for six weeks, reported being beaten and ordered at gun point to convert to Islam, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

According to the BBC, the former hostages told a press conference they were made to work like slaves while in captivity. Jae Chang-hee told reporters,

“We were beaten with a tree branch or kicked around. Some kidnappers threatened us with death at gunpoint to force us to follow them in chanting their Islamic prayer for conversion. I was beaten many times. They pointed a rifle and bayonet at me and tried to force me to convert.”

Jae Chang-hee added, “We lived like slaves. We had to level the ground for motorbikes, and get water and make a fire.”

BBC reported that Yu Jung-hwa said she thought she was going to die.

“The most difficult moment, when I had a big fear of death, was when the Taliban shot a video. All 23 of us leaned against a wall and armed Taliban aimed their guns at us, and a pit was before me. They said they will save us if we believe in Islam. I almost fainted at the time and I still cannot look at cameras.”

On July 19, the Taliban kidnapped the 23 South Korean Christian aid workers when they were traveling by bus from Kabul to Kandahar. The group’s leader, Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu, and another male hostage were killed.

Twenty-one members of the group were released last month following an agreement between South Korea and the Taliban.

Recalling how Pastor Bae Hyung-kyu was led away to his death, the BBC said Han Ji-young, in tears, added, “Bae didn’t even look at us when he was leaving the room. He only said, ‘Overcome with faith.’”

Continue praying for God to touch the lives of these believers as they deal with their experience in Afghanistan. Pray God comforts the families of the two that were killed. Pray the testimony of these Christians will draw non-believers into fellowship with Him.

This is happening NOW. Not 100 years ago.

And we sit in our American churches and argue about___________________________.

You fill in the blank and tell me if it’s worth it.

Having been in ministry for over 20 years I have heard a lot of complaining that goes on in church and I’ve personally been a part of a fair share it.

Shame on me, shame on us as Christians.

Unfortunately, churches spend so much time arguing about ridiculous things (that usually just involve the pride of one or a few people) that they can't get down to the real business of what the Church is supposed to do.

Let’s commit to getting past this stuff.
Let’s commit to pray for our leaders instead of criticize.

Let’s put out fires instead of encourage them.

A time may come in our nation that we cannot worship as freely as we do now and we may face persecution like they do in South Korea.

Are we prepared for that?


Roo said...

i just posted a long long comment only to have it sucked up into cyberland. :) ahh.......

i wanted to say that i receive the canadian versian of VOM magazine and each time I do I am deeply impacted by the true stories of real people that believe and love Jesus Christ.

I had heard a story once of a man that was from one of these countries that experience extreme persecution for their faith in God. He was being interviewed by someone from my country. the interviewer asked, "what can we pray for you about?" the man replied, "do not pray that the persecuion will stop -- only that we will be strong and courageous in the midst of it."


in north america, we usually do not fear being beaten or imprisoned or murdered for our faith (though it is being to happen in canada) but we face enemies that are no less dangerous. "materialism" "complacency" etc. (the list goes on....) are all foes with the potential to destroy.

Praise and Coffee said...

Ruth, I thought of you when I posted this...I know you have a heart for the persecuted church.

Unknown said...

Such a great reminder! I often wonder if I would have what it takes to stand if a gun was at MY head! I pray I would! How about if a gun was at ONE OF MY CHILDREN'S HEADS! Too much for me to comprehend!

What was written about our church in this country is so true, and I too have been guilty of it. It has driven me to strive to focus on HOLINESS, and to try to not be distracted by all that the church in this country does to be appealing!

We actually had someone in our home recently that said that the church in our country was "dead" because they read from "17th century versions of the bible, listened to 18th century music, and played it on 19th century instruments"!!! That can be the focus of our churches now days! how can that be true? It is not biblically based. What makes a church or the body alive and growing? Music? an instrument? a version of the Bible? or...being "marinated" in the Word, and striving to be holy?

What about the millions of Christians in the world who would give anything for a Bible, no matter what the version....who sing without instruments...who know nothing of contemporary "worship songs".

I am burdened by what I see in our churches in this country. I would give almost anything to have the depth and life spiritually that those believers have in the "underground" church! and that comes without anything that our churches have to offer!

I, too, wonder how long God will tolerate this....maybe we will have to suffer as well. I don't really want to...but maybe we will have to!

Thanks for sharing this article. It puts everything in perspective, doesn't it?!

Have you read any of the books by the founder of VOM? His name is Richard Wurmbrandt...and his testimony is amazing!!!

Susan said...

AMEN!!! Our religious freedom is slowly being eroded. We, in America, better wake up. Better yet, we better STAND UP for what we truly value.

Pen of Jen said...

shame on us! Exactly right, sufficiently said.

Overcome with faith is a wonderful legacy by the pastor. When I followed this with through the news, I thought of Fox News correspondent Steve Cintini. He "converted" to Islam.

I pray that we raise our children to know who Jesus Christ is and pray daily that they receive His blood to cover their sins, so they will be armed, because the world is changing every day. A decision must be like these Koreans, Christian to death.

I wholeheartedly agree, we have no idea of the persecution that goes on in the world, but I think we are going to start experience it more and more.

Thanks for the great post!

Amrita said...

Excellent Sue. in my country too Christians are being brutalized for their faith, still there is so much dis-unity and mistrust.I 've tried to bridge a gap recently but was unsuccessful in my church which left me very depressed.
We are fighting over doctrines etc. when we should all stand together.
i am ashmed to say some of my
preacher brothers are afrian to share the Gospel with non-Christians as they are scared of persecution.
Dara Singh, who was responsible for the killing of Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two little sons got a second life sentence recently for killing a Catholic priest.

Middle-Aged Moi said...

Reading those stories always scares me, yet uplifts me. How great a faith some have! How great a faith God gives them!

Jewels of My Heart said...

Thank you for this powerful post. So many do not even realize that we have brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are being martyred for their faith in Jesus. I pray for them and I thank God for them. And yet so very, very often I take God, my freedom, His Word, His Church for granted. I find myself struggling to read the word each day while others risk their life each time they are given the oportunity to read a small portion of it. I struggle to make it to church to spend time with the Lord and fellowship, while others hike for hours at night to meet with fellow believers to worship the Lord together and risk their lives each time they do.
Very humbling indeed.
Each and every Christian should be aware of what is going on in the Body of Christ. Voice of the Martyrs is a ministry I have long been thankful for.
God bless you.

Sharon Brumfield said...

I wonder if persecution in the states is what will lead to the great falling away that scripture talks about.
I guess it would be good to remember that the church is not a building--it is a people.
If we are going to bring unity in the building called "the church" the change probably needs to start in the home. Mom always said we are who we are at home. Maybe we could start with our husbands and our children.
Love fights criticism.
We are the body. When we chew on another in criticism we are really chewing on ourselves. We just need to love.
I hurt for those being physically persecuted for their faith. Come Lord COME!

Praise and Coffee said...

Oh wow. What powerful responses.
Thank you so much.

Cahleen @ The Alt Story said...

I have been thinking about this subject a lot lately, so I really appreciated your post. Since I have left the United States to live in Asia, I am much more aware of what's going on in the rest of the world. Many Americans in general, not just Christians, are blissfully unaware of the persecution that takes place in so many places, and not just for Christians. Maybe we're too comfortable to care -- too many warm beds, too many Starbucks' around the corner.

Sometimes I feel guilty for even enjoying an expensive latte when I know people are being persecuted at that very moment. However, it does no good to become immobilized with guilt. Instead, we need to focus on what we can change. As I look at the leaders of all of the oppressive governments and regimes in existence today, I can't help but maintain the skeptical opinion that if we ousted one of them, they'd be replaced by someone else even worse. The only way to instigate any lasting change is to change the hearts of the leaders, and to show them the way of Love (not religiousness) by sending more missionaries. I'm not saying that we shouldn't use government avenues as well, but I do believe that Christ is the only one who can change people from the inside out. Just think what the world would look like if everyone followed Jesus' commands to love God and love our neighbor! I hope I live to see the day.

Pam--in America said...

Thank you for this reminder of how precious our freedoms are in America.

Grafted Branch said...

Amen, Sue! Oh the bickering! A pastor friend in Terrell Texas likens it to soldiers in battle pulling up chaise lounges while we wait for the enemy to reload.

holy chaos said...

so true...

Heather said... heart....I literally got chills when I read "Overcome with Faith". God is so much bigger than anything we can imagine...and what these people went through is more than I can imagine. Glory to God...oh that these persecuted Saints will stay strong in the Lord. Thank you for a much needed wake up call on my part.-heather

Dionna said...

I like your new elegant signoff script. How do you do that? I'd love a fancy script that says "Dionna" :)

Praise and Coffee said...

Just click on my signature and it will take you right to the sight. It's easy!


Christin said...

You know, I don't even know how to word what is spinning around in my heart. So I'll just say AMEN.

A Captured Reflection said...

My son had the Voice of the Martyrs team talk at his School last year. Around that time my MIL was asking my son - what would you like to be when you grow up? A Martyr was his reply. Only children eh? Seriously though I was glad to hear that they got the opportunity to share.

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