Ministry in the Muslim context is dangerous work. As the days pass we learn of fresh atrocities from Gaza, Ethiopia, Kashmir, Turkey—more additions to the hall of martyrs.
Our hearts break as we hear about the mother in Bangladesh who tried to protect her daughter from the Muslim men harassing her… only to have them force their way inside the house, rape her and then lock her in the bathroom while they raped her daughter. When she finally escaped she found the girl dying—after violating her, they had forced her to take poison.
An Iranian Christian was imprisoned because he had baptized converts from Islam. His guards tortured him with electric shocks, leaving him unable to walk. While still recovering from surgery for this condition, he was arrested again and thrown in jail without charges. He told a friend, “I know that if they decide to kill me as a martyr, you will care for my wife and children.”
The manager of a Bible Society bookshop in Gaza was kidnapped one night as he closed his shop. The following morning his body was found in the street outside. He had been shot in the head and stabbed several times. He and other staff members had recently been warned by Muslims who accused them of missionary activity. Anonymous death threats were a part of his daily work.
In Central Asia, the regional director of a local ministry was shot to death in cold blood for his work among the local Muslims. Recently the new regional director was visited by a group of Muslims who asked about his activities. They had heard he was “involved in converting people.” These investigators asked his neighbors many questions as well.
Jesus warned His disciples of these days: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you…” (Matt. 24:9) In this verse our Lord seems to ask: Are you surprised that you are suffering? Did I not tell you whoever would be My disciple must take up his cross and follow?
The annals of the Church, from the first century forward, show each mighty work of God mingled with the blood of the saints—Polycarp, Ignatius, Justin, Perpetua, to name a few. In our own time, Jim Elliot, Bishop Haik Hovsepian, Tateos Michaelian, Mehdi Dibaj, and more have suffered the same fate. As the Church around the world grows, as the Kingdom advances, the enemy sees that his days are numbered and steps up his opposition. Volumes of evidence clearly establish that more Christians were martyred in the twentieth century than in all the previous centuries combined. In the midst of these tragic deaths, Christ continues to show Himself victorious.
In the midst of these tragic deaths Christ continues to show Himself victorious. The motorcade at the funeral for the martyred bookstore manager in Gaza displayed a huge cross. Many Muslims attended the service. The Gospel light shines and the darkness cannot overcome it.
But what of the ones these brave martyrs leave behind? Ostracized from family and community, how will the young wife with three children put food on the table? Her own life and the lives of her children have been threatened and she is in desperate need of a place of refuge—who will help her?
Through your generosity, the Martyr’s Fund helps provide for such families. In some cases, we may also assist a family whose provider is imprisoned with very little hope for release. Your gifts are tangible evidence of the love of God to those who sacrifice everything for Him.
Give now to assist the Martyrs Fund.
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On the morning of April 18 in Malatya Turkey, a group of young Muslims entered a Christian publishing house. The three Christians present welcomed them—they were just in time for the weekly prayer meeting.
Hours later when police stormed the building, they found the three Christians bound and gagged, with evidence of gruesome torture on their bodies. Two were pronounced dead on the scene and the third man died that evening from his wounds.
The wife of one of the men murdered made the statement, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”—setting off a “spiritual earthquake” amongst the Muslim population in Turkey.
"They say to me “Return!” But from the arms of God to whom can I return? … It is now 45 years that I am walking with the God of miracles, and his kindness upon me is like a shadow … Therefore I am not only satisfied to be in prison for the honor of His Holy Name, but am ready to give my life for the sake of Jesus my Lord and enter His kingdom sooner.” —Mehdi Dibaj, martyr in Iran
Here's the latest news about this project . . .
May 10, 2011
Big praise! You may remember that back in December 2010, we published a request in the prayer guide for a Filipino widow and her family. Her husband, a follower of Christ, was kidnapped by zealous Muslims intent on making him denounce his faith. When he refused to convert to Islam, they tortured him....and strangled him to death.
After his death, his widow was forced to mortgage the family farm land. It was a terrible time for her and her four children.
Because of money you gave, she has just been able to redeem back the land - all of it! Aided by our ministry partner in the Philippines, she was issued a legal document certifying her ownership on May 6, 2011. We are also sending funds to help her purchase rice seeds and fertilizer. She and her children will now be able to farm the land and generate income to support themselves from the rice harvest!
"Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble!" - Psalm 107:2
Thank you for partnering with us to bring hope to this martyr’s family!
"Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful." --Hebrews 10:23