The global food shortage is hitting persecuted Christians hard. In many countries, Open Doors field teams are now operating with a “FOOD FIRST” mission.
Displacement, drought, discrimination, rising food prices, and lack of resources have made persecuted Christians more vulnerable, insecure, and desperate—especially in remote areas where resources are few.
Open Doors is fighting to provide critical supplies to believers on the brink of survival in countries like Burkina Faso, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria, and many others.
“Persecuted believers can’t … worship or serve one another if they’re too weak and starving.”
— Field Partner in Burkina Faso
“Food inflation in Sri Lanka has surged to 80 percent … The needs are urgent.”
—Field Partner in Sri Lanka
The following Scriptures remind us that we have been warned by Jesus that persecution, tribulation, and disasters on earth and in the cosmos will precede His second coming, to first rescue the Saints and to pour out His wrath on the unrepentant.
“There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.” Mark 13:8
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be... See, I have told you beforehand.” Matthew 24:21, 25
Persecution of Christians is escalating just as the Bible prophesied would happen before Jesus’ second coming. For simply stating the truth that natural marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental building block for a successful society, Maureen Martin lost her job as a Housing Manager with the London & Quadrant Housing Trust (L&Q).
A recent article in Christian Post stated: “A housing trust in England has doubled down on its decision to terminate a housing manager who voiced her belief in the biblical definition of marriage while campaigning for mayor of her local community.”
The L & Q which houses over 250,000 people, issued a statement this week in response to legal action filed by former employee Maureen Martin, who claims she was terminated this spring after voicing her beliefs on marriage in a leaflet during her campaign for mayor of Lewisham.
The alleged offensive copy in the election leaflet:
“Marriage: I pledge to cut through political correctness and simply state the truth that natural marriage between a man and a woman is the fundamental building block (ordained by God) for a successful society and the safest environment for raising children,”
In a statement, the Christian Peoples Alliance, a political party formed in 1999, said Martin’s beliefs on marriage are “what millions of people believe and is a belief that is protected in U.K. law.”
Someone posted an image of the leaflet on Twitter, calling it against the law and hate speech. Three complaints followed, telling L&Q’s chief executive that Martin’s beliefs should have no place at the company. The Christian candidate was described in the complaint as “bigoted” in need of “anti-oppressive training.”
Martin was soon “suspended, investigated, hindered from campaigning as part of the election and then dismissed for allegedly bringing L&Q into disrepute, breaching social media policy and failing to declare political interests.”
The Bible reveals that losing one’s job is just the beginning of tribulation as the following Scripture reveals. This warning is given by Jesus on what will occur in the end times before He returns.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
While this life is fraught with many trials and tribulations, the sufferings we experience are to be counted as incomparable with the glories to come. We groan, we wail, we suffer—yet with much hope as we persevere to the end, waiting for the redemption of all creation, and even our bodies. Yet in this, the tension that all mankind faces come to the forefront, and the reason for this is simple: we must wait. This anticipation for glory builds more and more anticipation the longer we must endure this life. This anticipation for glory sustains us and brings forth one major reason why we persevere: we hope in the age to come rather than in this broken and fallen age.
Paul says, that in the same way, this hope for glorification sustains us, the Spirit sustains us, for He knows precisely how to intercede on our behalf before the Father.
Where words and utterances fail us in our prayers, the Spirit transforms them into prayers that match the will of God. The very purpose of the Spirit’s intercession is not so we can feel good about His work in doing so, though we should have much joy in this fact. Rather, the Spirit’s work in transforming our failed prayers likewise culminates in us reaching the finish line, where we are ushered into the presence of our Triune Lord for all eternity. In other words, the Spirit’s work of intercession on our behalf is part and parcel of our endurance; we endure not only for the hope of the age to come but specifically because part of the Spirit’s work is to bring about endurance in us.
Here then is where we find our particular reference that God works all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. And what is that purpose? Paul says, the “good” that God is working all things together for, is explicit.
“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.” Romans 8:29-30
Human suffering has a purpose that culminates in glory. To make that ever clearer: the purpose of our trials and sufferings is to bring us to final redemption, where we see God face to face, free from the pain, devastation, and destruction caused by the curse of sin, our adversary Satan, and death itself.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
God sees to it, from eternity past to eternity future, that those who love God, that is, those who are in Christ, will one day be glorified, first to assist Jesus in His Millennial reign on this earth and then, after the White Throne judgement, to be ushered into a world free from the Fall and its effects. All of our groaning, all of our longing, all of our deferred hope for what is to come, shall be satisfied in the fullness and richness of God’s saving love through Christ.
Adapted from an article by Jason Gilbert “God Works All Things for Good” August 23, 2022, http://www.patheos.com
Both are possible and Jesus told us that this is what will happen before He returns, first to raise the dead in Christ and then rapture the Saints that are alive, before pouring out His wrath upon an unrepentant world.
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.But the one who endures to the end will be saved.And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:9-14
I met Jonathan Cahn by chance at breakfast at the Leonardo Hotel in Jerusalem. I was ordering an omelette at breakfast when a voice behind me said, I will have one of those too. I looked around and could not believe I was looking at Jonathan Cahn. Surprised, I said, Jonathan Cahn! He replied that’s right. Wanting to keep the conversation going, I asked, what are you doing here, Conference? No! he replied, I am here on vacation, I have not been well. I was handed my omelette, so I returned to my table, but I immediately asked the Holy Spirit why had I met Jonathan at this time. Was there a purpose? Immediately, the Holy Spirit told me to share with Jonathan why I was in Jerusalem and what was happening at the Gathering that I was attending in the large International Convention Centre opposite the Knesset. Jonathan was sitting at a table with his wife and children so my immediate reaction was no, I should not interrupt them, but the Holy Spirit then added why I needed to tell him. He needs to know that 1500 of the 3000 at the Gathering are Chinese. So I went to the table and first apologised for interrupting their breakfast, but I said, that I believed the Holy Spirit wanted Jonathan to know what God was doing in Israel at this time. I then asked him if he knew that 3000 Christians were here in Israel for a Gathering – no speakers just to worship and hear from God. Jonathan said no, he was not aware of the Gathering and was surprised at the number of Christians attending. I then dropped the “bombshell” 1500 of the attendees were Chinese a large portion from mainland China. No way, was Jonathan’s response. 1500 Chinese came to Jerusalem to pray and offer their support to their Jewish brothers and sisters. Jonathan knows what God is doing in America, but had no concept of the extent of how God is using Chinese Christians to impact the world, even Jerusalem.
Jonathan is God’s prophet for America at this time issuing warnings that America needs to turn back to God or receive His judgement. His book The Harbinger warns America that God had already sent nine warnings to America starting with 9/11, the attack on the World Trade Centre and as America has not heeded those warnings further judgement is inevitable.
If you have not heard Jonathan before you will be blown away by his revelation of Biblical prophecies.
30 Christians Jailed in India as Persecution Escalates
06/02/2022 India (International Christian Concern) – At least 30 people were imprisoned in India during May because of their faith. According to persecution watchdog, International Christian Concern (ICC), the arrests were justified by filling charges of forced conversion. In one incident a mob of radicals broke into the home of a local pastor, who was praying with his family and beat him before handing him over to police. The police then imprisoned him under the charge of “deliberate and malicious acts against another religion”. Anti-conversion laws, adopted in 11 Indian states, are often used against Christians as it allows authorities to jail them with little regard for due process. “We have arrived at a critical juncture, where practicing faith of our choice is equated as crime and punished accordingly,” a local Christian leader told ICC.
36 Christians Kidnapped in Nigeria’s Kaduna State
07/28/2022 Nigeria (International Christian Concern) – On Monday, July 25, an estimated 36 Christians were kidnapped from a village in Nigeria’s Kaduna state. The kidnappers are estimated to be Islamic extremists who performed door-to-door kidnappings in the village.
An area resident described the kidnappings to Morning Star News. They said, “The Muslim terrorists attacked the community at about 9 p.m., shooting at the people, and broke into their houses and forcefully took away the victims to an unknown place.”
Hmong Christians Suffering Daily Persecution in Vietnam
07/31/2022 Vietnam (International Christian Concern) – Hmong Christians in the Nghe An province of Vietnam are suffering from severe persecution.
According to Morning Star News, officials in the province are trying to create “Christian-free zones” where they are able to operate “with no conscience or humanity,” as if the religious freedom violations were occurring a country other than Vietnam, where such acts are not legal.
Other forms of persecution come from within their own communities. Most Vietnamese follow traditional animist teachings, and many who convert to Christianity from the traditional faith face rejection and even persecution from their family members and communities.
Additionally, Vietnamese authorities pressure animist relatives of Christian converts to drive Christians from their homes and exile them. The only hope these Christians have of rejoining their communities is if they renounce their new faith.
Christians Prevented from Worshipping in Burkina Faso
7/30/2022 Burkina Faso (International Christian Concern) – According to Aid to the Church in Need International, Catholic churches in Burkina Faso are suffering interference by Islamic groups in the country. In many cases, militants are entering the churches during the service and forcing men and women to sit separately. In other instances, the sermons are being replaced with Islamic sermons. With this being the case, many people in the villages are not receiving proper pastoral care, and the pastoral care that is occurring is only because it is permitted by Islamists.
This recent interference comes on the heels of an attack that killed 20 people on July 3.
Lebanese Christians Concerned Over Political Future
07/30/2022 Lebanon (International Christian Concern) – As Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s six-year term approaches its October 31 close, Christians in Lebanon are concerned for their nation’s future. Lebanon’s historically Christian presidency, an important vestige of the religious community’s declining influence in the country, could worryingly fall to one of four individuals, none of whom are particularly popular with the nation’s Christian community.
Overall, Christians in Lebanon face an unfortunate political reality. The Christian presidential candidates Aoun, Bassil, and Frangieh are all sympathetic to Hezbollah, and the other likely option to fill the role besides them is the Muslim Prime Minister Mikati. Unfortunately, this conundrum well reflects declining Christian political influence in the state of Lebanon
Cemeteries of Religious Minorities Targeted in Turkey
07/31/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Radicals have targeted another minority cemetery this month in Turkey. On July 15, a Jewish community discovered that their local cemetery in the Haskoy neighborhood of Istanbul had sustained serious damage. Vandals had desecrated 81 gravestones, excavated graves, and left the site in disarray.
This month’s attack comes specifically on the heels of a similar incident against a Christian community in Turkey. On June 29, local Christians found the perpetrators had desecrated their cemetery, which was dedicated to Saint Peter and Saint Paul, just prior to an annual celebration dedicated to the two saints.
Josef Tson: What His Suffering for Christ in Communist Romania Taught Him, and Can Teach Us
This article by Randy Alcorn www. patheos.com July 21, 2022 is very applicable to the “end times ” persecution that is unfolding in our time.
I opened the Scriptures with Josef in 1988, with a group of theologians discussing eternal rewards. Twenty years later, writing my book If God Is Good, I remembered his stories and insights and called him again, in order to share his insights with others. Josef explained to me how the belief that God doesn’t want His people to suffer once corrupted the Romanian church. In the interests of self-preservation, he said, they failed to speak out against injustice, tyranny, and the idolatry of turning men into gods. He recalls joining the crowd on the streets and crying, “Glory to Stalin.”
God convicted Josef. As a pastor, he refused to glorify communist leaders and started to speak out boldly for Christ. Interrogators threatened him with death every day for six months. Finally he told them, “Your supreme weapon is killing. My supreme weapon is dying. My preaching will speak ten times louder after you kill me.”
Josef said, “During the time I was expecting to be crushed by the Romanian secret police interrogators, God became more real to me than ever before or after in my life. It is difficult to put into words the experience I had with God at that time. It was like a rapture into sweet and total communion with the Beloved. God’s test for me then became the pathway to a special knowledge of the reality of God.”
Finally, in 1981, the Romanian government exiled him. After facing much evil and nearly being martyred in Ceauşescu’s Romania, Josef told me, “This world, with all its evil, is God’s deliberately chosen environment for people to grow in their characters. The character and trustworthiness we form here, we take with us there, to Heaven. Romans and 1 Peter 3:19 make clear that suffering is a grace from God. It is a grace given us now to prepare us for living forever.”
He also told me he believed that 95 percent of Christians pass the test of adversity, while 95 percent fail the test of prosperity.
In the West, with our conspicuous prosperity and ease, Christianity’s popularity continues to shrink. In Africa, Asia, and South America, with much greater adversity and suffering, it continues to grow.
Josef Tson believes, “The gospel will never be spread without someone suffering.” He said our first question in suffering should not be, “Why?” but, “God, what do you want to do in the world through my suffering?”
Josef continues, “God achieves great things in the world through the one who accepts His way of suffering and self-sacrifice. In the end, however, it turns out that the greatest things are achieved in the sufferer himself. The one who sacrificially expects to be a blessing for others discovers that, in the final analysis, he is the one who has harvested the greatest blessings.”
Suffering can help us know God and prepare us to trade a shallow life not worth keeping for a deeper life we’ll never lose.
When interrogators worked Josef into exhaustion for ten hours a day, one of his persecutors made a strange statement: “Pastor Tson, when I interrogate people I am used to feeling their hatred for me. But you do not hate me. It has become a delight for me to be with you.”
Jesus saw our suffering as an opportunity to share the gospel, do you?
“Jesus said to them, nation will rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you, they will put to death. You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance, you will gain your lives.” Luke 21: 10-19
Josef viewed his suffering as God’s means to accomplish God’s purpose. He told of guards coming to Christ while beating Christian prisoners, then confessing their faith and being imprisoned and tortured themselves. As a result, the gospel his persecutors tried to dismiss touched them instead.
The Revolutionary Court of Tehran has sentenced an Iranian-Armenian Christian man to 10 years in prison for establishing a house church, which the judge called “propaganda contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam,” according to reports.
Branch 26 of the Revolutionary Court of Tehran, headed by Judge Afshari, sentenced Anooshavan Avedian, 60, to 10 years of imprisonment, alongside two others who are members of his house church — Abbas Soori, 45, and Maryam Mohammadi, 46 — both of whom are converts to Christianity, Human Rights Activists News Agency reported.
Article 18, a U.K.-based organization that promotes religious freedom in Iran, reported that Soori and Mohammadi received a range of non-custodial punishments, including a fine of about $2,000 (500 million rials) and a 10-year ban from membership in social and political groups as well as a two-year exile outside Tehran. In addition, they must regularly report to the offices of the Ministry of Intelligence.
The three were convicted on the charge of “organizing and running an Evangelical ‘Zionist’ home church with the intention to act against national security” and “maintaining satellite dish and receivers.”
They were first arrested in August 2020 when about 30 intelligence agents raided a private gathering at Avedian’s home in Narmak are in northeastern Tehran, but their case came to light only recently.
The agents confiscated all the Bibles and communication devices with passwords.
In Tehran’s Evin Prison, the three were subjected to psychological torture during several intense interrogation sessions.
Judge Afshari pronounced Avedian guilty of “establishing and leading an illegal group with the aim of disrupting the security of the country through education and propaganda activities contrary to and disturbing to the holy religion of Islam, through the dissemination of false claims … as well as contact with foreign countries, or organisational guidance from abroad.”
The Christians’ defense was met with “disrespectful remarks toward their character, and insults to their faith,” according to Article 18, which also said that over the past decade, authorities in Iran have closed down nearly all churches that offered services in Persian, the national language, or insisted they teach only in the ethnic minority languages.
The Islamic Republic is ranked as the ninth-worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA’s World Watch List.
“Converts from Islam to Christianity are most at risk of persecution, especially by the government and to a lesser extent by society and their own families,” it says.
“The government sees the growth of the church in Iran as an attempt by Western countries to undermine Islam and the Islamic regime of Iran. House groups made up of converts from Muslim backgrounds are often raided, and both their leaders and members have been arrested, prosecuted, and given long prison sentences for “crimes against national security.”
The Muslim religion is an antichrist religion and Biblical prophecy reveals the Antichrist (Little Horn) arises out of one of four Muslim nations when the revived Ottoman Empire is broken up (perhaps by the U.N. or Russia) into four nations.
“Then the goat (revived Ottoman Empire) became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven. Out of one of them came a little horn (Antichrist), which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host” Daniel 8:8-11
According to Gallup polls, the so-called American church is in decline. However, -Roger Olson, a scholar with a Ph.D. in religious studies who has studied American religious life (especially Christianity in all its expressions) for many years says that what is really happening is that new expressions of Christianity are popping up that are flying “under the radar” of critics who claim “the American churches” are losing members. People are flocking from many of the old, so-called “mainline” churches and many are attending new collective expressions of Christianity that may or may not be called “churches.” Throughout the South and Midwest thousands of “cowboy churches” are popping up. Most of them do not belong to any denomination or are only very loosely affiliated with, for example, a local Baptist association of churches. There are literally thousands of immigrant churches that are hardly noticed by the bean-counters. For example, the Redeemed Christian Church of God of Nigeria has at least seven hundred congregations in the U.S. I am told that many of these congregations are large and growing not only through immigration but also through evangelism and people leaving other churches to attend these.
Churches that are truly born again, Bible-believing churches are not in decline because they are empowered by the Holy Spirit and are doing what God has called them to do. They have a Biblical worldview and therefore know Jesus is returning to this planet in the not too distant future first to remove His Saints and then to pour out His wrath on an unrepentant lawless world and they are acting accordingly.
They also know what Jesus said about the time before His return. It will be a time of great tribulation for Christians as God deals with the rebellion both in the heavenly and earthly realms. Satan and His demons are finally cast out of heaven and Satan enters the Antichrist and increases persecution first Jews and then of the Saints.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” Revelation 12:7-10
“Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath because he knows that his time is short!”Revelation 12:12
“And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.” Revelation 12:13-14
“Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” Revelation 12:17
The recent U.S. Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Individuals calls on the administration to “safeguard LGBTQI+ youth from dangerous practices like so-called ‘conversion therapy’—efforts to suppress or change an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.” It contends that conversion therapy is a “discredited practice that research indicates can cause significant harm, including higher rates of suicide-related thoughts and behaviors by LGBTQI+ youth.” Biden also directed the Federal Trade Commission to determine “whether so-called conversion therapy constitutes an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and to issue such consumer warnings or notices as may be appropriate.”
In my recent post on SELLING THE TRANSGENDER STORY, I showed a very appealing video that attempts to sell the transgender agenda as a positive step forward whereby we are told that tens of thousands of children out there identify as transgender. We are also told that Ryland and the Whittington family is a typical ‘American family’. As well, we are told that gender and sexuality are different. All three claims are false. If you have not viewed this video can I suggest you do. It was posted five days ago.
God and his commandments have been rejected by the majority of people as they were by the people of Noah’s Day bringing God’s judgement upon them. Jesus warned us that the world would reject God and His values prior to His return. Persecution of active Christians (living out their faith) will be considered just.
Is the church preparing Christians for this escalating persecution?
This is another appealing video selling Ryland’s transgender conversion beginning at age 3.
In this very appealing video, we are told that tens of thousands of children out there identify as transgender. We are also told that the Whittington family is a typical American family. As well, we are told that gender and sexuality are different. I would suggest that all three claims are false.
Ryland’s mother said that the child spoke to them before she could speak that she was a boy. Prior to the child coming out as a boy at age five, the parents began sex experimentation with the child. Those facts should get the alarm bells ringing.
The following statistics are given to us: 60% of transgender youth turn to self-harm and 50% to suicide according to research by the Trevor Project ( The world’s largest safe space social networking community for LGBTQ youth). These statistics are alarming however the Trevor Projects’ solution to the problem is equally alarming.
In Australia and many other western countries, to offer God’s solution (the only true solution) to the transgender problem is a gaolable offense. Even presenting God’s solution to the parents in order to save their children would get you reported to the authorities.
God and his commandments have been rejected by the majority of people as they were by the people of Noah’s Day bringing God’s judgement upon them. Moreover, Jesus told us that at the time before His return will be like Noah’s Day when lawlessness abounded. Persecution of active Christians (living out their faith) will be considered just.
“For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short.” Matthew 24:21-22
“And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”” Luke 18:7-8