The Karen people of Burma are the largest and oldest indigenous tribe in this country which is currently ruled by a ruthless military dictatorship. The Karen and other ethnic tribes are being systematically exterminated with the intent on seizing their tribal lands, which are rich in valuable minerals and other natural resources. About 50% of the ethnic minorities in Burma are Christians in a predominantly Buddhist society, and are oppressed and persecuted for their faith.
Michael Jones traveled to Southeast Asia with Patrick Klein of Vision Beyond Borders, a Christian relief ministry helping the Karen refugees who have escaped to Thailand. Watch this video which the team from Vision Beyond Borders (http://www.visionbeyondborders.org) made which documents the struggles, pain and strength of faith of the Christian Karens. The program features Kirk Cameron as host and narrator. Video Link.
May their story inspire us to go further in sharing the Gospel.
"Approximately 700 million Dalits, low-caste and tribal people live in Asia today. They face extreme segregation and prejudice on a daily basis. They are often denied access to safe drinking water, freedom of worship, their choice of occupation—and even a basic education. In some places, in fact, the illiteracy rate is as high as 90 percent." - Gospel for Asia
It's sad to think that these beautiful children are being treated as scum just because they were born in a certain caste. The good news is that ministries like Gospel for Asia are reaching these children, and for the first time, they're discovering that they are loved.
Read more about the Dalits, click here.
Open Doors works in the world's most oppressive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ's light in these dark places.
North Korea is one of the most difficult countries in the world for Christians to live in. April 24-30 is North Korea Freedom Week. Open Doors call every Christian to pray for this country and for the Christians there who are faithfully standing for their faith despite the persecution they experience. To know more about the program of prayer that Open Doors has organized for Freedom Week, click this link: North Korea Freedom Week.
I've had Foxe's Book of Martyrs for a while now but just recently decided to read it. That book is hard to read. Not because it's old and boring but because it's so action packed that if you read it in one sitting you'll probably have a heart-attack by the end of the book. It's so surreal, you'd think its fiction. Unfortunately, it's not... Here are a few excerpts:
“Julianus, an old man, lame with gout, and Cronion, another christian, were bound on the backs of camels, severely scourged, and then thrown into a fire and consumed. Also, forty virgins, at Antioch, after being imprisoned and scourged, were burned.”
“Symphorosa, a widow, and her seven sons, were commanded by the emperor to sacrifice to the heathen deities. She was carried to the temple of Hercules, scourged, and hung up, for some time, by the hair of her head: then being taken down, a large stone was fastened to her neck, and she was thrown into the river, where she expired. With respect to the sons, they were fastened to seven posts, and being drawn up by pullies, their limbs were dislocated: these tortures, not affecting their resolution, they were martyred by stabbing, except the Eugenus, the youngest, who was sawed asunder.”
After reading that, it'd be hard not to ask why God allowed that to happen. Why didn't God bless the early church the way He's blessing the church today?
The answer to that lies in the question.