March 2017 Persecution Magazine (1 of 5)

You also want an ePaper? Increase the reach of your titles

YUMPU automatically turns print PDFs into web optimized ePapers that Google loves.


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


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 />



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 />


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 />



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 />


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 />


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

Philippines raises concerns for Christians.<br />


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 />


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 />


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 />


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 />


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 />


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 />


You Can Help Today!<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



ICC<br />

PO BOX 8056<br />

SILVER SPRING, MD 20907<br />




800-ICC-5441<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 />


Hooray! Your file is uploaded and ready to be published.

Saved successfully!

Ooh no, something went wrong!