Persecution Podcast 141: Egypt, North Korea and Iran
David shares prayer updates for the countries of Egypt, North Korea and Iran. Following the prayer updates, a VOM worker shares his thoughts on remaining thankful during tribulation in the Middle East.
In this photo, Egyptian Christians meet in a house church. At the time this photo was taken, the Egyptian government would not allow a new church to be built.
Sarah Abdelmalek, 14, is the latest victim of a common practice of kidnapping Coptic Christian girls and forcing them to marry their Muslim kidnappers. Sarah was last seen Sept. 30, 2012, entering a paper shop near her school. A VOM worker says that at least 24 girls have been kidnapped recently, ranging in age from 14 to 21 years old. Sarah is the youngest. Even if Sarah wanted to marry voluntarily, under Egyptian law, she would have to wait until she turned 18. After Sarah’s father filed a missing persons report, he received a phone call telling him he would never see his daughter again. According to a school friend, the 27-year-old paper shop owner, a member of an extremist Sunni Muslim group called the Salafists, had been pursuing Sarah for a while. On Oct. 28, a Salafist organization issued a statement saying that Sarah converted to Islam freely and married a Muslim man. Fundamentalist Muslims are encouraged to kidnap Christian girls and marry them as part of a strategy to limit and intimidate the Christian population in Egypt. The kidnappers insist that the girls convert to Islam of their own will, ensuring that the girls will not be returned to their families. Pray for comfort for this family, and pray that the government will defend the Copts in Egypt.
A lesson on forgiveness showed a North Korean Christian that she needed to forgive Kim Il-Sung and the North Korean government. “KES” is a North Korean participating in a discipleship and training program in South Korea. The students learn Christian principles, how to share their faith and how to adapt to South Korean culture. In a recent class, a trainer taught on forgiveness and had the students role-play the parable of the unforgiving servant. Later, KES shared that she was angry with Kim Il-Sung and the North Korean government for the lies they told. She realized she needed to forgive them, because God forgave her. She said she couldn’t do it without God’s help. Pray for KES and other North Koreans in this school.
Cyber police raided the home of a Christian blogger in Gorgan for the second time recently. Police appeared at the residence of Alireza Ebrahimi, a convert to Christianity, with a warrant for his arrest last week. They didn’t find Alireza, so instead they raided his apartment — without a warrant. Alireza, a Christian blogger, had used Facebook and other social media to evangelize other Iranians. Police first sought to arrest him on May 27. When they didn’t find him, authorities visited the homes of his two friends and arrested them. Those men are charged with propagating against Islam and acting against national security. There is no information available on their whereabouts. Three days later, authorities appeared again at Alireza’s house and confiscated his laptop, articles, notebooks and books. Pray for Alireza and other Christian converts in Iran.
Pray for those involved in carrying Bibles to believers and seekers in Iran.