This year Open Doors is asking churches and small groups in Australia and New Zealand to participate in A Dedicated Faith. We want to see Muslims who are seeking God, find who He truly is and come learn the truth about Jesus. We also want to uplift Christians living in Islamic countries throughout Ramadan.
Ramadan, an opportune time…
Ramadan is a month in the Islamic calendar running from 6 June – 5 July. During these 30 days, Muslims will fast during sunlight hours, and pray in order to get closer to Allah. Muslim’s believe that it was during Ramadan that the first revelations of the Quran were made to Muhammad.
1. It’s a tourist hotspot and the 13th worst place to be a Christian.
Maldives is a beautiful island, rich in coral reefs and marine life. It’s pristine sandy beaches and clear water beckon visitors from around the world. But Maldives is also on the Open Doors World Watch List of countries where Christians are most persecuted. In fact, it has been a regular among the top 15 countries on the list for many years.
Christians in Laos feel the firm grip of Communism. Believers who meet for fellowship are regularly visited by authorities, while those who share the gospel face expulsion from their village, arrest and death threats. Thomas* is a believer on the run who has seen many come to Christ, “I have always been running. This is the third time I’ve escaped.”
When we met Thomas he was hiding in a Bible college outside Laos. “I have been crying for two days. I cannot sleep at night. I don’t know where to go and what to do next. I only have two choices: live an uncertain life, or go back to Laos and die.”
Thomas has paid dearly for sharing the gospel, unable to see his wife and children. “I just want a place of peace where I can stay legally. I also want to continue sharing the Gospel,” he says. “All my life I have suffered; I would like to have freedom. I also don’t want my family to suffer. At the moment, nobody is taking care of them. My wife does some farming to feed the family. If I could just go back, I would. I cannot call my wife nor can my wife call me. The government did something to our phones.” Continue reading
A church set on fire by Islamic Extremists in Aceh, Indonesia.
A church was burnt down and a further nine destroyed by police in Aceh, Indonesia. A large mob set fire to one church and threatened others before being disbanded and congregation members wept as they watched police destroy other churches.
On the 6 October a large crowd of Islamic Extremists gathered to protest the continued use of unregistered church buildings. After this demonstration and ongoing demands for closures, the local regency agreed that 10 unregistered church buildings in the area would be closed.
Not satisfied with the response of the government, a text message was sent around to local Islamic groups, encouraging them to destroy any local churches that were unregistered. On 13 October, a large crowd of Muslims marched around government offices before setting fire to and destroying the International Christian Church. Continue reading