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October 2015
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One small voice cries out

God moves the ‘Body’ and prevents detainment of Christians at a Brutal Jail in Thailand – a miracle!

Pastor Joshua is amongst frightened children detained with their families. Photo: courtesy BPCA

Pastor Joshua is amongst frightened children detained with their families. Photo: courtesy BPCA

(Voice of the Persecuted) Yesterday may have seemed like any other day, but we witnessed God perform a miracle and many of you were used by Him to fulfill it! God doesn’t need us to accomplish miracles. However, it seems He takes great pleasure to perform miracles by means of our prayers, our hands, His Church—to shine His light brightly from us, the Body of Christ!

For those of you who follow our mission, you know we are greatly concerned for persecuted Christians who go mainly overlooked, such as Christians in North Nigeria and in Pakistan. We believe this is possibly the reason God has called us to be their voice, to encourage and care for them. When it comes to aid and support, many of these Christians are falling through the cracks and rarely, if ever receive any relief. We call them ‘the invisibles’, as we are surprised what little interest is shown even in detailed reports we’ve shared about them, and the amazing testimonies of their incredible faith. Testimonies that would inspire the entire Body of Christ to endure and have hope, even in the most intense trials.

Due to our work with Pakistani Christians, we are very aware of the crisis situation for those seeking asylum with the UNHCR in Thailand. We are in contact with them, everyday. Living conditions for many is horrific to say the least. They are often arrested by the police as illegals. The Thai government does not recognize the asylum seeker certificates given to them by the UNHCR.

A few years ago, I met Wilson Chowdry of the British Pakistani Christian Association(BPCA), who was advocating for Christians in Pakistan. In May, he went to Thailand to see the condition of Pakistani Christians for himself. What he found was heartbreaking and knew he had to start a humanitarian mission to help.  Recently through him, we were able to secure urgent aid for a Pakistani family. By the end of the month, Voice of the Persecuted voted to begin Project 133 Thailand to aid some of the families that have been assessed with the greatest need. Based on the immensity of the crisis and so many asking for help, at times we can feel overwhelmed wondering how to proceed. On Tuesday evening, we prayed for the Lord to guide us to be good stewards in this mission and direct how we should serve. You see, each time we have stood at the foot of the mountain unable to navigate the impossible, we’ve handed it over completely to God and He has never failed to answer!

Yesterday morning, I received a message from Wilson about the Pakistani Christians who were arrested by Thai authorities and taken to the Central Jail. What transpired over the next few hours was nothing short of a miracle. What seemed impossible for one, God quickly brought 5 together united in the Body to fulfill His purposes and work a miracle for those suffering in His name! Read Wilson’s report of this God inspired collaboration below.

(BPCA) On Wednesday 6th October, Royal Thai police arrested 26 Pakistani Christian asylum seekers, including children, from an area called Pracha Songkhro 28 in Bangkok. The terrified families were arrested very late at night from a condo called Phasuk mansion, taken to Huai Khwang police station and from there will eventually be transferred to the Immigration Detention Centre (IDC). Due to an extremely slow processing time none of these suffering families have ever been assessed for asylum determination by the UNHCR, and in fact many of them have assessment interviews scheduled for up to two years from now, a dismaying and unacceptable delay which has left them extremely vulnerable.

Our officer in Thailand, Christian Malik, called Pastor Joshua who was amongst the victims. He described the desperate conditions they are facing inside the IDC:

“We have been in the police station since yesterday evening and we have not yet eaten any food. The younger children have been sobbing for milk and we have no provisions, this is an alarming situation. We are all having to cope with the trauma of being locked up despite not believing we are criminals”.

Pastor Joshua spoke of their hope in God and their undying belief that God will help them. He said :

“We continue worshipping and praying, it gives us confidence and enables us to bear witness among the non-believers. We hope to rescue and baptise the lost souls inside the IDC.”

Christian contacted legal aid representatives at Asylum Access, an NGO working in Thailand, to see how we could help. They explained that the system was slow and and rigid:

“The immigration police undertake sweeps in asylum communities across Bangkok during the first 10 days of every month. There is no mechanism in place to rescue these victims they simply have to go through the legal process”.

Christian Malik described the situation faced by arrested victims. He said:

“Children have been locked up along with their parents and appallingly there is no provision of milk for babies and scarce food provision. It is completely inhumane. Families have been taken from their makeshift homes leaving doors wide open, which inevitably results in the loss of all their savings and belongings. Living in cramped cells is demoralising, and after even a short time of being packed in with so many other detainees contagious disease is rampant”.

We are so thankful to God that working with the Jubilee Campaign; Voice of the Persecuted; TrotB Ministries and the Farrukh Saif Foundation; the BPCA has been able to raise the necessary funds to pay the overstay court fines for 12 of the asylum seekers.

A few of those detained declined help, deciding instead to take a risk and endure Central Jail with the hopes of somehow raising the necessary funds to bribe Thai police into releasing them, thus avoiding detainment in the IDC and needing to raise funds for bail. Paying the overstay fine prevents a person going to Central Jail, but bail still needs to be paid at a later date to avoid further detention in the IDC.

The costs of paying the fines would have been a huge burden on any of our charities individually, but by breaking convention and proving charities can work together, we have successfully helped the traumatised victims.

Lois Kanalos of Voice of the Persecuted said:
“Praise God! He achieved the impossible again, leaving no doubt who is behind us.”

Paying this fine prevents these families from being moved for 35 days to the horrific Central Jail where they would be placed in the general prison population amongst rapists and murderers. The men are restrained naked in shackles, their heads shaved, and women are made to remove their underwear and jump up and down to show they have nothing concealed while men ogle. Mothers are separated from their children, and incredulously even from their babies who are then neglected and not provided any milk or nappies.  From Central Jail the detainees would again be moved to the deplorable IDC where ‘food’ consists of cucumber in hot water.

We know that our supporters will agree that this would be a horrendous fate to befall anyone, and being able to prevent it for these families is exhilarating for us at the BPCA, and we would love to be able to do much more. To free each individual from IDC we need to raise a further £1000 (approx. $1568USD) for each of them for their bail fees, which will entitle them to a two year protection from re-arrest.

Wilson also asked if you can help towards this payment for their freedom. Voice of the Persecuted would like to partner with BPCA to obtain protection for these Christians and keep them out of the inhumane conditions of the IDC. You can donate to either one of our missions for this cause. When using PayPal, please include Bail for Thailand in the note portion on the donation page. When mailing your gift, include the same in a note.

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16 

To all our supporters, Thank you for allowing God’s light to shine on those coming out of the jail, today. We were also able to cover 2 more families who’ve been suffering greatly with shelter and food for a month. May they give God all praise and know His hand is on them. May it not be us, His vessels, but God who is glorified in all we do.

Voice of the Persecuted uses your donation for those God has burdened on your heart. Whether it be Nigeria, Pakistan, Thailand or another VOP aid project, you can be sure it will be used exactly where you want it to go. Be a part and come along on the mission! You go with us to these nations through your gifts.

Lois Kanalos, Founder/Advocate

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.


Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

You may also mail your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183


SYRIA – Jihadists release video of the execution of three Assyrian hostages


(Agenzia Fides) – Three of the Assyrian Christians in the valley of Khabur held hostage by jihadists of the Islamic State (Daesh) were subjected to capital punishment by their kidnappers. The video of the execution was released on the jihadi website. In the video, the three Assyrian Christians appear on their knees, dressed in the “usual” orange jumpsuits in a desert area, and are killed with gunshot wounds to the neck from three hooded executioners. Each of the three Assyrian, before being killed, identified themselves by repeating their names and village of origin: Audisho Enwiya and Assur Abraham – from the village of Tel Jazeera – and Basam Michael, from the village of Tel Shamiram.

After their execution, the video ends with three other Assyrians on their knees and in orange jumpsuits in front of the bodies of the three executed. They also reveal their names and village of origin, and one of them added in Arabic, pointing to the bodies of the three Assyrian already killed, “our fate will be the same as these, if you do not follow the correct procedures for our release”.

The execution – warn the creators of the macabre video – took place on the morning of 23 September, the day when Muslims commemorate the “Feast of Sacrifice” (Eid al-Adha).

The three murdered men were part of the group of about 230 Assyrian Christians that the jihadists of Daesh have held hostage since the end of February, when the jihad offensive reached the Christian villages in the valley of the river Khabur. The place of their detention in all probability is still in the al-Shaddadi area, stronghold of Daesh, 60 kilometers from Hassaké. The message conveyed in the video is clear and fierce: the ransom demanded for the release of Christian prisoners still has not been paid, and the executions will continue until the sum requested is paid.

In the following stages of the collective kidnapping, jihadists demanded 100 thousand dollars in exchange for the release of each hostage. Before the answers of those who declared the impossibility of collecting such exorbitant amount of money, negotiations were interrupted. The video with the execution of the three poor Assyrians increases the concern about the fate of Christians in Khabur – including women and children still in the hands of jihadists. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 08/10/2015)

VOP Note:

  • Pray for those who remain hostage to be freed.
  • Pray for their courage and that they will endure.
  • Pray for their families who are losing hope.
  • Pray all may be comforted.
  • Pray for strengthening of faith
  • Pray for the lost


Egypt to construct “Church of the Martyrs” to honor 20 slain Christians


Work will begin in the coming days in Minya on a church that was planned to honor the deaths of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians who died in a brutal sectarian attack by militants in Libya earlier this year.

Plans and licences for the ‘Church of the Martyrs’ have been finalised to begin the work, head of the Samalout municipality in Minya said, as reported by MENA state news. Major General Gamal Mubaral Qinawy confirmed that the church will be built in the village of Al-Awar, in the district of Samalout.

Qinawy said that work on the construction of the church will begin in the coming days, with the project having secured EGP 5m so far, out of a total required cost of EGP 10m. The rest of the money will be collected while construction is underway. He noted that the work was initially stalled due to a required licence from the Ministry of Agriculture.

In February, a video was published online by a Libyan militant group affiliated with the so-called “Islamic State” which showed the beheading of 20 Egyptian Coptic Christians, and another African Christian.

The Coptic Egyptians were captured on two separate occasions from the Mediterranean coastal city of Sirte between December and January. Read more

SYRIA – Archbishop Hindo ” McCain’s disturbing words on anti-Assad rebels armed by the CIA”


Mideast Syria

(Agenzia Fides) – “US Senator John McCain protested saying that the Russians are not bombing the positions of the Islamic State, but rather the anti-Assad rebels trained by the CIA. I find these words are disturbing. They represent a blatant admission that behind the war against Assad there is also the CIA”. This is what Syrian Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo says to Agenzia Fides with regards to recent developments in the Syrian conflict, marked by the direct intervention of Russian military forces against the positions of the jihadi militias.

“Western propaganda”, said Archbishop Hindo “keeps talking about moderate rebels, who do not exist”. According to Syrian Catholic Archbishop, “there is something very disturbing about all this: there is a superpower that since September 11 protests because the Russians hit the militias of al-Qaeda in Syria. What does it mean? Al-Qaeda is now a US ally, just because in Syria it has a different name? But do they really despise our intelligence and our memory?”

In the interview with Fides, Archbishop Hindo repeats that “the Syrians will decide if and when Assad has to go away, and not the Daesh or the West. And it is certain that if Assad goes away now, Syria will become like Libya”. Syrian Archbishop launches a warning: “We have received terrible news from the city of Deir al Zor, which has been besieged by Daesh for a long time. There is no more food in town, and the population is literally starving. We need to do something immediately, before it is too late”. (GV) (Agenzia Fides 02/10/2015)

PAKISTAN: Christian girls kidnapped and raped by Muslims – Human Rights of Minorities Still Unprotected

pakistan christian prays

Pakistani christian girl praying

(Voice of the Persecuted) Two Christian girls were kidnapped and raped by a group of Muslim men. Two of the criminals were arrested, three are still at large in the city of Jaranwala in Punjab.

The victims are defended by Christian lawyers, who reported these incidents to Agenzia Fides. Another case regards a 13-year-old Christian girl, who was kidnapped and raped. The third case reported to Fides concerns two girls abducted and abused by a group of human traffickers who forced them into prostitution, always in Punjab.

The phenomenon of girls of religious minorities kidnapped, raped and in some cases, forced to Islamic marriage, is endemic in Pakistan and, according to Fides sources, affects about one thousand girls every year. It is part of the condition of subordination of women in Pakistani society, especially in rural areas, but women belonging to religious minorities are doubly vulnerable. Notes a source of Fides, given that Muslim men feel they are guaranteed impunity in committing such abuse and are often backed by the police and the judiciary. We too have heard this by our contacts as a sure cause of the ongoing rise of abuse.

Pakistan grossly lacks protection of human rights for women, children and religious minorities, which subjects them to outrageous cruelty.Horrific violence is perpetrated against women, teens and young girls (including kidnapping, torture, rape, forced marriages), discrimination against religious minorities, force conversions, the misuse of blasphemy law, modern-day slavery through the illegal practice of bonded labor, sectarian violence—targeted mob killings and deadly attacks on Christians and other religious minorities.

Last November, in response to the barbaric murder of a Christian couple thrown into a burning furnace by an enraged Muslim mob, VOP wrote a letter to the U.S. government and the United Nations to pressure the Pakistani government to take action. Globally, many have condemned the heinous acts of violence against Christians and religious minorities in Pakistan.  We’ve yet to see an improvement by the Pakistani government for their protection, nor firm punishments put in place to deter perpetrators from violence. The abusers are often released and never face any type of criminal charges.

Christians continue to languish in prisons on controversial charges of blasphemy against Islam, which potentially carries the death penalty. Such is the internationally known case of Asia Bibi, a mother of 5 sentenced to death for charges of blasphemy she maintains are false. Obvious discrimination has been shown in her case.

Religious political parties have been known to squash the government’s intentions to amend or repeal discriminatory laws, with threats of boycotts and countrywide violent protests. These religious parties are mainly silent of persecution against minorities, or the severe humiliation and abuse of Pakistani women and children. Religious political parties are equally responsible for the plight of human rights, as part of the democratic system and having more influence in the country. Plain and simple, they must be held accountable for their role in advancing and securing human rights for all Pakistani citizens.

Countries most frequently cited for the most aggressive laws banning free expression are Saudi Arabia, China and Pakistan.

Freedom of religion is a cornerstone right for all other fundamental human rights. It must be advanced, and vigorously guarded everywhere in the world. Fierce protection of the rights of women and children must also be implemented in all nations. Until then, the violent rape of these two Christian girls will continue to be reported again and again against others. We will also continue to see more minorities leaving to seek safety in other nations further burdening immigration departments. Many of these asylum seekers never wanted to leave their families and homeland, they were forced. Special exceptions should be made for Christian asylum seekers in Western nations…they’re running out of safe places where their human rights will be protected.

Let us pray for those without human rights, rights that we in the West often take for granted. And please, don’t remain silent. Let us speak out to encourage others to pray. Let us be their VOICE and wake up the world to this abuse.

Voice of the Persecuted

Together with your generous support, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.


Everyday, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!

You may also mail your gift to:

2740 Third St
P.O. Box 122
Trenton, MI. 48183

Christians in Syria Struggle to Survive amid Terrors


Many Syrian refugees have opted for life on the streets of foreign countries, such as this family in Istanbul, Turkey, rather than the horrors of war. (Morning Star News)

Pastor caught between obligations to ministry and to family.

(Morning Star News) – His 6-year-old daughter still wakes up screaming, more than three years after the sounds and sights of war first gave her night terrors.

At least a few times each week, she wakes up with her muscles clenched, her head thrown back and her mouth open, screaming. Her father, a pastor in western Syria, had already taken his family and fled to another city in Syria after her terrors began, only to find that the war followed them there. Now they live in the quiet – for now – city of Sweida, but the night terrors still come.

“Doctors told us this is just from the fear,” he said. “We rely on the Lord.”

The pastor, whose name is withheld for security reasons, and his family typify the many Christians scrambling to survive in Syria. With an estimated 700,000 of Syria’s pre-war population of 1.4 million Christians having already fled, he too harbors the question, “Should I flee my country, and if so, when and where should I go?”

In a country where the Islamic State (IS) is carving out a caliphate with atrocities committed against those who don’t swear allegiance to it, it is a high-stakes question. In an unnamed village outside Aleppo, according to Christian Aid Mission, which assists indigenous Christian workers in their native countries, Islamic State militants on Aug. 28 crucified four Christians, including a 12-year-old boy, and beheaded eight others in separate executions. The boy was the son of a Syrian ministry team leader who had planted nine churches.

“In front of the team leader and relatives in the crowd, the Islamic extremists cut off the fingertips of the boy and severely beat him, telling his father they would stop the torture only if he, the father, returned to Islam,” Christian Aid reported. “When the team leader refused, relatives said, the ISIS militants also tortured and beat him and the two other ministry workers. The three men and the boy then met their deaths in crucifixion.”

They were killed for refusing to return to Islam after embracing Christianity, as were the other eight aid workers, including two women, according to Christian Aid. The eight were taken to a separate site in the village and asked if they would return to Islam. After refusing to renounce Christ, the women, ages 29 and 33, were raped before the crowd summoned to watch, and then all eight were beheaded.

They prayed as they knelt before the Islamic State militants, according to the ministry leader Christian Aid assists, who spoke with relatives and villagers while visiting the site.

“Villagers said some were praying in the name of Jesus, others said some were praying the Lord’s Prayer, and others said some of them lifted their heads to commend their spirits to Jesus,” the ministry director told Christian Aid. “One of the women looked up and seemed to be almost smiling as she said, ‘Jesus!’”

Their bodies were hung on crosses for display after they were killed, he added.

All Syrians are suffering in the war, but Christians are exposed to greater risks because of their outsider status within Syria, according to human rights activists. Even before war broke in 2011, the country was divided into numerous ethno-religious factions. Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Kurds all vied with each other and with the Alawites, a sect of Shia Islam of which President Bashar al-Assad is a member.

Almost all the sects have long-standing hostilities toward the Christians, but that aggression was held at bay in the name of public order for decades by the ruling Assad family. When myriad armed factions rose up against Assad, the Christians lost their protector and had to navigate old prejudices alone.

Ever-shifting alliances among groups intent on securing a beneficial position added to Christians’ problems. Militia groups, including the nascent Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, now known as the Islamic State, attacked church buildings and Christians along with their property.

This new reality became evident soon after the pastor in Sweida moved back to his hometown of Kharaba; an Islamic militia group attacked Christians, threw them out of their homes and replaced them with 500 Muslim families.

“My family in Kharaba faced some attacks, and my house in Kharaba was taken by Jabhat al-Nusra,” he said. “They took the keys from me. All of us, my uncles’ families, my family, my sister’s family and my brother’s family faced attacks in our home village, Kharaba, which was at one time 100 percent Christian.”

After the attacks, 85 percent of the Christians fled Kharaba. Only 70 Christian families remained, and they are dominated by the militia and the Muslims they brought into the village. Even now, the pastor said, no one is allowed to open the church building in the town, ring its bell or hold worship services there.

The pastor, who continued leading a church group in Daraa, was also leading another church group in Kharaba. After eight months in Kharaba, he was asked to temporarily lead an additional church in Sweida. The pastor of that church told him he would return in five months.

“I kept doing that for a month, but the situation in Kharaba got worse, and I had to take my family and move to Sweida,” the pastor said. “The five months are finished, and now two and half years later, the pastor still hasn’t returned. He is not coming back and told me that later.”

The pastor moved to Sweida with his wife and three children, the youngest a toddler and the oldest in ninth grade. His traumatized middle daughter improved after they moved, but then he was faced with the hardships of living in a city isolated by war. The city is over-crowded. There are shortages of basic supplies, especially medical supplies, food and water. When staple items are available, they are extremely expensive. Finding a place to live is a problem. There are rolling blackouts, little gas for cars and scarce heating oil for homes.

In Sweida, about 25 miles north of Syria’s border with Jordan, most residents are Druze, who believe in a gnostic blend of several philosophies and religions. There is a small minority of Christians, mostly Greek Orthodox and Muslim Bedouins.

The Druze initially thought the Assad regime would protect them, but among them are elements both for and against Assad, and most recently they have formed armed groups under government eye to protect their land. They are willing to defend against attack from any party, but they don’t have sufficient weaponry.

Most of the militia groups around Sweida are from Jabhat al-Nusra, the Free Syrian Army or individual gangs from Bedouin tribes. IS hasn’t come to Sweida yet, but there have been reports of IS troops fighting in the province of Sweida, further filling the city with refugees. The pastor said that Sweida will be a target of the Islamic State: The militants consider the Druze loyal to the government, so IS will target them, especially as they are non-Muslims. Also, Druze women wear modern fashions, and the Druze generally are well educated and open to ideas that are anathema to Muslim extremists.

“We have some displaced people who fled from ISIS,” he said. “There are a lot of examples, but I can’t give names. We have some that were kidnapped, and others whose homes were taken from them. We have a family from Damascus who have no idea what happened to their home and farm and are living in a difficult situation.”

The pastor said that he doesn’t think there will be an attack to overrun the city anytime soon, but there have been car bombings.

“The general situation in Sweida is safe and OK, though there have been some individual cases such as kidnapping or individual crimes, but they have to do with the overall situation of the country,” he said. “For example, the last incident was a month and half ago, when a Catholic priest and a friend of mine named Tony al-Botros, was kidnapped and released about 10 or 15 days ago. He was kidnapped for about a month, and then a ransom was paid and that’s why he was released.”

When the civil war originated in 2011 out of a series of protests, Syrians waited, assuming that the conflict would be over in months. But as it became evident that the parties were in a stalemate and the brutality of the fighting increased exponentially, people started fleeing. When IS took over wide swaths of territory, a wave of refugees fled the country. More than 4 million of Syria’s pre-war population of 22.5 million people are estimated to have left.

First the rich left, and then the middle class. Now the people fleeing Syria are the most desperate, the destitute and the chronically ill. Faced with all the hardships, the pastor also has considered leaving. Because he carries the burden of ministering to three church groups in three different cities, though, he feels the weight of responsibility and won’t leave them.

But if God opened a door to leave and arrangements were made to keep the ministries running, he would likely leave, he said.

“In the past two months, because of all the difficulties we were going through, we have been thinking if there is a chance to leave Syria, we will,” he said. “The situation now doesn’t show any hope but hints to getting worse in the future in Sweida.”

Oregon Massacre: Singling Out Christians for Murder Is Standard Practice among Islamic Jihadis


(Raymond Ibrahim) [Thursday], an Oregon gunman curiously singled out Christians during rampage:


A woman who claimed to have a grandmother inside a writing class in Snyder Hall, where a portion the massacre unfolded, described the scene in a tweet.

“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs. My grandma just got to my house, and she was in the room. She wasn’t shot, but she is very upset.

For the record, there is a precedent here:  Whenever Islamic terrorists raid large centers where Muslims and Christians are intermingled — especially universities — they routinely separate Muslims from Christians, before massacring the latter.

For example, last April in Kenya, gunmen from the Somali Islamic group, Al Shabaab—“the youth”—stormed Garissa University, singled out Christian students, and murdered them, some beheaded.  Read here for more examples.

VOP Note: It was found that the shooter in Oregon belonged to an online group who shared common interests in “magick and the occult.” Under the category of “Religious Views,” he wrote that he was not religious but “spiritual” and was interested in “pagan” and “wicca.”

Martyred in America for Christ

Christian target

Revelation 6:9

What the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who has been slain because of the word of God and because of the testimony which they had maintained;

Yesterday, I had a profound sense of sadness regarding the tragedy that came out of Oregon. I had heard about other school shootings, which always saddened me and I offered prayer for those impacted by the tragedy.

But Friday morning, the sadness and sorrow was different. I felt in some way connected to those who had been slain. The sadness was deep, almost overwhelming. I could not explain the profound sorrow that was enveloping me. That is until now.

Martyr-definitionI received word that the gunman targeted Christians at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Eye-witness reports indicated his focus was on Christians.

The gunman, went into a classroom and shot the professor point blank range. When the students dropped on the floor, he ordered him to get up and state their religion.  If they indicated they were Christian, he said they would see God in one second and shot them in the head, execution style…but shot others of a different or no faith in the legs.

The profound sadness I experienced can only be explained as sorrow for my brothers and sisters who had been martyred.  Martyred in the state of Oregon.

It was only a few months ago that 9 precious saints were martyred in the state of South Carolina. During a prayer meeting, the gunman sent 9 precious souls into the presence of God.

Dear saints, persecution is no longer ‘over there’, in the Middle East or other foreign lands. No longer is it only groups such as ISIS beheading saints in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria. Investigators have revealed the UCC gunman was also a student who related with the occult. Updated:It was found that the shooter belonged to an online group who shared common interests in “magick and the occult.” Under the category of “Religious Views,” he wrote that he was not religious but “spiritual” and was interested in “pagan” and “wicca.”

Believers are now shedding their blood for Jesus Christ in America, solely because they are Christians. Martyrdom has become a reality…here, in the USA.

Some may say, “You’re overreacting, you’re being dramatic.”

Brothers and sisters please hear me. Months ago, who would’ve thought that precious saints attending a prayer meeting would never return home to their loved ones?  Instead, they’re now in the presence of the Lord.

Who would have thought young American students on their way to class would be targeted for their faith in Christ, never to return home to their families? They too now rest in the presence of God.

After South Carolina, I felt more such tragedies would follow. Tragedies which would result in the loss of our brothers and sisters being ushered into the presence of Christ. On Thursday, this is exactly what happened in Oregon. There is a culture of growing hatred towards Christians in our own nation.

This is not to say that we should live in fear. For our eternal destiny is security in Jesus Christ.  He said

28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.  Matthew 10:28-33

The believer is secure in Jesus Christ. Paul reminds us that whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord.

The reality of persecution and martyrdom has come to America. We must be strengthened in faith, prepared, even as these young college students to possibly lay down our lives for the Lord Jesus Christ. We read in Romans 10:17, “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Let us find strength, peace and joy in God’s word. May we also reflect the light and love of Christ to this hurting world.

Let us remember our brothers and sisters, these precious saints who were slain. Let us pray that their blood not be shed in vain. Let us pray that much seed will come out of their death. Let us pray comfort on those impacted by this tragedy. Let us pray that out of this tragedy God will bring triumph.

My brothers and sisters, let us pray in the midst of this, that Christ be lifted up and His name be glorified.

Your brother in Christ,

Blaine Scogin
Serving Jesus as Prayer Director for Voice of the Persecuted and Persecution Watch


Persecution Watch is a teleconference prayer call that convenes Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday nights.

The times of the call are…….
9 p.m. Eastern
8 p.m. Central
7 p.m. Mountain
6 p.m. Pacific

Call number and access code are…….
712.775.7035.      281207#

I invite you to join me in prayer as we advance His kingdom purposes by praying for the persecuted church and calling out for the global harvest of souls.

For more information about our call and the persecuted church please visit the website of Voice of the Persecuted.
You may also send an email to

To can also join the VOP Prayer Warrior Team Here

PAKISTAN – Christians imprisoned for blasphemy fear an extrajudicial murder


Lahore (Agenzia Fides) – Four Christians accused and arrested for alleged blasphemy are in danger of being killed in an extrajudicial killing. As Fides learns, Protestant Pastor Aftab Gill, Unatan Gill and two other Christians currently detained in the central prison of Punjab, should appear in court on October 16, but the court has refused to provide them an escort. Family members fear that, in the transfer, they can be killed by the radicals.

The four are accused of insulting Islam by publishing, on the occasion of a funeral, some posters in which the word “rasool” (Urdu: Apostle) was used which is an attribute of the Prophet Muhammad (see Fides 20/08/2015). A month ago the court denied the release of the Christians, but granted bail to Muslim printmaker who printed the posters. The NGO CLAAS (Centre for Legal Aid, Assistance and Settlement) says that “the judge was biased because the term ‘rasool’ is found in the Bible in Urdu and Christians had no blasphemous intention”.

Imtiaz Shakir, Muslim lawyer who defends Christians in court, told Fides: “The trial is an exaggeration, one is abusing the word rasool, which in Urdu means messenger. The accusation is preposterous, the whole system is biased, local authorities are looking for an opportunity for another extrajudicial killing”. “My religion – Shakir continues – does not allow me to endorse such injustice: these innocent people are suffering because of a misunderstanding of Islam. This is a failure of the judicial system and an abuse of power. Not only Christians but all Pakistani citizens who believe in the rule of law and justice should speak out to defend these innocent people”. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 01/10/2015)

Update: Saeed Abedini suffers in prison, our prayers encouraging him


(9/30/2015) Naghmeh Abedini shares latest update.

I called Saeed’s parents this morning and it was heart wrenching hearing Saeed’s mom wail and weep as she described their prison visit this morning. Saeed’s mom has had to go back to Iran after hearing of her mom’s (Saeed’s grandma) passing away. As I spoke with Saeed’s elderly parents and their description of their son being harassed by guards and in chains being led to the visitation room, my heart broke of the pain and anguish they have to go through each week seeing their son in such condition and the toll this had taken on them the last 3 years.

It did not help to see Saeed in so much pain and to hear of the possibility of additional charges. As they asked me in desperation if we were getting any closer to Saeed’s release, I had to tell them that I did not know and could not give them any promises.

Saeed wanted to make sure I told you all how encouraged he was to hear of the 966 locations in 46 countries (final count) that joined for the prayer vigil and to know that many were lifting him up during these difficult times and that he was not forgotten (I was able to make sure Saeed saw pictures of some of the prayer vigil gatherings). Saeed mentioned that he was praying with other believers in the prison during the prayer vigils on September 26 and could sense all of the prayers. It is something that was a great source of encouragement to him and something that he carried back with him to the prison.

Thank you for all of your prayers and for all of your who participated and helped coordinate the prayer vigils. It has given Saeed a new sense of hope and encouragement during his darkest hours.

Voice of the Persecuted




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