September 2017 Persecution Magazine

Create successful ePaper yourself

Turn your PDF publications into a flip-book with our unique Google optimized e-Paper software.


SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


ICC’S<br />


<strong>2017</strong>: NORTH KOREA<br />

Bridge Speakers:<br />

• Rick Warren<br />

• Francis Chan<br />

• Johnnie Moore<br />

• Hyeonseo Lee<br />

• Joseph Kim<br />

• Senator James Lankford<br />

• Congressman Ed Royce<br />

• Congressman Chris Smith<br />

• And More!<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Table of Contents<br />

In This Issue:<br />


18 | ICC’s Policy Day<br />

ICC’s Policy Day provides hope and<br />

possible solutions to address the suffering<br />

of Christians in North Korea.<br />


22 | The Bridge: Rick Warren<br />

Rick Warren (Saddleback Church)<br />

offers insight and wisdom on persecution,<br />

challenging the Western Church to<br />

stand up boldly for the Christian faith.<br />


24 | The Bridge: Francis Chan<br />

Francis Chan spoke at the Bridge <strong>2017</strong><br />

and challenged the audience to share in<br />

the suffering of others.<br />


26 | A Revived Bride<br />

God wants to give His heart for<br />

persecuted believers to the Western<br />

Church—but to do that, God must first<br />

have the heart of the Western Church.<br />


32 | Unity in the Face of Global<br />

<strong>Persecution</strong><br />

At ICC’s <strong>2017</strong> Bridge Conference,<br />

leaders of four of the world’s largest<br />

persecution ministries gathered<br />

together to share unique insight into<br />

aiding the persecuted.<br />

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma<br />

21<br />

Regular Features<br />

3 Letter from the President<br />

A few words from ICC’s president, Jeff<br />

King, on The Bridge and why it was<br />

focused on North Korea.<br />

4 World News<br />

A snapshot of the persecution that<br />

impacts our brothers and sisters daily, in<br />

every corner of the world.<br />

8 Your Dollars at Work<br />

Learn how your gifts are providing<br />

comfort, relief, Bibles, education and<br />

vocational training to the persecuted.<br />

12 West Watch<br />

Faith under threat in the Western world.<br />

Pastor Rick Warren<br />

Pastor Francis Chan<br />

23<br />

25 Partners & Projects 31<br />

2 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


President’s Letter<br />

“We are now close to the end of the struggle, walk in faith, so that when you<br />

have finally entered into Heaven, we may greet one another. I leave you my<br />

kiss of love.”<br />

Andrew Kim Taegŏn (1861), the first Korean Catholic priest, writes to<br />

his congregation just before being martyred.<br />

Catholics first arrived in Korea in the late 1700s and suffered 100 years of<br />

brutal persecution. Protestant missionaries started coming in the late 1800s,<br />

and from 1905-1910, the Holy Spirit descended on Korea and tens of thousands<br />

of Koreans came to Christ each year. So many Koreans converted that<br />

Pyongyang, the (now) capital of North Korea, became known as the Jerusalem<br />

of the East.<br />

Jeff King, President<br />

International Christian Concern<br />

The previous incidents of persecution were merely skirmishes, but in 1910, spiritual war broke out and Satan inspired the<br />

Japanese to invade. They stayed in Korea for 35 years in a brutal occupation. The Church suffered as Japan was ruled by a<br />

god-emperor who was to be bowed to. You can imagine how this went for the Christians.<br />

The Japanese were expelled at the end of WWII, but right away Satan turned Korea into a meat grinder with the invasion of<br />

the communists and the ensuing Korean War that resulted in the deaths of approximately 2.5 million lives. Saving his worst<br />

for last, Satan then brought the Kims to power and North Korea has been hell on earth ever since. The Kims have probably<br />

killed over 1 million Christians and another 2 million non-Christians (not counting the Korean war), many of them suffering<br />

demonic levels of torture and abuse. North Korea currently has 200,000 people in torture-death camps and 30-70 thousand<br />

of them are Christians.<br />

The Church has largely forgotten the dead and living victims of North Korea, with many seeing it as only a rogue state or<br />

geopolitical problem. Even the slice of the Church that is awake to persecution has largely given up on North Korea as the<br />

problem seems intractable.<br />

After interviewing defectors in 2016 and hearing their pain, I felt compelled to focus The Bridge <strong>2017</strong> on North Korea.<br />

Within this month’s edition of <strong>Persecution</strong>, you will see the outworking of that broken heart for North Korea.<br />

Using The Bridge, we seek to bring together government leaders, politicians, non-governmental organizations (NGOs),<br />

ministries, the persecuted, and the free Church to focus on one persecuted country or region. It’s not an ICC conference,<br />

but a gathering for all ministries to bridge the gulf of communication that exists between various sectors of humanity that<br />

work on persecution.<br />

In the end, we are seeking to build a bridge between the persecuted and those who need to hear their cries.<br />

Please join us as we bandage and build His persecuted Church. As always, your donations will be used efficiently, effectively,<br />

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 />

1<br />

2<br />

6<br />

3<br />

5<br />

4<br />

Cuban Pastor Sentenced to One Year<br />

of Heavy Labor and House Arrest<br />

1 | CUBA On July 7, <strong>2017</strong>, Ramon Rigal, pastor of<br />

Iglesia de Dios en Cristo, was issued a sentence of one<br />

year of heavy labor and house arrest for opting to homeschool<br />

his children. The pastor has openly voiced that<br />

he decided to homeschool his children primarily because<br />

of his Christian beliefs.<br />

According to a religious freedom activist and pastor<br />

named Mario F. Barroso, in sentences of heavy labor,<br />

the state chooses a location, such as a farm, where the<br />

accused is then forced to participate in demanding physical<br />

labor. While Rigal was initially handed a one-year<br />

prison sentence, the severity of his punishment was<br />

reduced during a recent appeal. The pastor noted that his<br />

legal counsel proved that he did not break any criminal<br />

laws, yet he was given a serious penalty nonetheless.<br />

Since Rigal’s arrest in February, many human rights<br />

activists and concerned Christians around the world<br />

have spoken out on his behalf. In May, protestors<br />

gathered outside of the Cuban Embassy in Washington<br />

D.C., while flashing signed that said, “Free the Rigals.”<br />

However, the protestors also addressed the overarching<br />

issue of the government’s repression of education in<br />

Cuba and its ban on homeschooling. Homeschooling<br />

poses a threat to this socialist society because it would<br />

allow families to teach their children about religion and<br />

other concepts that question the control of the regime.<br />

A protest pushing for the release of Pastor Rigal.<br />

Schools in<br />

Nigeria Remove<br />

Christian Study<br />

2 | NIGERIA In<br />

Nigeria, Christian<br />

Religious Knowledge<br />

has been removed<br />

from secondary<br />

schools as part of<br />

a new curriculum.<br />

In the new curriculum,<br />

students are<br />

now forced to study<br />

either Islamic Arabic<br />

Studies or French.<br />

However, according<br />

to the Christian<br />

Association of<br />

Nigeria (CAN), there<br />

are very few French<br />

teachers in secondary<br />

schools, leaving<br />

students without any<br />

other choice but to<br />

attend Islamic Arabic<br />

Studies, regardless<br />

of their own faith.<br />

In response, CAN<br />

protested the new<br />

policies outside of<br />

the Presidential Villa<br />

in Abuja in June.<br />

The group called<br />

for a return to the<br />

old curriculum and<br />

criticized the change<br />

as a step toward<br />

the Islamization of<br />

Nigeria.<br />

Iraq’s Prime Minister Declares<br />

Victory Over ISIS in Mosul<br />

3 | IRAQ After years of ISIS occupation, Iraq’s<br />

Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, announced in<br />

early July that Mosul had officially been liberated<br />

from ISIS. This victory came after more than three<br />

years of ISIS control, as the group first captured<br />

the city on June 10, 2014.<br />

This announcement has been long awaited<br />

by thousands of Christians who were driven<br />

from their homes in Mosul upon the entrance<br />

of ISIS years ago. In total, more than 100,000<br />

Christians were forced to flee from Mosul and<br />

the surrounding area and ended up in camps for<br />

internally displaced persons (IDPs) throughout<br />

Iraq. Those who chose to stay were given the<br />

choice of converting to Islam, paying a protection<br />

tax, or facing death. All 45 of the churches<br />

in Mosul were either destroyed or taken over by<br />

ISIS during the city’s occupation.<br />

While this is absolutely a cause for celebration,<br />

the fight is not yet over. Shortly after the prime<br />

minister’s announcement, a local television station<br />

reported that ISIS still occupied a neighborhood in<br />

Mosul and attacks have continued since the liberation.<br />

Let us remember to pray for this community<br />

as they begin to rebuild and restore.<br />

Mosul faces rebuilding after liberation from ISIS.<br />

4 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Chinese authorities tore down a church that was deemed an “illegal structure” and arrested and beat several church members. This is<br />

not an isolated incident, as the Chinese government continues a crackdown on Christianity in recent years.<br />

Chinese Authorities Destroy Church, Arrest 40<br />

4 | CHINA In May, government authorities demolished a church in<br />

Henan, China. Authorities claimed that the church building was an<br />

“illegal structure” and that the church did not pay a required “road<br />

usage fee.” In the midst of the demolition, 40 churchgoers were<br />

detained without formal arrests as they were trying to protect their<br />

church. Furthermore, several members of the church were beaten by<br />

authorities. Christians in China continue to suffer from restrictions on<br />

their religious freedom at the hands of the government.<br />

Christian Refugee Dies in Detention Center<br />

5 | THAILAND In late May, a Pakistani Christian refugee named Ijaz<br />

Tariq died in a detention center in Thailand. Although he reported<br />

chest pain, Tariq was not permitted to go to the hospital by immigration<br />

authorities. Within a matter of hours, he suffered a fatal heart<br />

attack and died in his cell. Pakistani refugees living in Thailand<br />

often face poor treatment from the government as they are treated<br />

as illegal immigrants and forced into detention centers which are<br />

widely criticized for their poor conditions.<br />

Gunmen Kill at Least 35 Coptic Christians in Egypt<br />

6 | EGYPT As part of an ongoing anti-Christian campaign of violence in Egypt,<br />

gunmen ambushed a caravan of Coptic Christians in late May. The two buses<br />

and two other vehicles were travelling to the Monastery of St. Samuel the<br />

Confessor, roughly 140 miles south of Cairo. Suddenly, a group of masked gunmen<br />

stormed the vehicles and opened fire on the passengers. In total, at least 35<br />

people died in the attack and more than 25 were wounded. Many of those who<br />

were killed or wounded were children. Sources told ICC that the precision and<br />

execution of the attack indicate that it was planned out well in advance.<br />

In recent months, there has been an increase in both the scale and<br />

severity of attacks on Coptic Christians in Egypt. In one instance, an<br />

ISIS affiliate promised to eliminate the Christian minority, claiming that<br />

they were the group’s “favorite prey.”<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Christians face continued attacks in Egypt.<br />


News<br />

1<br />

6<br />

5<br />

2 3<br />

4<br />

Christina was reunited with her family<br />

after three years with ISIS.<br />

Young Girl Reunited with Family after<br />

Three Years of ISIS Imprisonment<br />

1 | IRAQ In August 2014, a young girl named<br />

Christina was kidnapped by ISIS militants right out of<br />

her mother’s arms at the tender age of three. She was<br />

taken shortly after ISIS militants took over the primarily<br />

Christian town of Qeraqosh. As many Christian<br />

families fled the region, Christina’s family was forced<br />

to remain behind because her father is blind. Now,<br />

after nearly three years of captivity, Christina has been<br />

reunited with her family.<br />

However, years in ISIS captivity, especially at<br />

such a young age, does not come without scars.<br />

Upon the reunion, there was much celebration and<br />

dancing, but something seemed amiss. As Christina<br />

sat upon the shoulders of her dancing father, her<br />

face seemed to be struck with confusion and a<br />

feeling of being overwhelmed. Her mother reports<br />

that Christina forgot who her parents were, but<br />

that she is slowly learning to call them “mum” and<br />

“dad” again. Despite<br />

the trauma, the family<br />

expressed their<br />

immense joy over the<br />

return of their daughter<br />

and gratitude to<br />

all those who prayed<br />

for Christina’s return<br />

throughout the three<br />

years.<br />

According to witnesses,<br />

she seemed<br />

to be in good physical<br />

health, but it will<br />

be a long road to<br />

recovery to establish<br />

a new life with her<br />

family apart from the<br />

life she developed in<br />

captivity. Reports<br />

indicate that during<br />

her time away<br />

from her family, she<br />

lived with a Muslim<br />

family in the Tanak<br />

neighborhood of<br />

Mosul.<br />

Christian women<br />

and girls in the<br />

Middle East have<br />

long suffered from<br />

kidnapping and<br />

abuse.<br />

As ISIS begins to<br />

lose power in the<br />

region and some<br />

families experience<br />

the joy of restoration,<br />

let us not forget to<br />

pray for them as the<br />

road to recovery will<br />

surely be difficult.<br />

“The issue of ‘untouchability’<br />

has caused untold<br />

discrimination against<br />

Christians in Pakistan.”<br />

Christian Sewer Worker Dies After<br />

Doctor Refused to Touch Him<br />

2 | PAKISTAN A Christian sewer worker named Irfan<br />

Masih recently died in a Pakistan hospital after doctors<br />

refused to touch him. Masih was cleaning in a<br />

manhole for work when he inhaled poisonous fumes<br />

and fell unconscious. Although he was quickly taken<br />

to the hospital, the senior doctor denied Masih treatment<br />

because he was “fasting” and claimed that<br />

touching him would make him unclean.<br />

Masih’s brother, Pervaiz, reported that the doctor<br />

would not touch Irfan’s body until it was cleaned.<br />

Therefore, Pervaiz took it upon himself to clean his<br />

brother. Even still, the hospital only issued Masih<br />

an empty oxygen pump. If not for the preventable<br />

delays and the hospital’s negligence, Masih’s life<br />

could have been saved. Pervaiz has since stated that<br />

authorities promised to investigate the case, which<br />

is a glimmer of hope in a dark situation. While this<br />

will not bring his brother back, it will hopefully<br />

bring justice to this family as they grieve this unnecessary<br />

loss.<br />

The issue of “untouchability” has caused untold<br />

discrimination against Christians and other religious<br />

minorities in Pakistan. Those who are part<br />

of a minority religion are often viewed as social<br />

outcasts and relegated to the lowest rungs of society,<br />

forcing them to take menial labor positions,<br />

such as working in sewers. This mindset can lead<br />

to discrimination and violence alike.<br />

6 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


12-Year-Old Christian Girl Kidnapped in Bangladesh<br />

3 | BANGLADESH In late May, a 12-year-old Christian girl was kidnapped by a Muslim man nearly three times her age in Bangladesh. According<br />

to her family, even though they have visited the police station on multiple occasions, the authorities have done little to provide them with any<br />

assistance. The family even turned to local Islamic leaders to ask for assistance, who told the family that they would help, but have been unsuccessful<br />

thus far. In response to the young girl’s disappearance, a group of fellow students decided to stage a protest against her kidnapping.<br />

Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence. Christian children in Bangladesh are often kidnapped and taken to Islamic<br />

madrassas where they are forcibly converted to Islam.<br />

Kim Seung-mo arrested under spy charges for visiting family.<br />

North Korean Faces Spy Charges After Visiting<br />

Christian Relatives in China<br />

4 | NORTH KOREA A North Korean man named Kim Seung-mo was<br />

recently arrested after visiting Christian relatives in China. Seung-mo<br />

was aggressively detained and dragged around by authorities outside<br />

of a North Korean train station. One anonymous witness told Radio<br />

Free Asia that it was evident that Seung-mo had been handled violently<br />

because he had a black eye and cut lip. Due to the tight grip of control<br />

that the government holds, authorities require that travelers report the<br />

details of their trips. However, because he did not mention that his<br />

family members are churchgoers, Seung-mo is now facing spy charges.<br />

Al-Shabaab militants murdered one teacher and kidnapped others.<br />

Al-Shabaab Murders Teacher in Kenya<br />

5 | KENYA On May 31, suspected al-Shabaab militants stormed into<br />

Fafi Primary School in Kenya and fatally shot one of the Christian<br />

teachers. As they were about to shoot another Christian teacher,<br />

a Muslim teacher tried to defend his colleague. Unfortunately,<br />

the militants then kidnapped both of the teachers and took them<br />

to an unknown location. As it shares the border with Somalia,<br />

Christians living in northeastern Kenya often face violence at the<br />

hands of the Somalia-based group, al-Shabaab. The incident has<br />

increased fears among Christians in the community, who have<br />

since called out for greater government protection.<br />

Former Eritrean Church Leader Allowed to Attend Mass<br />

For First Time in Over a Decade<br />

6 | ERITREA In 2005, Abune Antonios, the leader of the Eritrean Orthodox<br />

Church, openly called for the release of political prisoners in Eritrea. In response,<br />

the Eritrean government then told Antonios to excommunicate 3,000 churchgoers<br />

who had voiced opposition against the government. This would effectively strip<br />

them of their right to worship as part of this body of believers. Antonios refused<br />

and, as a result, was removed from leadership and forcibly detained.<br />

Ten years later, at the age of 90, Antonios was able to attend mass for the<br />

first time in more than a decade. While it was a relief to see that Antonios is<br />

still living, unfortunately, he was quickly brought back to his place of detention<br />

afterwards, deflating hopes of a possible release. During the service, Antonios<br />

was not permitted to speak and was kept under careful control by authorities.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Abune Antonios.<br />


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

HR 390 to Aid<br />

Iraqi and Syrian<br />

Christians<br />

Where Most Needed<br />

On June 6, <strong>2017</strong>, HR 390, the Iraq<br />

and Syria Emergency Genocide Relief<br />

and Accountability Act, passed in the US<br />

House of Representatives by unanimous<br />

consent. As the name implies, the bill<br />

would provide essential aid to groups that<br />

have been targeted for genocide by ISIS.<br />

The passage of HR 390 has been a<br />

top priority for ICC. Over the past few<br />

months, ICC has held an event in support<br />

of this bill on Capitol Hill featuring<br />

congressional members and a pastor from<br />

Syria; held numerous meetings with congressional<br />

members and staff to promote<br />

funding and co-sponsorship of the bill;<br />

and led multiple letters urging congressional<br />

leadership to make this a priority.<br />

Following the passage of HR 390 in the<br />

House, the bill was sent to the Senate where<br />

it awaits approval. However, at the time of<br />

writing, the bill is currently stuck in the Senate<br />

Foreign Relations Committee. As a result,<br />

35 non-governmental organizations (NGOs)<br />

joined together to sign a letter, led by ICC, to<br />

Senate leadership urging them to prioritize the<br />

passage of HR 390.<br />

Additionally, ICC activated its grassroots<br />

network, asking supporters to call Senate<br />

leadership to encourage them to pass the<br />

bill. ICC was also given the opportunity by<br />

congressional allies to address a large group<br />

of religious freedom NGOs and government<br />

staff to update them on the bill’s progress<br />

and importance.<br />

This bill would ensure that the US takes<br />

greater action on behalf of persecuted religious<br />

minorities who have suffered gravely<br />

under ISIS. ICC continues to work with congressional<br />

staff to urgently pass this bill out<br />

of the Senate to the president’s desk so that<br />

Christians in Iraq and Syria can receive the<br />

help they desperately need and deserve. We<br />

ask for your continued support and prayers as<br />

we seek to harness the resources of the federal<br />

government to aid our Iraqi and Syrian brothers<br />

and sisters in Christ.<br />

Rep. Chris Smith at the HR 390 press briefing.<br />

8 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Medical and<br />

Clothing<br />

Assistance<br />

Hand of Hope<br />

Badri, an Indonesian Christian, was<br />

kicked out of his house seven years<br />

ago after his family discovered that he<br />

had converted to Christianity. His pastor<br />

has been supporting him by giving him a<br />

place to live and providing for his other<br />

needs like food, clothing, and personal<br />

care items. Unfortunately, Badri is starting<br />

to have vision and hearing problems, but<br />

his pastor cannot afford to take him to a<br />

specialist nor to buy him glasses.<br />

Thanks to our faithful donors, ICC has<br />

been able to take Badri to see a doctor<br />

to help him with his vision and hearing<br />

problems. We will be purchasing a pair of<br />

glasses, a hearing amplifier, and clothes<br />

that he can use for ministry.<br />

Once again, God proves that He takes<br />

care of the needs of His people.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Church<br />

Equipment in<br />

Indonesia<br />

Broadcasting the Gospel<br />

When a group of radical Muslims in<br />

Indonesia threatened Pastor Edwin for<br />

holding church services in his house, he was<br />

forced to stop services for a few weeks. The<br />

radicals demanded the church to be closed<br />

permanently, but many community leaders<br />

argued that the church had been there for over<br />

10 years and had never created any problems<br />

among them. After a period of time, Pastor<br />

Edwin was able to restart church services.<br />

We wanted to encourage the church so they<br />

can continue to spread the Gospel. We bought<br />

equipment that they desperately needed, but<br />

could not afford. They were overwhelmed!<br />

“I really thank ICC for...giving our church<br />

all these things,” said Pastor Edwin. “It’s<br />

really beyond our understanding on how the<br />

Lord could answer our prayer through ICC.<br />

Thank you ICC for this blessing!”<br />

Clothing<br />

Businesses for<br />

Arish Widows<br />

Suffering Wives & Children<br />

T<br />

hough Christians in El-Arish, Egypt, have<br />

faced an intense upsurge in persecution,<br />

they have no protection from an indifferent<br />

state. Three Christian women, Marina, Sofia,<br />

and Kasrin, were widowed when their husbands<br />

were shot in front of them by militants.<br />

Not only do they have to deal with overwhelming<br />

grief, but they are now forced to<br />

find a way to provide for their families.<br />

To help them support their families, ICC<br />

funded the start-up costs for a clothing business<br />

so they can sell clothes and earn a sustainable<br />

income. Marina conveyed her appreciation,<br />

saying, “Thank you ICC for making<br />

this project for me. It will help me to earn<br />

money to support my children. You are the<br />

only one who has stood with my children and<br />

me in this hard circumstances. We appreciate<br />

you helping us…”<br />


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

New Business<br />

for Persecuted<br />

Christian in<br />

Pakistan<br />

Community Rebuild<br />

Yasir Alvi, a Pakistani Christian, started his<br />

own business driving a car. Unfortunately,<br />

his Muslim colleagues did not like a Christian<br />

living a lifestyle comparable to Muslims.<br />

They kidnapped, tortured, and beat Yasir, and<br />

severely damaged his car.<br />

Yasir began to work as an assistant electrician,<br />

with hopes of owning his own business, renting<br />

speakers and microphones for weddings and<br />

other functions. ICC heard of Yasir’s struggles,<br />

and in late March, funded the start-up equipment<br />

for Yasir’s small business.<br />

Yasir and his family are very grateful.<br />

His wife told us, “I have met several people<br />

working in different NGOs…[but] I have<br />

never experienced such a wonderful…initiative<br />

for…victims. When Yasir lost his car and<br />

source of earning, it was almost end of life for<br />

us; however we had hope in Jesus and we are<br />

now happy and thankful to God and ICC.”<br />

Watch the CBN Interview at: www.goo.gl/<br />

www1.cbn.com/content/isis-defeated-christians-still-fa<br />

Following<br />

Mosul from<br />

Start to Finish<br />

Where Most Needed<br />

An essential segment of ICC’s mission<br />

is to spread awareness about persecution<br />

around the world. In doing so, ICC<br />

has formed close relationships with media<br />

outlets throughout the US and beyond. Due<br />

to our staff on the ground and relationships<br />

with indigenous partners, which both give us<br />

real-time updates, ICC has become a leading<br />

source for news related to persecution and<br />

other religious freedom issues.<br />

In July <strong>2017</strong>, all eyes were on Iraq as the<br />

Islamic State began to lose their grip on the<br />

vitally important city of Mosul. On July 8,<br />

ISIS was finally driven out of Mosul and the<br />

700 Club contacted ICC in reponse to our<br />

press release.<br />

In addition to discussing updates about life<br />

for Christians in Iraq, we were able to discuss<br />

our recent work in Iraq and our April trip to<br />

Iraq.<br />

Proverbs 31:8 reads, “Speak up for those<br />

who cannot speak for themselves, for the<br />

rights of all who are destitute.” ICC takes<br />

this command seriously and considers it a<br />

privilege to share the stories of the persecuted.<br />

10 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Your Dollar$ at Work<br />

Campaign Aids Sudanese Churches<br />

nkBfts or<br />

ce-uncertain-future-iraq<br />

Where Most Needed<br />

As previously reported, in <strong>September</strong><br />

2016, 27 churches in Sudan were notified<br />

that their church buildings were marked<br />

for demolition. At the time of writing, two<br />

have been demolished with others to follow<br />

if their appeals are denied.<br />

ICC launched an intensive grassroots campaign<br />

to save these churches. We activated<br />

our supporters, requesting that they email<br />

the Sudanese embassy to call for an end to<br />

the church demolitions. We also worked<br />

aggressively within Congress. On July 11,<br />

a bipartisan letter proposed by ICC was<br />

sent from the US House of Representatives<br />

to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson,<br />

requesting that he address this issue with<br />

the Sudanese government. The letter was<br />

signed by 12 members of Congress and sent<br />

to Sec. Tillerson one day prior to a possible<br />

State Department decision to evaluate<br />

current sanctions against Sudan. This was<br />

followed by meetings between ICC and the<br />

State Department to ensure that the US does<br />

not grant economic relief to Sudan while<br />

they continue to persecute their own people.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Iraqi citizens flee<br />

the battle of Mosul.<br />

Photo: Kainoa Little<br />


est<br />

atch<br />

Church Banned from Township by Arbitrary Zoning Decision<br />

hen Livingston Christian Schools<br />

W (LCS) outgrew its facility, LCS<br />

found a new home in Brighton Church of<br />

the Nazarene, centrally located in Genoa<br />

Township, Michigan. Unfortunately,<br />

despite the recommendations of the town’s<br />

planning commission and consultants who<br />

approved the school’s application, Genoa<br />

Township refused to give LCS a permit<br />

to operate its school at the church, effectively<br />

banning the school from operating<br />

in the town. The school sued the Township<br />

in federal court, but the federal district<br />

court ruled against LCS. The First Liberty<br />

Institute and attorneys from Covington &<br />

Burling, LLP, filed a brief appealing the<br />

district court’s decision to the US Court of<br />

Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Oral arguments<br />

were heard on April 26, <strong>2017</strong>. On<br />

June 2, <strong>2017</strong>, a three-judge panel of the<br />

Sixth Circuit upheld the Township’s denial<br />

of the permit. LCS is continuing to fight<br />

for the right to operate their school in the<br />

Genoa Township.<br />

Jackson County, Michigan, prayer case<br />

threatens 200-year-old precedent.<br />

County Government Sued<br />

over Prayer before Meetings<br />

Each month, the Board of Commissioners<br />

in Jackson County, Michigan has<br />

opened its proceedings with an invocation<br />

given by one of the county commissioners.<br />

In 2013, Jackson County was sued by a<br />

plaintiff who argued that these legislative<br />

prayers violated the US Constitution’s<br />

Establishment Clause. A federal district<br />

court ruled in favor of Jackson County.<br />

However, in February of this year, a<br />

three-judge panel of the US Court of<br />

Appeals for the Sixth Circuit overturned<br />

that decision, ruling that the invocations<br />

violated the Establishment Clause. On June<br />

14, <strong>2017</strong>, the Sixth Circuit reheard the case<br />

with all 15 judges participating. Their decision<br />

is pending at the time of writing.<br />

Since the founding of the US, governmental<br />

invocations and days of prayer and<br />

fasting have been common. This new challenge<br />

to these traditions threatens to seal off<br />

prayer from the public domain.<br />

Supreme Court to Hear Groundbreaking Religious Liberty Case<br />

After numerous cases challenging the<br />

right of Christians to operate their<br />

businesses in keeping with their religious<br />

beliefs, a new case has come forward<br />

which could set a groundbreaking precedent<br />

for decades to come. Masterpiece<br />

Cakeshop, located in Lakewood, Colorado,<br />

has served people of every background<br />

Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop.<br />

Moriah Bridges graduated from high<br />

school in Beaver, Pennsylvania this<br />

spring and was asked to give remarks at<br />

the graduation ceremony on June 2, <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

Bridges prepared her remarks, but was then<br />

forced to censor her comments of any religious<br />

material upon the direction of her school<br />

superintendent. He informed her that her<br />

remarks could not reference religious content<br />

and “most certainly may not recite a prayer<br />

that excludes other religions.” On June 13,<br />

<strong>2017</strong>, the First Liberty Institute sent a letter<br />

to the school district on Bridges’ behalf pointing<br />

out that her words were her own “private<br />

speech, not government speech,” and as such,<br />

since 1993; but in 2012, the owner, Jack<br />

Phillips, was asked by a same-sex couple<br />

to make a cake for their wedding. While<br />

he offered to sell them any other items<br />

from his store, he informed them that<br />

his Christian beliefs precluded him from<br />

using his artistic skills to make a cake<br />

that promoted ideas that violated his<br />

faith. The same-sex couple later sued<br />

Masterpiece Cakeshop and won. A judge<br />

then forced Phillips to bake the cake and<br />

undergo extensive “re-education” and<br />

compliance procedures.<br />

In July 2016, the Alliance Defending<br />

Freedom petitioned the United States<br />

Supreme Court to take up Phillips’ case.<br />

Thankfully, on June 26, <strong>2017</strong>, the Supreme<br />

Court granted review of the case and will<br />

hear oral arguments later in <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

High School Senior Prohibited from Using Religious Language in<br />

Graduation Remarks<br />

could not violate the Establishment Clause.<br />

Private religious student speech “is entitled to<br />

full First Amendment protection.” The school<br />

has not responded as of this writing.<br />

12 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


School Program for Low<br />

Income Students Attacked by<br />

Anti-Religious Activists<br />

I<br />

n 2011, Douglas County, Colorado created<br />

the Choice Scholarship Program<br />

to give low income students the chance to<br />

attend a private school that best suits their<br />

needs, even if that school is religious. In<br />

June 2011, the American Civil Liberties<br />

Union, Americans United for Separation<br />

of Church and State, and several other<br />

organizations sued to stop the scholarship<br />

program. The court ruled that the<br />

program violated the state constitution’s<br />

Blaine Amendment, an anti-religious provision<br />

adopted in the mid-19th century to<br />

discriminate against newly-arrived Catholic<br />

immigrants in the US.<br />

In April 2012, the Becket Fund for<br />

Religious Liberty filed an amicus brief in<br />

the Douglas County School District appeal,<br />

spotlighting the amendment’s unconstitutional<br />

treatment of children in religious<br />

schools who wish to be treated the same<br />

as that of students in secular schools. After<br />

years of battles in the court system, Douglas<br />

County appealed to the US Supreme Court.<br />

It is hoped that the recent win for religious<br />

liberty in the case of Trinity Lutheran Church<br />

of Columbia, Inc. v. Comer on June 27,<br />

<strong>2017</strong>, will set a precedent that will protect<br />

the Colorado Choice Scholarship Program.<br />

Thousands of Colorado students risk<br />

losing funds over a religious school<br />

voucher lawsuit.<br />

City Sued over WWII-Era<br />

Cross Monument<br />

I<br />

n<br />

Cross under fire in Pensacola, Florida.<br />

Pensacola, Florida’s historic Bayview<br />

Park, a large cross erected as a monument<br />

in 1941 has been a part of the scenery<br />

for generations without any complaints. In<br />

May 2016, four plaintiffs, represented by<br />

the Freedom From Religion Foundation and<br />

the American Humanist Association, filed<br />

a lawsuit to remove the cross. Two of the<br />

plaintiffs live in Canada; one has held his<br />

own ceremonies at the cross; another lives<br />

seven miles away from the park. But they<br />

all claim that seeing the cross offends them.<br />

Despite recognizing that the cross “is part of<br />

the rich history of Pensacola,” and that the<br />

cross “might well pass constitutional muster,”<br />

a federal court ruled that the cross has<br />

a “religious purpose” and must be removed.<br />

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty<br />

came to the city’s defense, arguing that religion<br />

is a fundamental aspect of human culture<br />

and history, and the constitution does<br />

not require the government to strip every<br />

religious symbol from public property. The<br />

case is now on appeal at the United States<br />

Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit,<br />

with a ruling expected in 2018.<br />

Christian Applicant to<br />

College Program Rejected<br />

for Mentioning his Faith<br />

D<br />

ustin<br />

Buxton applied to the Community<br />

College of Baltimore County’s<br />

(CCBC) Radiation Therapy Program for<br />

the 2013 and 2014 academic years. While<br />

his academic record exceeded the standards<br />

of a competitive candidate for both years, he<br />

was nonetheless denied admission.<br />

During an interview in 2013, Buxton<br />

was asked by the CCBC interview panel,<br />

“What do you base your morals on?” He<br />

replied, “My faith.” His faith was not mentioned<br />

again; yet, in a written review of his<br />

interview, the program director, Adrienne<br />

Dougherty, stated that Buxton had lost<br />

points because he “brought up religion a<br />

great deal during the interview. Yes, this is a<br />

field that involves death and dying; but religion<br />

cannot be brought up in the clinic by<br />

therapist or students.” After an initial loss<br />

at a lower court level, Buxton’s case is now<br />

before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals<br />

and is pending a ruling.<br />

Teacher Reprimanded for<br />

Offering to Pray for Her<br />

Colleague<br />

T<br />

oni<br />

Richardson is a teacher who<br />

works with special needs students at a<br />

high school in Augusta, Maine. In a private<br />

conversation, Richardson offered to pray<br />

for a coworker who was a Christian and<br />

fellow member of her church. A few weeks<br />

later, a school official ordered Richardson<br />

to never make “faith-based” statements on<br />

school grounds. Even phrases like, “that’s<br />

a blessing” violated the First Amendment,<br />

according to the school official. The school<br />

threatened Richardson with further disciplinary<br />

action, including possible termination,<br />

if she said anything considered<br />

“unprofessional” in the future, including<br />

using faith-based phrases.<br />

On May 16, <strong>2017</strong>, the First Liberty Institute<br />

and the Eaton Peabody law firm filed a complaint<br />

of religious discrimination and retaliation<br />

against the school district with the US<br />

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



THE<br />

BRIDGE <strong>2017</strong><br />

North Korea<br />

We gathered the Church, the persecuted, government leaders, ministries,<br />

and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on Capitol Hill and at<br />

Saddleback Church in Southern California to loose the chains of the<br />

persecuted in North Korea.<br />

By Jeff King, President of ICC<br />

Over a year ago, I sat and<br />

interviewed numerous<br />

defectors from<br />

North Korea, including<br />

Young Gwang Il.<br />

He wasn’t just a defector,<br />

but had also served<br />

time in its infamous<br />

prison camps.<br />

He told me of the different forms of torture<br />

he experienced and then spoke of how to<br />

this day he cannot fall asleep unless he has<br />

music blaring in his ears to suppress the terror<br />

that still imprisons him. Another defector<br />

recently testified before the UN about how<br />

camp guards tortured her repeatedly until<br />

she agreed to drown her baby with her own<br />

hands.<br />

Another defector testified about how he<br />

saw 13 of his cellmates die in his short<br />

stay at a camp. This is really the purpose<br />

of the worst camps. They are death camps<br />

like Auschwitz. They kill their victims a bit<br />

more slowly, and with starvation instead<br />

of gas, but make no mistake, the spirit of<br />

the Nazis is still here with us on earth even<br />

though politicians everywhere mouth the<br />

slogan “Never Again!”<br />

You may hear a lot about North Korea in<br />

the news, but the narrative usually centers<br />

around missiles and geopolitics.<br />

What’s lost are the voices of 30,000<br />

Christians and another 170,000 or more<br />

prisoners of its death camps.<br />

Even among the persecution movement,<br />

we tend to ignore North Korea because it<br />

has been so bad for so long.<br />

For this reason, we felt compelled to<br />

gather the Body together to expose the horror<br />

of North Korea and move the Body of<br />

Christ to send the Gospel in and to care for<br />

her defectors.<br />

Since you may not have been able to<br />

attend, we wanted you to see and understand<br />

the various pieces of The Bridge and<br />

invite you to come to next year’s Bridge,<br />

where we will work to build a bridge<br />

between the free and persecuted Church.<br />

Learn more about The Bridge and sign up<br />

to stay informed about next year’s conference at:<br />

www.thepersecutionconference.org<br />

14 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


“The Spirit of the Lord<br />

is on me<br />

to bring<br />

good news,<br />

to set the oppressed<br />

free,<br />

to proclaim freedom<br />

for the captives,<br />

and release from<br />

darkness for the<br />

prisoners.”<br />

Isaiah 61:1<br />

I have inscribed you on<br />

the palm of my hands.<br />

Your walls are<br />

ever before<br />

Me!<br />

Isaiah 49:16<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />






“In North Korea alone,<br />

estimates of 70,000<br />

Christians are languishing<br />

in dark prisons.”<br />


“God, I hate suffering,<br />

but I hate my pride even<br />

more.”<br />


“I believe God works<br />

through His believers. It<br />

is our duty to part the Red<br />

Sea for the North Koreans.”<br />


“We have to do a little bit<br />

more. We are obligated to.”<br />


“Those people in North<br />

Korea must somehow<br />

know that we know they<br />

are there.”<br />


“Unfortunately this<br />

isn’t just my story, but<br />

the story of millions in<br />

North Korea.”<br />


Senator Ted Cruz<br />

Senator James Lankford<br />


T. Kumar<br />


Bruce Klingner<br />



Dr. Mark Rutland<br />


Congressman Chris Smith<br />

Congressman Ed Royce<br />


Melanie Kirkpatrick<br />


Joshua Stanton<br />



Greg Scarlatoiu<br />


The <strong>2017</strong> Bridge featured a variety of speakers<br />

who brought different topics to the main stage.<br />

North Korean defectors, experts, US officials,<br />

church leadership, and many others joined us.<br />

The dedication and unity of our speakers was an<br />

invaluable aspect of The Bridge <strong>2017</strong>.<br />


To share expertise on the political and legal<br />

scene surrounding North Korea, the <strong>2017</strong> Bridge<br />

included a Policy Day in DC with numerous<br />

government experts.<br />

Their knowledge and experience brought the<br />

<strong>2017</strong> Bridge to new depths of understanding.<br />

16 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />




International Christian<br />

Concern<br />

Voice of the Martyrs<br />

North Korea<br />

Freedom Coalition<br />

Justice for North Korea<br />

Improving North Korean<br />

Human Rights Center<br />

Open Doors USA<br />

Christian Solidarity<br />

Worldwide<br />

Liberty North Korea<br />

Crossing Borders<br />

Free North Korea Radio<br />

The JESUS Film<br />

Saddleback Church<br />

Bethel English Church<br />

Young Nak<br />

Celebration<br />

Grace Korean Church<br />

Crossway<br />

Community<br />

We Are Church<br />

Revival Church<br />

King of the Nations<br />


Our partners across the country and the world<br />

joined us this year to share their work and hope<br />

for the people of North Korea. They brought reallife<br />

experience and knowledge to The Bridge.<br />

Bridge attendees were given special insight to the<br />

work happening on the ground in North Korea.<br />


The Bridge brought together church leaders and<br />

communities from across America. A united<br />

American Church is the first step to a united<br />

global Church.<br />

Our spiritual leaders are awakening a revival<br />

that will soon reach North Korea.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



Feature Article<br />

ICC’s Policy Day Provides<br />

“It is worth remembering for<br />

everyone here that the light is<br />

stronger than the darkness, and<br />

truth is stronger than lies. And<br />

the work of the people here is<br />

speaking truth and singing light.”<br />


By Nate Lance<br />

““Let us not love with words or<br />

speech but with actions and in<br />

truth.” 1 John 3:18 (NIV)<br />

Action”<br />

a n d<br />

“truth”<br />

are two<br />

words<br />

n o t<br />

usually<br />

associated<br />

with<br />

Washington DC, but ICC brought<br />

both to Capitol Hill during The<br />

Bridge’s annual Policy Day: a<br />

one-day event in Washington DC<br />

assembling together senators,<br />

congressmen, and other policy<br />

leaders to discuss possible solutions<br />

to the humanitarian crisis<br />

that continues for Christians and<br />

others in North Korea.<br />

For a place once called the<br />

“Jerusalem of the East” because<br />

of its strong Christian faith, North<br />

Korea has become one of the<br />

world’s most egregious human<br />

rights and religious liberty violators.<br />

Although North Korea’s<br />

regime seems to be a problem<br />

without solution, ICC’s Policy<br />

Day speakers highlighted mul-<br />

18 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Feature Article<br />

Real Solutions<br />

tiple potential solutions to the<br />

“unsolvable” problem.<br />

Senators, Policy<br />

Experts, and<br />

Religious Leaders<br />

Tackle North Korea<br />

Speakers included elected<br />

leaders such as Senator Ted<br />

Cruz from Texas, Senator James<br />

Lankford from Oklahoma, Rep.<br />

Chris Smith from New Jersey, and<br />

Rep. Ed Royce from California,<br />

as well as policy experts and<br />

religious leaders such as Dr.<br />

Mark Rutland, speaker, author,<br />

and former president of multiple<br />

Christian universities.<br />

Senator Lankford summarized<br />

North Korea’s fear of<br />

Christianity when he stated, “The<br />

regime is terrified of the words in<br />

[the Bible], like these ones, ‘You<br />

shall love the Lord your God<br />

with all your heart, with all your<br />

soul, and with all your mind.<br />

This is the first and foremost<br />

commandment. The second is<br />

like it: you shall love your neighbor<br />

as yourself. On these two<br />

commandments rely the whole<br />

law and the prophets.’ The Kim<br />

regime is terrified of that statement:<br />

to love God and love your<br />

neighbor.”<br />

Senator Cruz echoed a similar<br />

sentiment: “It is worth remembering<br />

for everyone here that<br />

the light is stronger than the<br />

darkness, and truth is stronger<br />

than lies. And the work<br />

of the people here is speaking<br />

truth and singing light.” Senator<br />

Cruz continued by emphasizing<br />

that one of the most important<br />

things we can do as a country<br />

and as Christians who want to<br />

help our fellow brothers and<br />

sisters in Christ is to continue<br />

to speak out on their behalf.<br />

He ended his remarks by saying<br />

that he wants to encourage<br />

those seeking change in North<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Senator Ted Cruz of Texas speaks at ICC’s Policy Day.<br />

Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey speaks at ICC’s Policy Day.<br />

‘The North Korean regime fears<br />

Christianity because it offers a<br />

venue for the exchange of ideas. ’<br />


Korea “to keep on and double<br />

your efforts. To speak truth and<br />

change the world.”<br />

While both of these senators<br />

focused on the need to be outspoken<br />

against the lies of the North<br />

Korean regime, they also encouraged<br />

action by our federal government<br />

in supporting change.<br />

Senator Lankford explained that<br />

while there may be few actions<br />

that can be taken, the United<br />

States and our allies should do all<br />

that can be done to bring relief to<br />

the people of North Korea.<br />

Dr. Mark Rutland also made a<br />

call for action against the facilitators<br />

of North Korea’s violations<br />

against the rights of Christians<br />

and others. Rutland spoke about<br />

the need to continue to spread<br />

the truth and let its light be the<br />

catalyst for change. However,<br />

he also highlighted the need to<br />

put pressure on countries with<br />

diplomatic relations with North<br />

Korea, like China. The Chinese<br />

represent the vast majority of all<br />

trade with North Korea, making<br />

them responsible in part for<br />

Kim to continue his totalitarian<br />

regime, and a prime target for<br />

future economic sanctions.<br />

Following the keynote speeches,<br />

a panel of policy experts including<br />

Greg Scarlatoiu, Executive<br />

Director of the Committee for<br />

Human Rights in North Korea,<br />

Joshua Stanton, head of One<br />

Free Korea and Korean policy<br />

expert, and T. Kumar, Director for<br />

International Advocacy at Amnesty<br />

International, offered their views on<br />

the future of this crisis and policy<br />

proposals to address it.<br />

Greg Scarlatoiu explained that<br />

Christianity is a considerable<br />

threat to the North Korean regime.<br />

He stated that there are at least<br />

60,000 Christians in the country.<br />

He continued, “The North<br />

Korean regime fears Christianity<br />

because it offers a venue for the<br />

exchange of ideas. Remember,<br />

this regime has maintained its<br />


Feature Article<br />

Expert panel at the <strong>2017</strong> Bridge Policy Day.<br />

“As a human being you have to see<br />

this as a problem we need to address.”<br />


grip on power through information control,<br />

through an absolutely overwhelming level of<br />

coercion, surveillance, punishment…each and<br />

every person has to be an informer in Korea.”<br />

He went on to discuss that economic market<br />

forces and information from the outside<br />

world, as well as the underground church, are<br />

tremendous agents for change in North Korea<br />

and should continue to be supported by the<br />

US government.<br />

Joshua Stanton focused on the need for<br />

the existing sanctions on North Korea to<br />

be enforced to a much higher degree. He<br />

explained that the Trump administration<br />

should use the US dollar and sanctions to<br />

force China to decide between trading with<br />

North Korea and facilitating the evil regime,<br />

or continuing trade with the United States, a<br />

country they need to continue to be the economic<br />

powerhouse they have become.<br />

Stanton also noted that the North Korean<br />

government has not been listed as a terrorist<br />

organization. However, the actions of the<br />

regime have proven otherwise. They have<br />

sent assassins to kill human rights activists<br />

and dissidents, among other terrorist acts.<br />

Rounding out the panel, T. Kumar stated<br />

that North Korea is by far the most isolated<br />

country. He offered two possible solutions<br />

to addressing this humanitarian crisis: insert<br />

information from the outside world into North<br />

Korea and convince other countries to get<br />

involved. He explained that “as a human<br />

being you have to see this as a problem we<br />

need to address.”<br />

20 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Feature Article<br />

Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma speaks at ICC’s Policy Day.<br />

In addition to the inperson<br />

attendees at the<br />

event, over 30,000 viewers<br />

were able to participate<br />

through ICC’s livestream of<br />

Policy Day via Facebook.<br />

Additionally, the Policy<br />

Day received a variety of<br />

media coverage. Articles<br />

were written by The Blaze,<br />

Christianity Daily, The<br />

Christian Post, National<br />

Prayer Chapel, and Pakistan<br />

Christian Post. Other news<br />

outlets that attended the<br />

event in-person included<br />

Voice of America and<br />

Radio Free Asia. With<br />

this strong coverage, the<br />

message of The Bridge was<br />

spread far beyond those<br />

who attended in person.<br />

Facebook livestream of <strong>2017</strong> Bridge Policy Day.<br />

Practical Application on<br />

Capitol Hill<br />

These policy prescriptions from elected<br />

leaders and our panel of North Korea experts<br />

coordinated well with one of ICC’s main<br />

advocacy objectives of the Policy Day—to<br />

raise awareness and support for H.R. 2061<br />

and S. 1118, the North Korean Human Rights<br />

Reauthorization Act of <strong>2017</strong>. These bills in<br />

the House and Senate would: 1) promote<br />

international cooperation on North Korean<br />

human rights, 2) increase transparency in the<br />

provision of humanitarian assistance to the<br />

North Korean people, and 3) protect North<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Korean refugees.<br />

Policy Day attendees took part in advocating<br />

for these bills through our annual<br />

literature drop on Capitol Hill. Attendees<br />

who wished to participate visited more than<br />

400 offices, delivering literature on the North<br />

Korean Human Rights Reauthorization Act.<br />

The literature drop also focused on urging<br />

the Trump administration to appoint a new<br />

Special Envoy on North Korea. This envoy<br />

would seek to document human rights abuses,<br />

report to the State Department on their<br />

findings, and offer policy recommendations<br />

to improve conditions for Christians and others<br />

inside North Korea.<br />

Solving the Unsolvable<br />

Problem<br />

For a problem that seemed unsolvable to<br />

some before their attendance at the Policy<br />

Day, numerous solutions were discussed<br />

that could improve the lives of our brothers<br />

and sisters in Christ in North Korea.<br />

What was made clear throughout the event<br />

is that speaking the truth of God to the<br />

people of North Korea and the Kim regime<br />

holds tremendous power that could serve<br />

as a catalyst to bring about a return of the<br />

Jerusalem of the East.<br />


Rick Warren<br />

Challenges the Free Church<br />

at The Bridge <strong>2017</strong><br />

By Jorge Gomez<br />

Christians are the<br />

most persecuted<br />

group on the planet.<br />

Now that might be<br />

a surprise to most<br />

people because it is<br />

the most ignored,<br />

overlooked, and<br />

underreported news<br />

in the world,” noted<br />

Pastor Rick Warren, best-selling author and<br />

founder of Saddleback Church. “The source<br />

[of persecution] is Satan. We are in an unseen<br />

spiritual battle. It’s going on all around us.”<br />

Pastor Warren spoke on Christian persecution<br />

from a place of authority and experience<br />

at this year’s Bridge. Despite his famed<br />

accomplishments, he is known to be humble<br />

and gentle in spirit, all while maintaining an<br />

unwavering conviction to God’s Word. In<br />

2010, under Warren’s visionary leadership,<br />

Saddleback became the first local church<br />

to send a missionary to every nation in the<br />

world. His endeavor to reach the world with<br />

the Gospel is evidence of his commitment<br />

to empathize and care for the least and most<br />

vulnerable among us.<br />

Warren imparted a practical message to<br />

Bridge attendees of what it means to stand up<br />

for the Christian faith. In his characteristic<br />

fatherly tone, he explained the spiritual foundations<br />

associated with persecution. First, he<br />

reminded us that “opposition can make us<br />

more like Jesus.” When facing trial or persecution,<br />

we have to recognize that there is a<br />

more profound purpose in our suffering and<br />

pain. God’s transcendent plan is to transform<br />

us into the image of His perfect Son, Jesus<br />

Christ. In the midst of tribulation, it is easy<br />

to be distracted from this idea. But following<br />

Christ comes at a cost, at times the cost of<br />

knowing that we will be the enemies of the<br />

world, scorned and battered. Nevertheless,<br />

that is the same type of opposition and rejection<br />

that Christ faced, which will ultimately<br />

lead us to become more like Him.<br />

Secondly, when thinking of persecution,<br />

we may also be predisposed to interpret<br />

suffering and criticism as negative signs.<br />

Warren exhorted the Body to acknowledge<br />

that “persecution and oppression are a sign<br />

that we are doing something right.” The<br />

Bible supports this spiritual truth, as outlined<br />

in 1 Peter 4:14 (NIV), “If you are insulted for<br />

the name of Christ, you are blessed.” As followers<br />

of Christ, we cannot ignore the reality<br />

that we are set apart from the world. When<br />

we proclaim and magnify His name, we are<br />

alerted about the inevitable affliction and<br />

“Cause us to care<br />

not just about<br />

ourselves, but all<br />

those around the<br />

world who are<br />

right now sitting<br />

in prison…and the<br />

millions that will<br />

die, unless you do<br />

something<br />

about it.”<br />

persecution we will face (John 15:18-20).<br />

Repression and harassment are indicators<br />

that we are adhering to God’s truth. This is<br />

the consolation and solace that thousands of<br />

brothers and sisters in Christ hold on to when<br />

they face persecution.<br />

Thirdly, Warren offers hope to those who<br />

face persecution and affliction, encouraging<br />

them to remember that “opposition will<br />

give us more rewards in heaven.” This does<br />

not mean we stand up for our faith simply to<br />

extract some type of benefit from God. On the<br />

contrary, we are to stand firm by our beliefs<br />

and face persecution with valor. In spite of<br />

any temporary loss in this world, we will reap<br />

a greater reward when we are reunited with<br />

Christ. For all who face persecution, whether<br />

those that suffer violent attacks or those that<br />

encounter ridicule from their peers, the hope<br />

of future riches in God’s Kingdom provides<br />

a reason to remain joyful. It is not so much<br />

about acquiring or amassing riches in heaven,<br />

but knowing that by doing His will and fulfilling<br />

our obligations as His emissaries, God’s<br />

blessings will outweigh even as we encounter<br />

persecution, affliction, and difficulties.<br />

What’s the significance behind these key<br />

spiritual principles and how do we apply<br />

them? Warren’s pragmatic advice to the<br />

Church and to the persecuted is this: Do not<br />

be afraid or surprised by persecution, nor be<br />

ashamed of being a Christian. When persecution<br />

or affliction strikes, do not retaliate;<br />

instead, respond by praying for those that<br />

persecute you. He concludes with the counter-intuitive<br />

yet powerful truths of Scripture,<br />

telling us to combat persecution not with further<br />

attacks, but by offering blessings. The<br />

underlying principle, he states, is to be filled<br />

with God’s love: “When you return good for<br />

evil, when you return love for hatred, racial<br />

bigotry, injustice, all of these kind of things,<br />

22 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Did You Know?<br />

• Warren’s mega best-seller,<br />

“The Purpose Driven Life,” was<br />

on the NY Times’ best-seller<br />

list for 90 weeks.<br />

• When Warren received a<br />

windfall from the book, he<br />

paid back Saddleback Church<br />

25 years of salary.<br />

• Warren “reverse tithes” and<br />

gives away 90 percent of his<br />

income.<br />

• Saddleback has trained<br />

400,000 pastors around the<br />

world.<br />

• Saddleback has sent<br />

missionaries to every nation<br />

of the world.<br />

• Warren started Saddleback<br />

only after being rejected as a<br />

missionary to China.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Pastor Rick Warren<br />

Rick Warren is a leading<br />

evangelical pastor and author best<br />

known for “The Purpose Driven<br />

Life.” He is the founder and senior<br />

pastor of Saddleback Church in<br />

Lake Forest, California. Saddleback<br />

Church partnered with The Bridge<br />

and hosted the <strong>2017</strong> conference.<br />

…it is the single most powerful form of witnessing.”<br />

In his final challenge to the free Church, Warren<br />

asked, “If it became a crime to follow Jesus in the United<br />

States of America, would there be enough evidence<br />

to convict you? Would you be thrown in jail because<br />

everyone knows that you live for Christ? Let me ask<br />

you another question. When people say insulting things<br />

about Christians, do you wimp out and keep your mouth<br />

shut and say nothing? Or do you stand up for your brothers<br />

and sisters?”<br />

Warren’s closing prayer demonstrated his heart for the<br />

persecuted and for our courageous involvement: “Father,<br />

may [the persecuted]…motivate us to pray, to give, to<br />

serve, to advocate, to elect leaders that will push for<br />

this, …to do everything we can to relieve the burdens<br />

of [the persecuted]. I pray that... [we may have] a new<br />

commitment to be fearless for Christ…to not back down,<br />

but to share God’s love everywhere, with everyone as<br />

fast as we can. Cause us to care not just about ourselves,<br />

but all those around the world who are right now sitting<br />

in prison…and the millions that will die, unless you do<br />

something about it. I ask you to motivate us all to be<br />

more courageous for Christ.”<br />



CHAN<br />

By Amy Penn<br />

“Remember those who are in prison, as<br />

though in prison with them, and those who<br />

are mistreated, since you also are in the<br />

body.” Hebrews 13:3 (ESV)<br />

We live in<br />

an individualistic<br />

society<br />

guided<br />

by principles<br />

of selfreliance,<br />

comfort, and status. We aren’t taught to ask<br />

questions about who our neighbor is or who<br />

we have a responsibility to help, especially<br />

if the answers impede our pursuit of comfort.<br />

It can be difficult to understand how we can<br />

be connected to our persecuted brothers and<br />

sisters worldwide, but when Francis Chan,<br />

pastor, renowned speaker, and best-selling<br />

author of Crazy Love, spoke at The Bridge<br />

<strong>2017</strong>, he indelibly showed us both our responsibility<br />

and connection to those outside of our<br />

immediate circle.<br />

Chan acknowledged that it is difficult to<br />

face issues like persecution because of the<br />

environment that surrounds us. It’s extremely<br />

difficult to even begin to imagine the suffering<br />

faced by others around the world, so God has<br />

to supernaturally change our minds and help<br />

us to focus.<br />

The Body of Christ<br />

Chan presented us with a mystery. In<br />

Ephesians 5, Paul talks about the “profound<br />

mystery and I’m talking about Christ and the<br />

Church.” Have you ever considered the mystery<br />

associated with Christ and His Church?<br />

As Chan explained, “This God who dwells<br />

How do we<br />

“nourish<br />

and cherish”<br />

each other,<br />

especially with<br />

thousands<br />

of miles<br />

separating us?<br />

in unapproachable light, the Bible says He<br />

shines brighter than the sun…and yet the<br />

Bible is saying that there is this profound mystery<br />

that the God who…lives in this high and<br />

holy place, somehow, I can become a member<br />

of His body.”<br />

It doesn’t matter who you are…anyone can<br />

be a part of the Church, and thus be connected<br />

together as the body of Christ. “To think that<br />

Christ sacrifices for me to be a member of His<br />

body and you’re attached to me, and therefore,<br />

I cherish and I nourish you.”<br />

Joining in Suffering<br />

That’s the connection: the Church. Because<br />

we are members of His body, we are connected<br />

to one another, including our persecuted<br />

brothers and sisters worldwide. But what do<br />

we do about this connection? How do we<br />

“nourish and cherish” each other, especially<br />

when there are thousands of miles separating<br />

us?<br />

Chan refers to Hebrews 13:3 in an attempt<br />

to answer the question. “Remember those<br />

who are in prison, as though in prison with<br />

them, and those who are mistreated, since<br />

you also are in the body” (ESV). How do you<br />

remember as though you’re in prison?<br />

Joining someone in prison is a countercultural<br />

idea. As Chan contended, we think<br />

rescue first. “Let’s rescue them…let’s get<br />

them in a house with a pool, put their kids<br />

in soccer, right? I mean, that’s just the way<br />

we think…We got them out…Yay!...I’m not<br />

24 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


saying at all that that would be wrong…but I<br />

want to challenge you with something.”<br />

Is that what the New Testament tells us to<br />

do? No, the New Testament tells us to join in<br />

suffering. Chan cites Paul’s letter to Timothy<br />

where Paul tells Timothy to join him in prison.<br />

Paul doesn’t try to join Timothy’s more<br />

comfortable lifestyle; rather he tells Timothy<br />

to come to him. Yes, that means we will be<br />

scorned, laughed at, and humiliated by the<br />

world’s standards.<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


Pastor Francis Chan<br />

Francis Chan is a pastor and<br />

best-selling author of Crazy<br />

Love, Forgotten God, and You<br />

and Me Forever. He founded<br />

Cornerstone Church and<br />

Eternity Bible College.<br />

That’s hard. But look at Jesus. Jesus’ death<br />

humiliated him on earth. But, the Bible says,<br />

“he learned obedience through what he suffered”<br />

(Hebrews 5:8 ESV).<br />

“Jesus, the Son of God, learned obedience<br />

through suffering,” Chan exclaims, “How can<br />

you stand that? It’s like, ‘God, I keep wanting<br />

to learn without suffering’…but that’s pride…<br />

so yes, ‘God, teach me obedience through<br />

suffering.’ ”<br />

Intimacy through<br />

Suffering<br />

God will never abandon us during times<br />

of suffering. In fact, Chan argued, He reveals<br />

Himself in uniquely intimate ways to those<br />

who suffer. Chan told us about a group of<br />

Korean missionaries who were being held<br />

by the Taliban. The missionaries accepted<br />

their impending deaths and all but two died.<br />

The ones who escaped returned to Seoul. The<br />

missionaries told Chan that since their return,<br />

they tried to reconnect with God at the same<br />

level of intimacy that they experienced in<br />

captivity. But they couldn’t find it.<br />

No amount of prayer, fasting, Bible reading,<br />

or service had ushered them into the same<br />

intimate relationship. Chan realized that God<br />

reveals Himself to those who suffer in ways<br />

that He doesn’t do to those in relative comfort.<br />

The Profound Mystery of<br />

the Church<br />

Chan challenged us to fully live the profound<br />

mystery of the Church—to be afraid of<br />

our own discomfort and pride and to be connected<br />

with our brothers and sisters around<br />

the world in their suffering.<br />

As the body of Christ, we are immediately<br />

responsible to enrich and assist fellow<br />

members of the Body. Sometimes that means<br />

rescuing and aiding, but ultimately it means<br />

sharing in their suffering—mourning their<br />

losses, sharing their pain, and remembering<br />

them in prayer. These are difficult tenets to<br />

follow because we live in a culture of comfort;<br />

however, they’re the tenets Scripture<br />

challenges us to follow.<br />

“But God has so composed the body…<br />

that the members may have the same care for<br />

one another. If one member suffers, all suffer<br />

together” (1 Corinthians 12:26-26 ESV).<br />


Pastor Greg Zetts speaks at ICC’s <strong>2017</strong> Bridge conference.<br />

Zetts is a veteran missions pastor who has traveled all over<br />

the world. He is the head pastor of King of the Nations<br />

Christian Fellowship in Rockville, Maryland.<br />


By Jordan Hawkins<br />

Nobody is going to<br />

burn my house<br />

down, kidnap<br />

my children, or<br />

rape my wife<br />

because I preach<br />

the Gospel this<br />

coming Sunday,”<br />

Pastor Greg Zetts<br />

expressed to a<br />

customs official as he returned to the US from<br />

a mission trip in North Africa. “But where I<br />

just came from, they experience that.”<br />

Now, Zetts shares passionately shares his<br />

heart for persecuted believers with others.<br />

Personal Revival<br />

Pastor Greg Zetts participated in this year’s<br />

Bridge as both a speaker and a minister<br />

to attendees. Amidst the hustle and bustle<br />

of sessions and speakers at the conference,<br />

Zetts witnessed God stirring revival within<br />

the hearts of individual lives. Attendees who<br />

may have come in hopes of loosening North<br />

Korea’s bonds found that God also wanted to<br />

destroy their own chains and bring revival to<br />

the Western Church.<br />

Many attendees approached Zetts for prayer<br />

and counsel throughout the conference. “Some<br />

of the people I ministered to were machines,”<br />

he shared. “They were working for God rather<br />

“Our hearts<br />

need to break<br />

that our people<br />

and our nation<br />

have left God.”<br />


than working with Him,” and harbored uncertainty<br />

about God’s love for them. Caught up<br />

in the cycle of performance, they were striving<br />

to please God but felt unsatisfied in their<br />

relationship with Him. “The most important<br />

ministry,” reflected Zetts, “[is] just loving Him<br />

and being a worshipper.”<br />

Others struggled with histories that held<br />

them back from intimacy with God; they<br />

were challenged to be vulnerable before Him.<br />

“When a person is vulnerable, he gives the<br />

Father access to their heart,” Zetts explained.<br />

This same vulnerability toward God allowed<br />

attendees to confront aching questions during<br />

The Bridge—questions about bitterness, lack<br />

of forgiveness, resentment, condemnation,<br />

shame, guilt, and listening to the devil’s accusation,<br />

all which distance believers from God.<br />

These breakthroughs are the first step<br />

toward reaching out to the persecuted<br />

around the world. It gets to the heart of the<br />

message of the persecuted: revival. Personal<br />

revival precedes large-scale revival. Jesus<br />

shared His heart with twelve men, and those<br />

disciples then reached others who radically<br />

altered the world.<br />

A Revived Church<br />

Zetts senses “an unprecedented harvest that’s<br />

coming…. A church that’s revived means God<br />

gets His possession,” Zetts explained. “Jesus<br />

gets His bride…. When you’re revived, then<br />

you become aware; you become sensitive to<br />

the Holy Spirit,” Zetts related. His time at<br />

The Bridge encouraged him of God’s work.<br />

“That’s what I see happening—this awakening<br />

that’s going to bring people into a place of<br />

prophetic sensitivity to what God wants to do<br />

in nations like North Korea.”<br />

ICC’s president, Jeff King, passionately<br />

desired to see revival at The Bridge—revival<br />

individually, and revival of the Western<br />

Church: “Our hearts need to break that our<br />

people and our nation have left God.” God<br />

desperately wants the Western Church to have<br />

His heart for persecuted believers around<br />

the world—persecuted believers who are our<br />

brothers and sisters, part of the body of Christ.<br />

26 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


To do that, though, God must first have the<br />

heart of the Western Church.<br />

Awakening to God<br />

Zetts shared that awakening to God is a<br />

critical first step before serving persecuted<br />

brothers and sisters around the world. “When<br />

we make time to hear God’s heart, to hear<br />

testimonies, to go into the Word of God and<br />

get an understanding of what God is saying<br />

about the persecuted Church, it can bring<br />

radical changes,” conveyed Zetts. “We cannot<br />

despise the day of small beginnings.”<br />

His words echo King’s burden for the<br />

Church: “[God] has to have all of us. We<br />

need to hear His heart, and to do that, we just<br />

need to give Him everything.”<br />

Zetts remembers when God challenged<br />

him to give everything. Over twenty years<br />

ago, he boarded a plane to Andhra Pradesh,<br />

India. He felt God asking him how far he<br />

would go for souls. Would he still get on the<br />

plane if he knew he would not come back? “It<br />

rocked my world,” he related.<br />

Since that time, Zetts has witnessed persecution<br />

around the world that greatly impacted<br />

his relationship with God.<br />

Awakening to God may not look dramatic.<br />

It may look like a faithful life. It may look<br />

like intentionally digging into Scripture. It<br />

may look like prayer and fasting. It may<br />

look like giving up our will to follow God’s<br />

will. “I think if the American Church can<br />

capture that, we will go way, way out there<br />

in the grace of God to touch the persecuted<br />

Church,” concluded Zetts.<br />

“The solution is on our knees,” King shared.<br />

“We need to cry out, and we need to invite<br />

Him back to be first place in my heart, and in<br />

your heart, and in our nation’s heart.”<br />

1 Bridge attendees join in prayer for North Korea.<br />

2 Attendees praise God during a worship session.<br />

3 Bridge attendees welcome speakers to the stage.<br />

4 Saddleback Church worship team leads during The Bridge.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

4<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


3<br />


THE BRIDGE <strong>2017</strong><br />

The “secret agenda” of the The Bridge is to show Western believers the example of the<br />

persecuted where we see pure devotion at a high cost so that our hearts are revived and<br />

the free Church is inspired to go deeper in their faith.<br />

The <strong>2017</strong> Bridge brought together the humanitarian leaders and experts on the persecuted<br />

Church. This panel included (from right to left) Jeff King of ICC, Todd Nettleton<br />

of Voice of the Martyrs, Mervyn Thomas of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (UK), David<br />

Curry of Open Doors, and Isaac Six of ICC.<br />

28 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


1 North Korean testimonies<br />

2 Bridge attendees in worship<br />

3 Defector Hyeonseo Lee<br />

4 Anaheim gathering<br />

5 Policy Day on Capitol Hill<br />

6 Speaker Johnnie Moore<br />

1<br />

5<br />

2<br />

6<br />

3<br />

4<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />



“Almost hard to conceive of something like this. I felt encouraged by<br />

the people who cared about it but left profoundly impacted by the<br />

magnitude of the problem for people under that regime.”<br />

“Did not know how bad it was in North Korea. Media<br />

only talks about the political part of what’s going on.”<br />

“The REAL heroes in this life are those who have survived and tell us what is going on<br />

inside. Life-changing for us who live in a free society.”<br />

“It was a drumbeat to my long craving to be brought to the banks of the river<br />

we must cross to the deliverance of His special people from the tyranny. “<br />

“It challenged me to re-engage in prayer and action<br />

especially for the people of North Korea.”<br />

“Very helpful and awakening.”<br />

“It motivated me to get more involved.”<br />

“The stories from the North Korean refugees were very<br />

moving and eye-opening.”<br />

30 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


THE BRIDGE <strong>2017</strong><br />

“I have prayed for North Korea for over<br />

15 years so to have an opportunity to<br />

hear from and personally meet several<br />

brothers and sisters who shared what<br />

life is like in North Korea was a privilege<br />

and emotional experience.”<br />

“<br />

“<br />

“THANK YOU! I loved EVERY moment<br />

and will tell others. I also LOVED that<br />

leaders from many organizations came<br />

and spoke. UNITY!”<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />





By Isaac Six and Samantha Gassaway<br />

On June 3, <strong>2017</strong>,<br />

attendees of<br />

ICC’s annual<br />

Bridge conference<br />

had<br />

an incredibly<br />

unique opportunity.<br />

Assembled<br />

before them<br />

were leaders<br />

from four of the world’s largest persecution<br />

ministries: Voice of the Martyrs (VOM), Open<br />

Doors USA, Christian Solidarity Worldwide<br />

– UK (CSW), and International Christian<br />

Concern (ICC).<br />

The ministries united together to provide<br />

unparalleled insight into how to aid<br />

the persecuted Church. The four leaders<br />

represented well over half a century of<br />

experience in ministering to the persecuted<br />

as well as oversight over hundreds<br />

of projects in dozens of countries. Here<br />

are just a few highlights from this unprecedented<br />

gathering of persecution ministry<br />

leaders.<br />

Q: What was it that led you into this work<br />

to begin with? How were you called to this<br />

type of ministry?<br />

David Curry (Open Doors–USA): Years<br />

ago, I was doing ministry down in Peru, when<br />

the Shining Path, an extremely violent terrorist<br />

group, came in and tried to take over an<br />

event we were doing to train pastors. They<br />

threatened my life, and it was in that moment<br />

when I really became acquainted firsthand, if<br />

only for a brief period of time, with what it<br />

was like to be under pressure for your faith. It<br />

was my introduction [to persecution] and the<br />

beginning of a journey that led to Open Doors.<br />

Jeff King (ICC): I had a dream: I was talking<br />

on the phone to an imaginary businessman<br />

I call ‘Bill.’ I hang up the phone and decide<br />

to go visit his business but all his workers are<br />

standing outside. I ask them, ‘Where’s Bill?’<br />

and they say, ‘Bill’s gone.’ I said, ‘Well, where<br />

is he? I was just talking to him.’ They said,<br />

‘No, no, he’s dead.’ I said, ‘He’s not dead, I<br />

was talking to him five minutes ago.’ I woke<br />

up and I looked at my cell phone and one of<br />

my supporters had called—she’s never called<br />

me in 11 years. I get up and call her back,<br />

and she says, ‘My husband and I are involved<br />

with this organization, and the founder just<br />

died, and all I can think is that you’re the guy<br />

that’s supposed to run this organization. Are<br />

you interested?’<br />

Q: How do you keep people excited or<br />

involved in helping the persecuted Church?<br />

Mervyn Thomas (CSW): I simply<br />

encourage people by telling the stories of<br />

those people that I meet, that I have the privilege<br />

to meet. And I’ve met so many incredibly<br />

inspiring people… One of my greatest<br />

friends was a guy called Shahbaz Bhatti,<br />

who was a Christian minister in Pakistan.<br />

And I said, ‘Shahbaz, are you frightened?’<br />

And his face, I remember it, he just broke<br />

out into a broad smile and he just said,<br />

‘Frightened? No, I’m privileged. Jesus gave<br />

His life for me, so nothing I could do short of<br />

that would be [enough]. I really am prepared<br />

32 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />


Ministry Heads<br />

ICC’s Isaac Six (far left)<br />

moderates the executive<br />

panel at The Bridge <strong>2017</strong>.<br />

David Curry, CEO of Open<br />

Doors-USA, Mervyn Thomas,<br />

CEO of Christian Solidarity<br />

Worldwide, Todd Nettleton,<br />

Director of Media and Public<br />

Relations for Voice of the<br />

Martyrs-USA, and Jeff King,<br />

president of ICC, gathered at<br />

The Bridge to talk about what<br />

unites us all: the cause of the<br />

persecuted.<br />

to put my life on the line.’ And two months<br />

later he did.<br />

Todd Nettleton (VOM): If one of my<br />

brothers was in prison getting beaten every<br />

single day, what would I do? I wouldn’t stop<br />

with anything. I would say, ‘That’s my brother.<br />

They’re beating on him every day. How are<br />

you going to help me stop this?’ The people<br />

that we’ve talked about in North Korea, those<br />

are our brothers and sisters. So I think when<br />

you understand that, I don’t think motivation<br />

is a problem anymore.<br />

Q: What is one of your favorite projects,<br />

one of the things your ministry has done<br />

that is fascinating or something you’ve<br />

thought is a really great project and loved<br />

doing that?<br />

King: We were at a Religious Liberty<br />

Partnership meeting overseas and I’m thinking,<br />

‘Why don’t you take this [broadcast]<br />

approach?’ We found a great media ministry<br />

who does a lot of this work, and we developed<br />

PERSECU ION.org<br />


this 24/7 Gospel-oriented programming for<br />

Muslims who have converted to Christ<br />

Thomas: This lady, she had come out of<br />

North Korea. And she told me she wasn’t<br />

able to tell anybody [for two years] that she<br />

had accepted Christ. Then she pulled out two<br />

books. She said, ‘This is my journal of my<br />

spiritual journey.’ My mind was going, ‘How<br />

do you have a spiritual journey when you’ve<br />

not got a pastor, a fellowship, a Bible?’ And<br />

then the person who was with her started<br />

interpreting and there was Scripture in there.<br />

She talked about things that she could never<br />

have known about except the direct inspiration<br />

of the Holy Spirit. And there’s going to<br />

be lots of stories like that lady because God is<br />

doing His work and He’s building His Church<br />

despite everything else.<br />

Q: What’s the most challenging situation<br />

or story you’ve come across?<br />

Thomas: It dates back to about 1989, 1990,<br />

when I was in Russia… I said to [Konstantin<br />

Kachev, a Russian official], ‘Would you allow<br />

us to bring in a million Bibles?’ He immediately<br />

said, ‘Yes.’ Eighteen months later,<br />

that man came back to the UK and he met<br />

with me. The first thing he said was, ‘I’ve<br />

got a problem, because you only sent in half<br />

a Bible.’ We had sent in a million Russian<br />

New Testaments. ‘Would you like permission<br />

to send in another million, on the condition<br />

that they’re the full Bible?’ I said, ‘Of<br />

course, but Mr. Kachev, you’re an atheist.<br />

Why would you suddenly want to flood Russia<br />

with Bibles?’ He said, ‘Well, we have tried<br />

to drive Christianity out of the country over<br />

many, many years. All we’ve succeeded to do<br />

is drive it underground. I come to your country,<br />

where I find a Bible in every hotel room I<br />

go to. I know that every home has more than<br />

one. But I go into your churches and they’re<br />

empty.’ This communist had seen and thought<br />

that if he flooded Russia with Bibles, then he<br />

would empty the churches.<br />

Nettleton: This one lady shared how, in<br />

the camp, they had forced her to hold out her<br />

hands and they beat her hands with an iron<br />

bar. And her hands were mangled. And I was<br />

like, ‘What can we do to help?’ There’s nothing<br />

you can do for them. Except, and I take<br />

great comfort in this, we can pray for them.<br />

And God can go. I’ve heard the rest of the<br />

story, after they come out of the camp and<br />

they say, ‘God was with me, I experienced<br />

Christ. I sometimes wish I could go back to<br />

prison.’ Because they’ve had that experience.<br />

Today, all four of the organizations represented<br />

on the panel work closely to raise<br />

awareness, advocate, and assist the persecuted<br />

Church around the world.<br />


IDOP <strong>2017</strong><br />


I N T E R N A T I O N A L<br />



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

11/5 or 11/12<br />

Register for an IDOP kit<br />

or Request A Speaker:<br />

ICC’S IDOP <strong>2017</strong> KIT<br />

Register today to receive ICC’s International Day of Prayer<br />

(IDOP) Resource Kit! Our kit includes tools and resources for<br />

your church and faith community:<br />

• Resource Guide<br />

• Prayer Bulletin Insert<br />

• Worship and Prayer<br />

PowerPoints<br />

• Sunday School Lesson<br />

• Sermons<br />

• Social Media Tools<br />

• Petition<br />

• Video<br />


Interested in having ICC’s president or a persecution expert<br />

speak at your church? Contact us today through the web<br />

address below.<br />

info.persecution.org/idop<strong>2017</strong><br />

or call 1-800-422-5441<br />


ICC is inviting missions-minded pastors to<br />

come with us to Egypt to see, touch, and feel<br />

persecution firsthand.<br />

For more information, visit<br />

info.persecution.org/pastors-trip<br />

or call 1-800-422-5441<br />

34 PERSECU ION.org<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2017</strong><br />



“I have but one candle of life<br />

to burn, and I would rather<br />

burn it out in a land filled<br />

with darkness than in a<br />

land flooded with light”<br />

- John Keith Falconer<br />


We need volunteers to assist us in each of our goals to<br />

make a difference in the lives of our suffering brothers<br />

and sisters in Christ: www.persecution.org/how-youcan-help/volunteer<br />

INTERN:<br />

We match your skills and career paths to engage in real,<br />

impacting, and tangible work: www.persecution.org/<br />

how-you-can-help/internsandfellows/internships<br />

Communication Director/Manager:<br />

Five to ten years of experience<br />

in managing a marketing/<br />

communications office (graphic<br />

design, inbound marketing, social<br />

media). Must have excellent<br />

writing skills and management<br />

experience.<br />


Administrator ($20/hr):<br />

Looking for a talented administrator<br />

with five or more years experience.<br />

Initial four month contract with<br />

strong possibility of permanent<br />

placement for those with excellent<br />

performance. Strength in creative<br />

writing a big plus.<br />

Capitol Hill Fellowships:<br />

Two openings - 9 mon. to 1 year<br />

Become expert in Christian human<br />

rights through our Fellowship<br />

Program. Advocacy mentorship<br />

at ICC HQ (3-6 mos). Then<br />

qualified fellows will be placed in a<br />

legislator’s office on Cap. Hill for 6<br />

mos. Stipend of $30k/annual.<br />

Openings: Now and Jan. 2018<br />

Learn more at: www.persecution.org/how-you-can-help/work-with-us/<br />

PERSECU ION.org<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 />

MEMBER<br />

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

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

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

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

International Christian Concern (ICC) is a nonprofit 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 of each restricted<br />

donation to carry out the mission of 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!