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WWW.PERSECUTION.ORG<br />

MARCH <strong>2017</strong><br />

PERSECU ION<br />

Hill<br />

Hero<br />

Rep. Chris Smith<br />

(New Jersey) has<br />

spent 36 years<br />

fighting for the<br />

persecuted!<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN


President’s Letter<br />

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My<br />

Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that<br />

I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place<br />

for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be<br />

where I am.”<br />

- John 14:1-3, NIV<br />

Home is such a simple concept for most, but for too many Christians from Iraq<br />

and Syria it has turned into only a memory. Many have fled to Europe while others<br />

are in refugee camps in other regions. Still many more are refugees in their<br />

own countries.<br />

Driven out <strong>of</strong> their homes by ISIS, hundreds <strong>of</strong> thousands <strong>of</strong> Christians have lost<br />

their homes and many are living in the Erbil area. For many, their “home” for the<br />

last two years has been in a derelict building or in even in worn out, threadbare,<br />

burning hot, then freezing cold, tents.<br />

Jeff King, President<br />

International Christian Concern<br />

We were able to help a few <strong>of</strong> these Christian refugees settle into new compact, but comfortable, homes in Erbil (see pg. 22).<br />

The gratitude and relief on their faces as we gave them their new homes was at the same time heartbreaking and a blessing.<br />

Yesterday, a dear friend called to tell me that he had lost his job. As we spoke, he remarked that he’s really longing for home.<br />

His true home. You remember Jesus told the disciples that He must depart to prepare a place for us and would return when<br />

“everything was ready.” That place He’s preparing is our true home and the North star <strong>of</strong> your heart and what it aches for.<br />

You see we too are adrift, homeless, and stateless, but we don’t feel it as acutely as the refugee because we have houses and<br />

apartments to live in (1 Peter 2:11).<br />

I once heard an old preacher who taught young pastors say, “Preach to broken hearts because there’s one in every pew!”<br />

If you are one <strong>of</strong> those broken hearts, I want to let you in on a spiritual secret that I reminded my old friend <strong>of</strong> last night.<br />

When you’ve taken one <strong>of</strong> life’s shots to the gut is when the devil’s whisperings get into your soul. They leave you desperate,<br />

panicked, turning in circles, and in great fear. Remember, he’s a roaring lion! The devil’s great lies are that he (Satan) doesn’t<br />

exist and the other is that God has forgotten you and doesn’t love you.<br />

If you are presently broken and in great pain, I want you to try something: stop trying to escape! Rather, embrace your circumstances<br />

and thank Him for the spot you find yourself in.<br />

This doesn’t make any worldly sense and you will have to do this by faith at first, but thank Him repeatedly for the growth the<br />

pain will bring to you and let the pain drive you close to Him rather than driving you to a panicked desire to flee your cage.<br />

Thank Him over and over until your heart starts to overflow and thankfulness truly comes. Something happens when you<br />

reach this point that is close to magic.<br />

You will be set free! Not from all the pain, but from the fear, panic, and despair. He is close to the broken-hearted and knows<br />

your pain. Once you run on the fuel <strong>of</strong> trust, gratitude, and God’s presence, it will break Satan’s power.<br />

Please join me as we bandage and build His persecuted Church - your suffering brothers and sisters.<br />

As always, your donations will be used efficiently, effectively, and ethically.<br />

I promise!<br />

Jeff King<br />

President<br />

International Christian Concern<br />

www.persecution.org<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN<br />

2


News<br />

ISIS Leader Converts to Christianity<br />

after Trying to Kill TV Ministry Worker<br />

1 | MIDDLE EAST According to the Gospel Herald, a<br />

well-known leader from the Islamic State converted to<br />

Christianity after meeting up with a television ministry<br />

worker. The ISIS leader was watching one <strong>of</strong> Dr. Michael<br />

Youssef’s Christian television programs when he had the<br />

idea to call into the show, with the intention <strong>of</strong> killing<br />

whoever had the misfortune <strong>of</strong> picking up the call.<br />

The ISIS leader requested a meet-up with the ministry<br />

worker and, soon enough, the two were face-to-face as the<br />

ministry worker shared the hope <strong>of</strong> the Gospel. Following<br />

their discussion, the ISIS leader reportedly had a dream in<br />

which God was further revealed to him, confirming the<br />

truth that was discussed during this exchange.<br />

The ISIS leader has since given his life to Christ and<br />

abandoned his ties with radical Islam. Furthermore, upon<br />

a second meeting with the ministry worker, this new<br />

believer revealed his original intentions. Youssef (pictured),<br />

the host <strong>of</strong> the program, has testified to the man’s<br />

renewed life, referring to him as a “brother in Christ.”<br />

1 6<br />

4<br />

5<br />

2<br />

3<br />

Sudanese Court Frees Imprisoned<br />

Pastor Facing Death Sentence<br />

2 | SUDAN After much prayer and international outcry on<br />

his behalf, Pastor Kuwa Shamaal was recently released<br />

from prison. Pastor Shamaal was imprisoned with three<br />

other Christians who were all held on similar charges such<br />

as espionage, gathering false news, waging war against<br />

the state, and inciting violence. Some <strong>of</strong> these charges<br />

carry the potential for the death penalty as the maximum<br />

sentence.<br />

Pastor Shamaal was initially arrested on December<br />

18, 2015, but released a few days later before he was<br />

rearrested in May 2016. The international human rights<br />

community has condemned the arrest <strong>of</strong> Shamaal and the<br />

three other Christians, calling the charges against the men<br />

groundless.<br />

The four men were arrested in connection to a receipt,<br />

which showed that one <strong>of</strong> the men provided financial support<br />

to assist a Darfuri burn victim who was injured during<br />

2013 demonstrations. The evidence for these charges<br />

is weak and certainly not<br />

grounds for the death penalty<br />

by most standards.<br />

Thankfully, Shamaal was<br />

among a few Christian<br />

leaders who have been<br />

released from prison in<br />

Sudan due to international<br />

pressure in recent years.<br />

At the time <strong>of</strong> writing,<br />

Pastor Shamaal’s fellow<br />

inmates are still suffering<br />

in prison. ICC, along with<br />

the international community,<br />

continues to pray and<br />

advocate for their release.<br />

7<br />

Teenage Girls<br />

Released<br />

from Prison in<br />

Ethiopia<br />

3 | ETHIOPIA In<br />

the predominantly<br />

Muslim town <strong>of</strong><br />

Babile, Ethiopia,<br />

four Christian<br />

teenage girls were<br />

recently released<br />

from prison after<br />

being detained for<br />

sharing their faith<br />

with a group <strong>of</strong><br />

Muslim friends.<br />

Word spread about<br />

the religious discussion<br />

to the Muslim<br />

friends’ parents and<br />

eventually reached<br />

the local Muslim<br />

<strong>of</strong>ficials. The girls<br />

were taken in for<br />

“painting a bad<br />

image <strong>of</strong> Islam”<br />

and the prosecutor<br />

initially requested<br />

a jail sentence <strong>of</strong> 15<br />

years.<br />

Thankfully, the<br />

girls were released<br />

after several months<br />

<strong>of</strong> complicated court<br />

dealings.<br />

However, family<br />

and friends<br />

are concerned for<br />

the girls’ safety.<br />

Unfortunately, their<br />

concerns are justified<br />

as the girls have<br />

been the targets <strong>of</strong><br />

death threats and<br />

threats <strong>of</strong> mob violence.<br />

While all are<br />

happy that the girls<br />

are no longer behind<br />

bars, there is a long<br />

way to go until they<br />

can return to normalcy.<br />

3 PERSECU ION.org<br />

MARCH <strong>2017</strong><br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN


St. Mark’s Cathedral — Cairo, Egypt<br />

A nun looks on in the aftermath <strong>of</strong> a Sunday<br />

morning bombing that killed 28 parishioners,<br />

primarily women and children, on December 11.<br />

Cairo Church Bombing Kills at Least 28<br />

4 | EGYPT On December 11, the bombing <strong>of</strong> St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, led to the deaths <strong>of</strong> at least 28 people and wounded many more.<br />

The suicide bomber, who had ties to ISIS, detonated the device during a Sunday morning service. The blast primarily struck women and children.<br />

In response, President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi declared a three-day period <strong>of</strong> national mourning as the Christian community gathered to mourn and<br />

protest the most devastating attack on Egypt’s Christians in recent years.<br />

Christians Imprisoned for “Witchcraft”<br />

5 | NEPAL Toward the end <strong>of</strong> 2016, four Christians in<br />

Nepal were sentenced to a five-year prison term under<br />

charges <strong>of</strong> witchcraft. The charges arose when a mentally<br />

ill woman voluntarily reached out to a church, seeking<br />

assistance. The Christians in the church prayed for healing<br />

for the woman which was the basis for the witchcraft<br />

charge. This is just one <strong>of</strong> several instances <strong>of</strong> Christians<br />

being persecuted by the law in Nepal, many <strong>of</strong> which were<br />

due to Nepal’s new anti-evangelism laws.<br />

Although Nepal is technically a secular nation, the<br />

country is plagued with religious restrictions and Christian<br />

persecution continues to grow, partially due to rising<br />

Hindu nationalism.<br />

Boy Beaten for<br />

Drinking Water<br />

from Mosque<br />

Fountain<br />

6 | PAKISTAN<br />

An online video<br />

recently surfaced<br />

<strong>of</strong> a Christian boy<br />

in Pakistan being<br />

beaten in public for<br />

drinking water from<br />

a fountain in a public<br />

facility within a local<br />

mosque. The boy<br />

cried out in pain as<br />

he was beaten with<br />

sticks by a group <strong>of</strong><br />

Muslim men.<br />

This case is<br />

representative <strong>of</strong><br />

countless incidents<br />

where Christians in<br />

Pakistan are treated<br />

as second-class citizens<br />

by the Muslim<br />

majority.<br />

Jakarta Governor Tried for Blasphemy<br />

7 | INDONESIA In December 2016, the trial began<br />

for the Christian governor <strong>of</strong> Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja<br />

Purnama, commonly referred to as “Ahok,” who is on<br />

trial for blasphemy. Ahok initially received backlash<br />

following a speech he delivered, commenting that rival<br />

politicians were misusing the Quran to their political<br />

advantage. In response to the alleged blasphemy, many<br />

Muslims gathered in the streets in protest, with some<br />

calling for legal action and others calling for violence.<br />

Ahok has spoken out to defend himself, saying that it<br />

was never his intention to insult Islam, but rather to<br />

prevent an unfair election by informing Muslim voters<br />

that it was permissible for them to cast a ballot for a non-<br />

Muslim candidate.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN<br />

4


News<br />

1<br />

4<br />

3<br />

5<br />

2<br />

6<br />

Massachusetts Pastor Faces Possible<br />

Fine for Overseas Comments on<br />

Homosexuality<br />

1 | UNITED STATES Pastor Scott Lively <strong>of</strong> Springfield,<br />

Massachusetts, is being sued by a Ugandan LGBT rights<br />

group, Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), for comments<br />

that he allegedly made while in their country against<br />

homosexual behavior.<br />

The group alleges that Lively’s speech amounts to<br />

crimes against humanity, asserting that his public remarks<br />

led to violence and discrimination against Uganda’s<br />

LGBT community. They also allege that Lively “conspired”<br />

to persecute LGBT Ugandans.<br />

Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman <strong>of</strong> Liberty Counsel,<br />

a non-pr<strong>of</strong>it that is representing Lively, says <strong>of</strong> the case,<br />

“After 100 hours <strong>of</strong> depositions and 40,000 pages <strong>of</strong> documents,<br />

SMUG has no evidence whatsoever connecting<br />

Lively to any act <strong>of</strong> so-called ‘persecution.’ SMUG has<br />

always claimed it was not trying to hold Lively liable for<br />

his speaking and writing. Yet the more SMUG writes,<br />

the more obvious it becomes that SMUG wants to punish<br />

Lively for his beliefs. This is clearly a vendetta against<br />

Lively for speaking<br />

about homosexuality<br />

and God’s design for<br />

the family in Uganda.”<br />

Liberty Counsel<br />

filed a brief to oppose<br />

this lawsuit in district<br />

court in December <strong>of</strong><br />

2016.<br />

The Alien Tort<br />

Statute states that non-<br />

US citizens can bring<br />

suit in US courts for<br />

violations <strong>of</strong> US laws<br />

overseas. This is the<br />

first time that a suit<br />

has been brought<br />

under the Alien Tort<br />

Statute for persecution<br />

on the basis <strong>of</strong> sexuality.<br />

If found guilty,<br />

the legal implications<br />

could result in a precedent<br />

<strong>of</strong> prosecuting<br />

American citizens who<br />

are outspoken about<br />

their beliefs overseas<br />

if opposing entities file<br />

suit.<br />

Although this case<br />

is treading new ground<br />

in its prosecution <strong>of</strong><br />

US citizens overseas,<br />

it is part <strong>of</strong> an ongoing<br />

trend which discriminates<br />

against religious<br />

leaders and business<br />

owners who speak<br />

openly about certain<br />

subjects in a way<br />

that conflicts with the<br />

mainstream media.<br />

Police Offensive<br />

Against Civil<br />

Rights Lawyers<br />

Continues<br />

China Admits to Detaining Activist<br />

2 | CHINA Weeks after Jiang Tianyong mysteriously<br />

went missing, the Chinese government has finally<br />

admitted that they are responsible for his disappearance.<br />

Although it is required by law that authorities<br />

notify the family within 24 hours when someone is<br />

detained, at the time <strong>of</strong> writing, Jiang’s family has still<br />

yet to receive contact, despite the government’s claims<br />

that they issued two notices. Rather, a state media<br />

report confirmed his detention.<br />

According to the report, Jiang is being held on<br />

charges <strong>of</strong> “illegally possessing documents classified<br />

as state secrets” and “illegally disseminating state<br />

secrets to overseas [sources].” However, Jiang’s wife<br />

believes that the charges are unfounded and that her<br />

husband was likely tortured into a confession.<br />

Jiang is a widely known human rights advocate<br />

in China who has worked alongside many notable<br />

figures in the field <strong>of</strong> human rights. Due to Jiang’s<br />

participation in several high-pr<strong>of</strong>ile cases, Jiang lost<br />

the right to openly practice law nearly a decade ago.<br />

However, not one to be easily deterred, Jiang continued<br />

in his efforts to shed light on China’s abuses by<br />

providing legal counsel to victims <strong>of</strong> human rights<br />

violations.<br />

This is not the first time that Jiang has disappeared<br />

on account <strong>of</strong> the Chinese government. He has been<br />

detained at least three times, in 2011, 2012 and 2014,<br />

because <strong>of</strong> his role in exposing the Chinese government.<br />

5 PERSECU ION.org<br />

MARCH <strong>2017</strong><br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN


Mother <strong>of</strong> Former Islamic Leader Attacked for Converting<br />

3 | UGANDA On December 8, Muslim relatives <strong>of</strong> a former Islamic sheikh attacked his 60-year-old mother for converting to Christianity. The<br />

former sheikh, Malik Higenyi, publicly proclaimed his conversion to the Christian faith last year, and was beaten unconscious by disapproving<br />

relatives and expelled from his village shortly thereafter. Later, when his mother went to visit her son as he recovered from his injuries, she also<br />

received Christ after listening to his testimony. Unfortunately, she was met with similar consequences and received both a head injury and a broken<br />

hand during her attack. While Muslims and Christians generally live in peace in Uganda, Christians sometimes face violence or isolation when<br />

they leave Islam in Muslim-majority communities.<br />

Youssef Lamei (right) operated his shop in Alexandria, Egypt,<br />

for decades and was known throughout the local community.<br />

Christian Shopkeeper Murdered in Egypt<br />

4 | EGYPT On January 2, Youssef Lamei, a Christian shopkeeper, was<br />

brutally murdered by an Islamic radical outside <strong>of</strong> his own shop in the<br />

bustling Montazah District <strong>of</strong> Alexandria, Egypt.<br />

Youssef was known to be both peaceful and accommodating<br />

to local Muslims by closing down his shop during the month <strong>of</strong><br />

Ramadan and the five daily Muslim prayers. However, this did not<br />

prevent his attacker from yelling out “Allahu Akbar” (“God is great”)<br />

and slitting his throat while Youssef’s son was inside the shop.<br />

The man responsible for the attack was arrested and taken into<br />

police custody two days later.<br />

A nurse treats one <strong>of</strong> the many Christians injured by Hindu<br />

radicals who attacked believers during Christmas celebrations.<br />

Christians Attacked Celebrating Christmas<br />

5 | INDIA In the weeks leading up to Christmas, two separate groups<br />

<strong>of</strong> Christians were attacked by suspected Hindu radicals while celebrating<br />

the holiday. During the first attack, 30 Christians were gathered<br />

in a home, singing Christmas carols, when radicals stormed into the<br />

home and began beating them. Furthermore, the attackers accused the<br />

Christians <strong>of</strong> forcing conversions during their celebrations. In a similar<br />

attack, 20 Christians in another village were ambushed by radicals<br />

who began beating them with wooden clubs. Several <strong>of</strong> the Christians<br />

involved in the attacks were forced to go to the hospital as a result <strong>of</strong><br />

their injuries.<br />

Two Injured in Philippines Church Bombing<br />

6 | PHILIPPINES On November 27, an improvised explosive device (IED)<br />

detonated at the entrance <strong>of</strong> Our Lady <strong>of</strong> Hope Church in the Philippines as<br />

congregants were leaving after Sunday mass. The IED was triggered remotely<br />

through a cellphone detonator. The service during which the attack took place<br />

was the first Sunday <strong>of</strong> the Advent celebration.<br />

Much <strong>of</strong> the explosion was deflected by a car which happened to be parked<br />

in front <strong>of</strong> the church at the time, undoubtedly saving many churchgoers from<br />

injury. However, even with the protection provided by the parked car, two<br />

people were injured during the attack and were taken to a local hospital.<br />

Although the Philippines is relatively peaceful on the global scale <strong>of</strong> persecution,<br />

this act <strong>of</strong> terrorism is cause for concern for the local Christian community.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN<br />

An IED explosion during a Sunday mass in the<br />

Philippines raises concerns for Christians.<br />

6


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

Displaced Iraqi<br />

Christian Opens<br />

Copy Shop<br />

Community Rebuild<br />

A<br />

fter ISIS attacked Qeraqosh in<br />

2014, militants forced thousands <strong>of</strong><br />

Christians to flee. Many are still struggling<br />

to survive, as they have been unable to find<br />

work. ICC has assisted numerous families<br />

by starting small businesses, allowing them<br />

to achieve a sustainable income to provide<br />

for themselves and their families.<br />

Samer lives with his wife, 18-year-old<br />

daughter, and 16-year-old son. They fled<br />

Qeraqosh in June 2014 when ISIS attacked<br />

for the first time. They returned to Qeraqosh<br />

after three days and stayed there from June<br />

until August, living in constant fear. Life<br />

was very difficult for the family. They had<br />

to sleep on the house’s ro<strong>of</strong>top because there<br />

was no electricity, and water was limited<br />

until the community dug wells.<br />

On August 6, 2014, the family fled from<br />

Qeraqosh for the final time to Akre in the<br />

Kurdistan region. They stayed in a church<br />

hall for a year before moving to Erbil, Iraq.<br />

In the year since moving to Erbil, Samer has<br />

been unable to find a sustainable source <strong>of</strong><br />

income. ICC funded a micr<strong>of</strong>inance project<br />

to help Samer establish a copy business that<br />

he can operate outside <strong>of</strong> a local library.<br />

Samer’s son accompanied his father and<br />

ICC to purchase the equipment because he<br />

is very familiar with technology. They carefully<br />

found the lowest prices and were able<br />

to purchase the supplies in one day. Supplies<br />

included a laminator, camera, laptop, photocopiers,<br />

a color printer, generator, and extra<br />

batteries.<br />

The shop will help Samer support his family<br />

and send his children to school.<br />

Many displaced Christians in Iraq desire<br />

to return home, but continued fighting<br />

between the government and ISIS has<br />

restricted their movement home. Even if<br />

they are able to return home, the destruction<br />

will be catastrophic. ICC continues searching<br />

for ways to support Iraqi Christians<br />

upon their return.<br />

7 PERSECU ION.org<br />

MARCH <strong>2017</strong><br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN


Beds for Korean<br />

Students<br />

Suffering Wives & Children<br />

J<br />

angdaehyun School is a Christian boarding<br />

school for North Korean (NK) defector<br />

students and South Korean students who are<br />

interested in the reunification <strong>of</strong> Korea. The<br />

students had been using old bunk beds that<br />

were donated by a former school principal.<br />

They had been experiencing difficulty sleeping<br />

on the worn down beds.<br />

When ICC heard about the needs <strong>of</strong><br />

these students, we immediately took action<br />

by donating 12 bunk beds to the school.<br />

These beds were purchased and delivered in<br />

September 2016. All <strong>of</strong> the students excitedly<br />

helped to set them up.<br />

Many <strong>of</strong> these students come from broken<br />

families and have had traumatic experiences<br />

while escaping from North Korea. However,<br />

with the assistance <strong>of</strong> the boarding school<br />

and the donation from ICC, the students can<br />

enjoy more comfortable living conditions in a<br />

Christian environment.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN<br />

More Radios for<br />

Fulani Victims<br />

Community Rebuilding<br />

I<br />

n the last few years, several rural communities<br />

along the Jos Plateau in Nigeria have<br />

been brutally attacked by Fulani terrorists.<br />

Most <strong>of</strong> these attacks take place late at night in<br />

Christian communities, which usually results<br />

in the destruction <strong>of</strong> the victims’ property and<br />

the killing <strong>of</strong> their Christian family members.<br />

ICC was made aware <strong>of</strong> these incidents and a<br />

local representative was sent to investigate the<br />

situation and provide assistance. In mid-2016,<br />

20 sets <strong>of</strong> Ba<strong>of</strong>eng walkie-talkie radios were<br />

purchased in the US and shipped to Nigeria and<br />

were then delivered to the villagers. The radios<br />

were so effective, ICC purchased a second<br />

round for additional communities.<br />

A radio training session was given to the representatives<br />

<strong>of</strong> each village on how to operate<br />

the radios which was followed by a trial run.<br />

The Christian villagers are now able to<br />

notify and warn each other <strong>of</strong> any approaching<br />

terrorist threats.<br />

Small Business<br />

for Survivors<br />

Suffering Wives & Children<br />

O<br />

n <strong>March</strong> 27, 2016, a suicide bomber<br />

attacked Gulshan e-Iqbal Park in<br />

Lahore, Pakistan. The bomber detonated a few<br />

meters away from one <strong>of</strong> the busiest sections<br />

<strong>of</strong> the park, the children’s swings. That day,<br />

many Christian families were gathered at the<br />

park to celebrate Easter. The explosion killed<br />

21 Christians and seriously injured another 45.<br />

Many families still struggle to survive, having<br />

lost their breadwinner to either death or injury.<br />

In April, ICC provided short-term aid to<br />

41 bombing victims, including food packages,<br />

transportation money for travel to and<br />

from the hospital, and a year <strong>of</strong> schooling for<br />

children who lost siblings in the explosion.<br />

Several families, however, needed longerterm<br />

assistance. ICC recently purchased autorickshaws<br />

for four families and shop supplies<br />

for another family. Despite the debilitating<br />

injuries, these Christian families now have a<br />

stable source <strong>of</strong> income for the future.<br />

8


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

New Textile<br />

Business Helps<br />

Vietnamese<br />

Refugees in<br />

Thailand<br />

Hand <strong>of</strong> Hope<br />

V<br />

ietnamese Christians face incarceration,<br />

torture, and execution in their<br />

land because <strong>of</strong> their religion; thus, they are<br />

forced to flee and seek asylum in neighboring<br />

countries so that they can freely practice<br />

their religion. However, these same Christian<br />

refugees seeking asylum in Thailand also<br />

experience discrimination from the Royal<br />

Thai Government, especially in Bangkok,<br />

Thailand. Even though these victims are recognized<br />

as refugees by the United Nations<br />

High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR),<br />

they are seen and treated as illegal immigrants<br />

as they are denied the ability to work and sent<br />

to prison if they do find work. This situation<br />

has made it difficult for persecuted Christians<br />

in the area to live since they are not able to<br />

return home because <strong>of</strong> their religion and they<br />

are not being allowed to support their families<br />

in a new country.<br />

ICC was made aware <strong>of</strong> the situation these<br />

Hmong refugees were facing as foreigners<br />

and persecuted Christians, and decided to support<br />

these vulnerable families by empowering<br />

their women. ICC partnered with Boat People<br />

SOS (BPSOS) and a project was developed to<br />

help the refugees earn a stable income without<br />

the fear <strong>of</strong> being threatened, persecuted,<br />

or incarcerated. As a result, a group <strong>of</strong> 15<br />

Hmong Christian women are now able to use<br />

their artistic sewing skills to develop products<br />

that they can sell to the public, giving them<br />

the ability to provide for their families in an<br />

otherwise difficult situation.<br />

This project entailed the purchase <strong>of</strong> sewing<br />

machines for each <strong>of</strong> the registered women,<br />

the purchase <strong>of</strong> raw materials, the rent for a<br />

safe space for them to work, and the transportation<br />

<strong>of</strong> the finished goods to their corresponding<br />

selling locations. In addition to the<br />

goods purchased and produced, the women<br />

also received training on how to use the<br />

equipment, how to sell the goods, and the<br />

logistics <strong>of</strong> their production. Currently, these<br />

women are making and selling T-shirts with<br />

embroidered pocket designs, canvas bags with<br />

handmade designs, pillows, notebooks with<br />

henna designs, and Christmas decorations.<br />

Furthermore, all pr<strong>of</strong>its from the sales <strong>of</strong> these<br />

handmade products go back to benefit the<br />

women, which helps them to generate income<br />

and strengthen their self-worth as Christian<br />

women who are able to contribute to the<br />

financial support <strong>of</strong> their families.<br />

ICC’s partners have witnessed great success<br />

in the implementation <strong>of</strong> this project and<br />

they expect to have more Hmong Christian<br />

women registered into the program in the<br />

coming months. ICC hopes to contribute and<br />

help more Hmong families in the upcoming<br />

projects as well because these Christian victims<br />

are seeking freedom and protection in a<br />

foreign land where they have found hostility<br />

instead.<br />

This type <strong>of</strong> support and empowerment can<br />

only be accomplished through God’s provision<br />

by allowing donors to contribute to such<br />

causes that impact the persecuted Christian<br />

community. Persecuted Christians are continually<br />

encouraged and strengthened through<br />

our prayers and generosity.<br />

9 PERSECU ION.org<br />

MARCH <strong>2017</strong><br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

Food Aid to Joy in Jesus Church<br />

Community Rebuild<br />

O<br />

n <strong>March</strong> 23, 2014, three gunmen covering their faces in balaclavas (face masks) attacked<br />

Joy in Jesus Church in Likoni, Mombasa. At least seven were killed and several others<br />

were injured. Although the perpetrators were never linked directly with any <strong>of</strong> the known terrorist<br />

groups in the area, they were carrying AK-47 rifles and pistols like members <strong>of</strong> al-Shabaab.<br />

When ICC learned about the incident, we immediately responded by sending a local representative<br />

to investigate the situation and provide assistance to the victims. We then purchased<br />

several food packages and delivered them to six families that were directly affected by the<br />

attack. Additionally, each family was interviewed and medical reports were collected in order to<br />

discover any other struggles that these victims were facing.<br />

Thanks to generous donors, ICC was able to respond and serve these brothers and sisters in<br />

Christ during a vulnerable time. These victims were able to see God’s hand and provision to<br />

remind them that although they may be persecuted, they are not forgotten. ICC continues to<br />

communicate with the victims <strong>of</strong> this church and is actively looking for ways to serve them and<br />

other persecuted Christians in the community.<br />

Providing Relief for Yazidi IDPs<br />

Community Rebuild<br />

I<br />

SIS militants have victimized many Christians and other religious minorities across Iraq.<br />

Among those communities, Yazidis are the most severely targeted by ISIS. The systematic<br />

attacks against Yazidis are so serious that the United Nations declared ISIS’s actions against this<br />

community a genocide in August 2016. Considered pagans by ISIS’s followers, most Yazidi<br />

men caught by ISIS are immediately executed. ISIS fighters also take Yazidi women and girls<br />

as prizes <strong>of</strong> war, rape them, and force them into sexual slavery.<br />

As a result <strong>of</strong> ISIS attacks, thousands <strong>of</strong> Yazidis have become internally displaced persons<br />

(IDPs) and relocated to makeshift IDP camps. In recognition <strong>of</strong> their suffering, ICC partnered<br />

with Joint Help for Kurdistan (JHK) to provide 70 relief parcels to the JHK camps.<br />

JHK representatives used ICC’s funds to purchase relief packages containing necessities such<br />

as powdered detergent, shampoo, soap, salt, sugar, oil, rice, and tea. JHK representatives also<br />

brought sweets to share with the children who, in spite <strong>of</strong> the trauma, fought for the camera’s<br />

attention to sing their favorite songs, play games, and embrace the volunteers.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN<br />

Attacked Pastors Receive Bibles<br />

Bibles to the Persecuted<br />

I<br />

n the Jhabua District <strong>of</strong> Madhya Pradesh, India, pastors experience extreme persecution in<br />

the form <strong>of</strong> beatings, vandalism, and the destruction <strong>of</strong> Christian literature, especially Bibles.<br />

Because the pastors <strong>of</strong>ten live in poverty, they cannot afford to purchase replacements. Without<br />

Bibles, it proves difficult for the pastors to continue with evangelism and discipleship. As more<br />

and more villagers are becoming Christians, pastors need the appropriate tools to help new<br />

believers develop their faith.<br />

ICC interviewed eight pastors in the Jhabua District to see how they could best serve them<br />

and further their ministry. They overwhelmingly stressed the importance <strong>of</strong> the replacement <strong>of</strong><br />

Christian literature, especially Bibles, in Hindi. ICC worked with the Bible Society <strong>of</strong> India to<br />

determine the appropriate translation for the pastors and then purchased 240 Bibles. The Bibles<br />

were distributed among the eight pastors who have since given them to Christian families<br />

throughout their villages.<br />

Radical Hindu groups will always be a threat for Christians, but these Bibles encourage them<br />

to remain faithful through persecution.<br />

10


You Can Help Today!<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />

INTERNATIONAL CHRISTIAN CONCERN<br />

SEND DONATIONS TO:<br />

ICC<br />

PO BOX 8056<br />

SILVER SPRING, MD 20907<br />

OR ONLINE AT<br />

WWW.PERSECUTION.ORG<br />

OR BY PHONE<br />

800-ICC-5441<br />

GIVING TO ICC VIA<br />

YOUR WILL<br />

Provide now for a future gift to ICC<br />

by including a bequest provision in<br />

your will or revocable trust. If you<br />

would like more information on giving<br />

to ICC in this way, please give<br />

us a call at 1-800-ICC-5441.<br />

Kot Radha Kishan has become<br />

infamous in Pakistan as the scene <strong>of</strong><br />

one <strong>of</strong> the country’s most brutal and<br />

shocking instances <strong>of</strong> persecution<br />

— a couple beaten and burned alive<br />

at the city’s brick kiln by a mob <strong>of</strong><br />

thousands.<br />

© Copyright <strong>2017</strong> ICC, Washington, D.C., USA.<br />

All rights reserved. Permission to reproduce all<br />

or part <strong>of</strong> this publication is granted provided<br />

attribution is given to ICC as the source.<br />

International Christian Concern (ICC) is a nonpr<strong>of</strong>it 501(c)(3) (all donations tax-deductible).<br />

ICC makes every effort to honor donor wishes in regards to gifts. Occasionally, situations<br />

arise where a project is no longer viable. ICC will then redirect those donated funds to the<br />

fund most similar to the donor’s original wishes. ICC uses 7.5 percent <strong>of</strong> each restricted<br />

donation to carry out the mission <strong>of</strong> its segregated funds.<br />

facebook.com/persecuted<br />

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