“Remember those who are in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourself were suffering.” Hebrews 13:3 (NIV)
More Christians are persecuted and martyred for their faith in this century than all previous centuries combined. Nearly two thirds of all Christians alive in the world today suffer persecution in varying degrees, including the loss of freedom, discrimination, imprisonment, slavery, torture and even death.
“I have always envied those Christians who were martyred for Christ Jesus our Lord. What a privilege to live for our Lord and to die for Him as well. I am filled to overflowing with joy; I am not only satisfied to be in prison. . .but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus Christ.”
Mehdi Dibaj, (martyred in Iran, 1994)
To Be a Martyr for the Lord
Sung by persecuted Christians in China
Chorus: To be a martyr for the Lord, to be a martyr for the Lord,
I am willing to die gloriously for the Lord.
Examples of Modern Day Martyrs
Zhang Xiu ju (China), a house-church leader who was beaten to death by police in April 1996. She refused to stop holding “illegal” services in her home and to stop evangelizing.
Mehdi Diba; (Iran), a convert from Islam who was imprisoned for nine years. After his release in 1994, he was abducted and brutally murdered.
Haik Hovsepian Mehr (Iran), a pastor who refused to cease evangelizing and also spoke up in defense of Mehdi Dibaj. On January 20, 1994, he was abducted and later found stabbed to death.
Manzoor Masih (Pakistan), a father of ten who was falsely accused and jailed for “blasphemy against Islam.” While out on bail, he was gunned down by Islamic extremists.
Lai Manping (China), a 22-year-old evangelist who was beaten to death by the police during a raid on a house church in March 1993.
Among the Persecuted Today. . .
Melek Akyil (Turkey), a Christian businessman arrested June 22, 1996 and falsely accused of terrorism. He’s the victim of government intimidation to force the Christians to convert to Islam or leave.
Matthias Akabd (Sudan), arrested January 1995, along with his wife and baby, and has not been heard from since.
Jacob Jeyaseelan (Saudi Arabia), arrested December 22, 1995 for leading an “illegal” Christian gathering of 50 Indian Christians. A total of seven were detained and severely beaten. All but Jacob were released.
Salamat Masih (Pakistan), arrested in 1993 at the age of 12 for blasphemy and threatened with death. He was acquitted in 1995 as a result of international pressure. Extremists have placed a bounty on his life. He has fled his home and family and now lives in hiding.
Soner Onder (Turkey), at the age of 17, was arrested following a Christmas service in 1991. He was beaten and is serving a life sentence.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8
International Christian Concern (ICC) is an interdenominational human rights organization for religious freedom and for assisting Christians who are victims of persecution and discrimination.
For information about how you can help persecuted Christians, write or call:
International Christians Concern
2020 Pennsylvania Avenue NW #941
Washington, DC 20006
1 800 ICC-5441