Welcome to The Voice of the Martyrs Radio Network! Join host Todd Nettleton each week as we share the testimonies of brothers and sisters suffering for their faith in Christ. The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) is a nonprofit, interdenominational missions organization that offers practical and spiritual…
Listeners of VOMRadio that love the show mention: persecution, martyrs, hearing first, brothers and sisters in christ, every believer, discouragement, zeal, imprisoned, brunson, missionaries, christ jesus, faith building, prayer life, around the globe, body of christ, devastated, around the world, nations, testimonies, muslims.
In 2021, as the US prepared to withdraw its military presence from the country, radical Islamist Taliban forces swept across Afghanistan. Many Christians—especially those publicly known to follow Jesus—needed to flee the country or risk immediate execution. Charmaine Hedding, president of The Shai Fund, has worked to help persecuted believers around the world since 2014. When Christians needed help getting out of Afghanistan, she and a committed team quickly stepped forward to help. They arranged flights, helped Afghan Christians hide and get to the airport, and helped find nations willing to accept them as refugees. They worked around the clock to help Afghan believers. Listen as Charmaine shares how she became involved in helping persecuted Christians, first-hand stories of the hardships Afghans faced, and God's faithfulness to answer prayer amidst the chaos and upheaval of the Taliban takeover. She will also share specific ways we can continue to pray for our Afghan brothers and sisters in Christ—both those still living in Afghanistan and those who have relocated to surrounding Islamic Nations. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast
Helen Berhane, worship leader and former prisoner in Eritrea, joined us last week to share the first part of her story: how she was persecuted for her faith and yet encouraged all believers to count the cost of following Christ. Helen is back this week for the second half of that conversation. Thankfully, she had access to the Bible while imprisoned, and the Lord revealed new wisdom and understanding of Him to her as she read from Genesis to Revelations 15 times! Her knowledge of Jesus increased, and the Holy Spirit gave her overwhelming love and forgiveness towards the ones persecuting her. Supernaturally, she knew when people were praying for her while she was in prison. Many letters were sent, from around the world, to encourage her in prison, and even though she was never able to read the letters, she knows they made a difference. Copies of Helen's book, Song of the Nightingale, have been smuggled into Eritrea, and her story has encouraged many people toward faith in Christ. Continue to pray for believers currently in prison in Eritrea—an estimated 250 to 300 Christians as of June 2022, including five currently listed on PrisonerAlert.com. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
Helen Berhane was tortured then imprisoned in a metal shipping container in the African nation of Eritrea. But in spite of terrible persecution she kept singing praises to God! In 2002, the Eritrean government banned evangelical churches from holding public worship services – forcing Christians to meet illegally, in secret. Helen and other believers did not stop meeting, and it wasn't long until she and many other persecuted Christians were imprisoned. Helen had intentionally prepared herself; she was ready to stand firm in her faith for Christ even in the face of the persecution she knew was coming. Everything, she says, has a price, including following Jesus. Listen as Helen shares how she prepared for her trials and the Bible verses that encouraged her even as she was held in the harshest of prison conditions. God's presence continued to strengthen her to deny herself, stay disciplined and even gain a better understanding of Jesus' suffering. Helen would cry – not because of the situation, but because of her experience of the unconditional love of God. And through it all, Helen chose joy and kept on singing. Instead of worshipping in the front of the church or in the spotlight, she worshipped simply in the presence of God. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Romans 10:14 asks, “How are they to hear without someone preaching?” Dr. Pam Arlund, Global Training and Research Leader for All Nations International, joins The Voice of the Martyrs Radio this week to share about John Chau's mission to North Sentinel Island, where he was killed in 2018. Arlund was part of screening John for mission service and training him to go and serve. As a teenager, John sensed God calling him to take the gospel to the Sentinelese people. For nine years, he prepared to go to the island, live among the people, learn their language and share Christ with them. John's story and legacy are being commemorated this year on Day of the Christian Martyr. Listen as Arlund shares her memories of John, including his hunger for training and knowledge and his in-depth preparation and planning for life on the island. She'll also talk about the days after John's murder, the extreme pressure All Nations leaders experienced from media and others, and the surprising response from some North American Christians. Pam also shares how we can pray for North Sentinel Island and for God to raise up individuals willing to heed His call to missions and to take the gospel to the ends of the earth—even to places where Christian persecution is common. Read more about John Chau's story and watch a video about his mission. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the Podcast.
The Bible promises Christians will be persecuted (John 15:18-20; II Timothy 3:12), yet most Christians in the United States and other Western nations have not experienced persecution for their faith. But what if that's changing? How should Christians in free nations prepare for possible future persecution? VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, shares specific lessons from Christians who have already faced persecution and victoriously endured. Todd will also share how followers of Christ in free nations can put these lessons into practice in our own spiritual walk, starting right now. Listen also for the blessings found in the midst of suffering for Christ and ways God uses persecution to grow and strengthen His church. In sharing these stories, Todd refers to several previous VOM Radio guests, including Helen Berhane from Eritrea, Nik and Ruth Ripken, Dan Baumann, David Byle and Pastor Hassan from Sudan. For more stories and lessons from persecuted Christians, read Todd's book, When Faith is Forbidden: 40 Days on the Frontlines With Persecuted Christians. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
“Benesh” has been a believer in Christ less than five years, but in that short time she's already planted more than 30 house churches in The Islamic Republic of Iran! Benesh grew up in a Muslim home, but over time she began to question many aspects of Islamic teaching. As a teenager, she overheard some women talking about the fact that Christian women—without the oppressive restrictions of Islam—were more free than Muslim women. Benesh was curious to know more about Christianity and the peace and love Jesus offers. While she was in college, Benesh's father became very sick. Her mother prayed repeatedly to Allah to heal him, but it didn't work. Her father died. Shortly after, her mother died also. Her grief at the loss of her parents pushed Benesh further to seek answers about Christ. First, she looked on the Internet. When she moved to a bigger city for employment, a coworker there invited her to a church meeting. Experiencing Christian worship and fellowship for the first time, she knew Jesus wanted her to put her faith and trust in Him. In spite of her parents' death Benesh had peace from God, which shocked her sister and other family members. Many were curious why she was different, which gave her open doors to share Jesus. At first, Benesh feared what her family or others would say or do if she shared Christ with them, but she quickly overcame that fear when she realized how hungry Iranians are for the truth. Sharing your faith can be a dangerous task in Islamic countries, but Benesh was so focused on sharing the joy she'd found in Christ that she almost forgot about the threat of the Islamic regime! Listen as Benesh shares how we can pray for her ministry, for the Iranian regime, and for bold witnesses for Christ in the Middle East—and as she challenges every Christian to tell others about Jesus. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the Podcast.
As a missionary kid, Brother John was raised by parents focused on bringing glory to God's Kingdom. His father taught theology in the Bahamas and eventually moved the family to an unreached area –British Guiana – so people there could know that true freedom is only in Jesus. As a grown man, John took his own family to serve among Muslims. Brother John is now the Vice President of Global Engagement for the International Mission Board, helping send missionaries and plant churches all over the world, with a special focus on unreached peoples and areas. Listen as Brother John shares the story of Dr. Martha Myers and other Christians who served in Yemen before being martyred for their faith in Christ. Yet even in that loss and heartache, the Lord moved to further His Word. With an emphasis on the authority of scripture in missions work, Brother John loves distributing audio Bibles since many unreached people are illiterate or prefer listening to the scriptures rather than reading. He'll also tell of hearts transformed in the deaf community as they reach out with God's Word. More than 90% of the IMB efforts are focused on reaching the unreached for Christ. Pray unreached peoples will encounter the gospel and that the Lord would open doors in restricted nations for Bibles to be distributed. Listen to Brother John's previous interview on VOM Radio here where he shared how teaching your children foreign languages is a strategic plan to serve the Lord. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast.
With a heart to share the gospel, Kenneth Charles has experienced the different forms of persecution Christians in Pakistan face. Kenneth experienced the reality of being persecuted for Christ even as a young boy. He first learned of The Voice of the Martyrs through Tortured for Christ; the book was translated into Urdu by Kenneth's brother. Growing up in a Christian family living in an Islamic context, Kenneth knew persecution would come. When he was a young boy, a peer attacked him with a knife. He still bears the scar. Kenneth came to know Christ through a miraculous healing; a pastor then helped deepen his understanding of Biblical truth. The very next day, Kenneth was accompanying that pastor in ministry – sharing the gospel in villages around the country. Now, through God's Vision Ministries, which he founded, Kenneth is distributing audio Bibles in the Urdu language, conducting street ministry, and giving seminary training to church leaders throughout Pakistan—and even in other nations. Listen as Kenneth discusses the great need for leadership training in Pakistan and equipping believers there to answer questions from their Muslim neighbors—many of whom are curious about Christianity. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast.
Throughout the Middle East, Muslims are surrendering their lives to Christ—in spite of family pressure and overt persecution. VOM's Middle East regional leader, Aaron Miller, shares stories from the region, and how we can pray for Christian brothers and sisters there. Join as Aaron discusses the situation for church planting in Turkey and the persecution in a place where being Muslim is seen as part of one's national identity. You'll also hear about a young husband who was training to be an Imam, qualified to teach the Quran, but has become a devoted follower of Christ. Facing persecution from their family, he and his wife have found a new family through fellow believers. Aaron will also share the intensity of persecution in Iraq, where lawlessness runs rampant. He will equip us to pray for the believers there. There are many individual cases of persecution—often coming from one's own family. Aaron shares the heartbreaking story of a young daughter persecuted by her own father—all to punish her mother for leaving Islam to follow Jesus. Aaron reminds us that as God's Kingdom advances, the enemy will fight back. Yet we see God's kingdom prevailing and spreading throughout the Middle East. Pray for these dear families and churches living for Christ in spite of the cost. Pray for gospel workers in the region, and for VOM international ministry staff, that they would be renewed in their faith as they see and hear stories of persecution and seek to encourage believers living through it. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast.
Joe and Dawn are back on VOM Radio share what the Lord has been doing through their discipleship training and Bible smuggling ministry in the Middle East. They will also share how God opened a new door to ministry among women trapped in prostitution. Joe and Dawn are involved in Bible delivery to persecuted Christians in Iran. Believers targeted by the Iranian regime face the challenging choice to flee the country or stay, knowing they could be imprisoned for their faith. A Christian sister has recently begun a two-year prison sentence, yet she reported to prison excited about the ministry opportunities God had prepared for her in prison. In spite of so much Christian persecution, thousands of Iranians are choosing to follow Christ. Joe says that for many of them, “Islam is getting old.” It is exciting for Joe and Dawn to be involved in the great harvest of church growth happening among people of the Middle East. There are also burdens Joe and Dawn carry as they labor in this ministry work. Listen to hear how they choose to give their anxieties to the Lord each day, and how they think about raising their children in a “dangerous” part of the world. They will share some of the key lessons they want their children to notice in their lives and in God's work around them. Last time they visited VOM Radio, Joe shared his testimony of how he met Jesus as a prisoner through God's Word, and how his life was completely changed. Listen here as he tells how God transformed him from a prisoner and criminal into a committed follower of Christ. Joe and Dawn will also encourage you to pray for open doors to deliver Bibles across all parts of Iran, and for their family during a season of rest and Sabbath with the Lord. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the Podcast
Muslims around the world are commemorating the holiest month on the Islamic calendar: Ramadan. Muslims fast from sunup to sundown as a way to dedicate themselves to Allah and earn his approval. It is a strategic time for Christians to pray fervently for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus and the truth of the gospel during Muslims' heightened spiritual interest. Listen as guests explain the significance of Ramadan, then lead in praying for Muslims to encounter Christ during this month. They will also help listeners pray for persecuted Christians serving amongst Muslims. Our guests, who work in Muslim nations and among Muslims, will provide specific ways we can pray during this Ramadan month and especially the “Night of Power.” Set a reminder to pray each day during this pivotal time for the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ to Muslims during Ramadan--through dreams and visions, a Christian friend, a Bible, gospel broadcast, social media post or in some other way. Guests leading us in prayer include: Susanna Koh, the wife of kidnapped Pastor Raymond Koh, from Malaysia. (Hear her story.) “Soher” from Yemen Tom Doyle, Uncharted Ministries(Previous appearances on VOM Radio here and here.) JoAnn Doyle, Not Forgotten Ministries(Previous appearances on VOM Radio here and here.) Mehrdad Fatehi, PARS Theological Center(Previous conversations on VOM Radio here and here.) “Shawki” from Bahrain Lucy, Global Catalytic Ministries(Listen to “Ali,” also from GCIC, here.) Amir Bazmjou, Torch Ministries(You can hear Amir's story here.) (Amir's wife, Rashin, is the daughter of martyred Iranian Pastor Hossein Soodmand. Hear her story here.) Dick Brogden, Live Dead Ministries(Previous conversations on VOM Radio here and here.) David from Egypt Mike Ansari, Heart 4 Iran Ministries(Previous conversations on VOM Radio here, here, and here.) Hormoz Shariat, Iran Alive Ministries(Previous conversations on VOM Radio here and here) Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
After serving as a gospel worker in western China for ten years, Dr. Pam Arlund now serves on the International Leadership Team for All Nations International, training and sending the next generation of missionaries. God called her to the unreached in China through examples of great missionaries like Hudson Taylor and Robert Morrison. Pam had never left the U.S. before she moved to China. She trusted the Lord would protect her and guide her in building relationships with local people. Like many missionaries, she went through different emotions and difficulties. Yet, her obedience in difficult seasons allowed her to develop a deeper relationship with Jesus. Listen as Pam shares some of her experience on the field, and how that influenced the way she trains gospel workers today. She will also introduce her new book, Stick Figures Save the World, which explains how simple drawings can help anyone be a witness for Christ. Pam will also talk about the responsibility of sending missionaries to hard and dangerous places—places where Christian persecution is intense. Finally, Pam shares how we can pray for missionaries we know and encourage them as they persevere in the Lord's call on their life. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
Last year the world witnessed thousands of Afghans fleeing their country as the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. This week John Weaver, who lived for years in Afghanistan and speaks daily with people still inside the country, shares what is happening now under the Taliban government—especially with regard to our Christian brothers and sisters. Although many Afghans fled, many have stayed—including Afghan believers in Jesus. Everyone in Afghanistan is dealing with a disrupted economy, with some losing jobs, and others losing family and friends and all dealing with lack of available resources. Amidst Islamist oppression, there are opportunities for Christians to serve and be a witness. The church is underground, a persecuted minority, meeting in small groups yet still quietly finding ways to share the gospel. Afghans are also being reached in the countries to which they have fled—including via social media. Refugees have gone through trauma and stress. Yet, they have been welcomed into other countries—often more welcomed by Christians than fellow Muslims, which gives new opportunities to share the gospel. John will share stories of prayers that have been answered since the Taliban takeover—and give listeners current needs to lift in prayer on behalf of Afghan Christians—our brothers and sisters in faith. Never miss an episode! Subscribe to the podcast.
Soner Tufan says many Muslims in Turkey no longer believe Islam can answer the needs of their heart—or their country. Soner leads Radio Shema, broadcasting the gospel message, encouraging persecuted Christians and reaching curious Muslims all over Turkey. And God is multiplying the reach of His message. During Covid quarantine, Radio Shema used digital platforms like Instagram to reach millions of people, seeing ten times more feedback from listeners and twenty times more responses from people coming to faith! Soner also shares memories of his three friends, martyred 15 years ago this month in the offices of a Christian publishing house in the city of Malatya. Soon after the killings, four teenagers came to the radio station where one threatened Soner: “If you say anything, I will kill you.” Soner will also help us pray for Christians in Turkey, and for the ministry of Radio Shema. Pray for protection and courage for Christians in Turkey as they face strong opposition. Pray for effective discipleship to raise up more pastors and leaders for the persecuted church, and pray many more Muslims in Turkey will hear the gospel. Soner is also praying for more radio stations—he estimates that 95% of the people in Turkey have not yet heard the gospel message. Last week, Soner shared how he came to faith in Christ after growing up Muslim, the opposition from his family and friends, and how the ministry of Radio Shema came to be. Listen to last week's episode here. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
“I'm proud of being Turkish and, at the same time, I am a follower of Jesus Christ.” Soner Tufan's words may not seem remarkable to people in Western nations. But in Turkey, where people consider being Muslim an inherent part of their identity and culture, his words immediately capture attention. Radio Shema, the ministry Soner leads, is broadcasting the gospel message all over Turkey, along with the testimony that a person can be a patriotic Turk and also a follower of Jesus. His message is being received—by Turks curious about Jesus and by those opposed to the gospel. Soner received a 14-page threat letter from ISIS. He's lived under 24-hour police protection. He says more threats come every week. But he's seen the Turkish church grow from a handful of believers to thousands, and he refuses to turn away from the work God has called him to. Soner became a Christian in 1985 through the witness of his Taekwondo instructor. At that time, there were perhaps fifty Christians in Turkey. Today, there are 7,000, and one of the key ways God is reaching Turks is through radio and TV broadcasting. Listen as Soner shares how God opened the door for Christian radio broadcasts in an Islamic nation—even while constructing a church building was impossible! Soner will share more details of his life as a Christian, the amazing transformation of his brother—who persecuted Soner when he became a Christian—turning to Jesus, and how God has made the impossible happen with Radio Shema in Turkey. Never miss and episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
Tony Benjamin travelled to meet persecuted Christians long before he was the president of a ministry serving such believers. In fact, he wasn't even an employee when he joined a missions trip to Vietnam. But meeting and ministering alongside persecuted Christians there left a permanent mark on Tony's life and faith—and today he leads The Voice of the Martyrs Australia. Tony says more and more Christians in Australia desire to be part of “the fellowship of Christ's suffering,” and the ministry is growing dramatically each year. He and the staff are finding ways to speak directly to Australia's Christians—including airing VOM Radio broadcasts. They also are reaching outside Australia's borders and inviting Christians across the South Pacific into fellowship with persecuted believers. Listen as Tony shares about witnessing the start of a flourishing ministry in Egypt that today reaches Muslims all over the Middle East and North Africa. As the difficulties Christians face intensify, Tony encourages each of us to enhance our relationship with God, the ultimate source of our strength. Tony will also equip listeners to pray for VOM Australia and its ongoing work to serve and bless persecuted Christians. Merv Knight, the co-founder of VOM Australia, has previously been a guest on VOM Radio, including remarks he shared on his retirement from the board of VOM-USA and memories of serving with Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, the founders of The Voice of the Martyrs. Never miss an episode of VOM radio! Subscribe to the Podcast
Carter Gates leads VOM's work in the Asia Pacific Region. This week he shares how he came to be involved in ministry, some travel and ministry experiences, and updates on the persecution of Christians in China, Myanmar, and Vietnam. Carter's first spark of interest in missions came after reading a VOM book, Jesus Freaks, where he first read about Christians being persecuted for their faith. The stories, including one from North Korea, stirred in him a passion to know more about what his brothers and sisters in Christ are facing. Carter joined YWAM as a sophomore in college, and what he thought would be a few months of service turned into seven years ministering throughout East Asia! China continues to enforce drastic religious restrictions, including expelling many Christian foreigners, some of whom have lived and worked in China for decades. Local believers say they are ready to take the lead and continue God's work—even as they face suffering and persecution. Carter will also discuss restrictions and persecution in Myanmar and Vietnam, including how Covid has affected ministry and travel in the past two years. Carter will also share an opportunity VOM workers had to help Christians obtain ground to bury their dead—something that's been a blessing to Christians and a powerful testimony to Buddhists living in the surrounding area. Carter will help us know specific ways to pray for access to God's Word, strength for the church and for the Lord to continue to lead His people in the Asia Pacific region. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast
Listen this week as we share Part 2 (listen to Part 1) of Silas's story. He will tell of the darkest moments in his life, suffering intense persecution for his Christian faith. Silas and his family continued in obedience to Christ despite threats from the KGB. Silas's refusal to bow to their agenda angered them. Silas was arrested and tortured in ways that, as a lawyer, he found unbelievable. He says his doubts, shame, and moments of weakness reminded him to lean into God's power. By remembering the suffering of Christ, Silas was overwhelmed with comfort. As Silas trusted the Lord in his suffering, he saw God working on the hearts of others—including his torturers! The head KGB officer who tortured Silas and his Christian friend later asked Silas's forgiveness and prayer for his family. He was even welcomed into the home of one of the Christians he'd tortured. Today Silas is involved in ministry through radio/TV broadcasting and various internet platforms to share the gospel in the Turkmen language, knowing how it impacted him to see on film Jesus speaking his own language. Pray for the good news to continue to spread throughout Turkmenistan and to Turkmen people all over the world! Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
Brother Silas, raised in the former Soviet republic of Turkmenistan, says that as a young man he was an atheist in his head but a Muslim in his heart. When a family member shared his faith in Jesus Christ, Silas angrily rejected such talk. In his mind, Christianity was foreign to the Turkmen people, the faith of the invading Russians. Yet, as Silas heard the stories and teachings of Jesus, he found himself attracted by who Jesus is. Through a VHS copy of the Jesus Film in the Turkmen language and the divine opportunity to watch it, Silas committed his life to following Christ. Listen as Silas shares how hearing Jesus speak in Turkmen, his own heart's tongue, made the gospel real and personal to him. Immediately, Silas experienced overwhelming joy and peace. All his questions had been answered. He began to share Christ with others in his village. But as his obedient actions for Christ became known, Silas got his first taste of Christian persecution. Government agents, focused on keeping control of Turkmenistan's people, raided church meetings and even Silas's home. Be sure to listen next week to hear part two of Silas's testimony and the intense persecution he faced. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Across the Middle East, Muslims have questions about their faith. But Islamic teaching doesn't encourage or allow such questions. As a young man in Morocco, Brother Rachid had questions also; he found answers through a Christian radio broadcast and chose to follow Christ. Today he hosts an Arabic-language TV program airing all over the Middle East. On the first broadcast, he asked Muslims to call in with questions about Islam and Christianity. In the first half hour of the program more than 800 people called with questions! Listen to hear how Rachid learned to see outside his own worldview and break down Islamic ideologies he was taught. Over time, his actions and ideas changed; others noticed that his entire life had been transformed. Persecution came swiftly. When his family found out he was a Christian, they kicked him out of the house. Rachid connected with other Christians, which gave him joy and excitement knowing he had a new family, but also fear he could be imprisoned or persecuted for his faith. Rachid will advise how we can help Muslim friends find answers to their questions in Christ. Pray for breakthroughs in the hearts of Muslims as the gospel is shared through TV and radio broadcasts all over the Middle East. You can also watch a video version of Brother Rachid's testimony. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the Podcast.
Among tribal groups in East Asia, new believers in Christ can be forcibly removed from their homes and villages. Animistic tribesmen desire to please and appease the spirits they worship; those who come to faith in Jesus are seen as angering the spirits. However, those who follow Jesus are part of a new community as brothers and sisters come alongside to encourage one another amidst persecution. Matt and Linda are working with people from one of these tribes. They'll explain how the gospel is spreading and what Christian persecution looks like in that setting. Linda helps run a Sunday school program which is serving children from believing and unbelieving homes alike. Even parents who don't know Christ are encouraging their kids to go! Listen as Matt and Linda share the importance of teaching Bible stories in these tribal communities, and how younger generations point their parents toward the Lord. As villagers see the power of God and His love for them, hearts are touched and transformed. Pray for gospel workers in tribal communities in Asia, and for the safe distribution of God's Word into hostile areas and restricted nations in the region. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio. Subscribe to the podcast.
Ten or 20 years ago, persecution of Christians in China varied greatly across China's 31 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions. Bob Fu—a former teacher at the Communist Party School in Beijing and prisoner for Christ in China—says things are much different today. Chinese Christian persecution is driven by the national government in Beijing; every province is expected to control religious expression. Fu is the Founder and President of China Aid Association and author of God's Double Agent. Listen as he shares how the communist government has cracked down on Christians in recent years and how Christians have suffered ahead of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games. Bob says persecution of Christians in China today is the worst it's been since the 1960s and 70s Cultural Revolution. Xi Jinping and other officials are increasing efforts to imprison and detain unregistered church leaders and members—but leaders in state-sanctioned TSPM churches are also persecuted. Communist ideology is also enforced through digital surveillance. Every Chinese person is required to install a “health app” on their phone, and surveillance cameras throughout the country monitor movement. Online meetings with any religious purpose are now required to register and be approved by provincial authorities, and Bible apps have been forbidden. As the eyes of the world turn toward China during the Games, join Christians around the world to pray for Chinese Christians—and for their persecutors. Go to www.PrayForChina2022.com to learn more about what is happening in China and how you can pray for Christian brothers and sisters there.
As a young adult, John sensed the call to surrender his life to bring glory to God and reach Tibetan Buddhists in the Himalayan region for Christ. Listen as John shares how he started in full-time ministry among Tibetan people, their culture, and encouraging stories of persecuted Christians in the region. Tibetan Buddhists' beliefs often mix traditional Buddhism with existing shamanistic beliefs of the region. In tightly-knit communities, those who come to faith in Jesus face persecution from families and the broader community. John connects established Tibetan Christians with new believers to share their experiences of persecution and faith, preparing the new believers for what may come. Listen as John shares encouraging stories of young people finding hope in Jesus. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Come with us to the Middle East as VOM Radio host, Todd Nettleton, and his wife, Char, share stories from a recent visit to persecuted Christians in the region. Listen as they share updates on Iraqi refugees who fled from ISIS more than five years ago and what the Lord is currently doing in the lives of persecuted Christians – even one who has only been a believer one week! You'll hear about an Iranian woman who, in just two years as a believer, has planted almost 40 churches! She uses every opportunity to pray for others in Jesus' name. When those prayers are answered, they instantly want to know more about the Lord she serves. Learn about Christians in the Middle East sacrificially staying with Muslim family members—in spite of persecution—in the hope of seeing their relatives know Christ. Listen also to hear about a service where former Muslims were baptized into new life in Christ—and the joy radiating from the new believers' faces. As ISIS drove across the Nineveh plains, many Iraqi Christians fled to surrounding countries as refugees. More than five years later, many are still waiting for a new beginning in another country. They are unable to work and their children can't attend school. But the church is welcoming them—both Muslim and Christian refugees. VOM continues to partner with churches to help meet Christian refugees' needs and encourage them in this discouraging season. Learn how you can pray for them and for the church in the Middle East. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast!
Across Africa, the church is undergoing attacks on its members and their meeting places. Yet despite the destruction, our Christian brothers and sisters exhibit an overwhelming joy in Christ. Sean Paton and Jeremy Malkin continue the conversation from last week on VOM's efforts to help our persecuted brothers in Burkina Faso, Benin, Sudan, and Mozambique. Listen as Jeremy and Sean share how Christians are responding to the persecution in these regions—and also share encouraging stories of God's work in Africa during the past year. Animistic ideology and belief in the spirits of their ancestors is prevalent in Benin. Christianity is often seen as destroying that culture. New believers are rejecting the rituals and practices of animism and holding fast to their faith in Christ, and therefore being targeted. In Burkina Faso, thirteen churches were destroyed within a week last year by mobs who wanted to rid the area of Christianity. Yet our brothers and sisters gathered to worship the Lord amidst the destruction because of their hope in Him. Listen as Jeremy shares their stories and how we can pray for them. In Mozambique, there has been horrific persecution of Christians by Islamic extremist groups who have pledged allegiance to ISIS. This has forced many Christians to flee, and VOM is helping to meet physical needs and spiritual hunger for God's Word. In Sudan, political tension continues to grow, which has given a window to provide spiritual encouragement and support to Christians through Bibles and other evangelistic resources. Pray for our brothers and sisters to be bold and courageous for Christ in Africa as they face animistic and Islamist persecution, and to be reminded that what men intend for evil, God can use for good. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Across Africa, instability and the growing influence of radical Islamist ideology mean more persecution for our Christian brothers and sisters. Sean Paton and Jeremy Malkin oversee VOM's efforts to serve persecuted Christians across Africa. Listen as they share updates on how Christians are responding—especially in the Central African Republic and Ethiopia. Thousands of Christians have been displaced in CAR by a civil war in which Christians have at times found themselves specifically targeted and at other times been caught in the crossfire between different factions. Listen as Jeremy gives an update on their situation, tells of meeting them first hand and describes specific ways we can pray for them. Ethiopia has also experienced upheaval in the past year, which provided cover for targeting Christians by those opposed to the gospel in the region. Sean will tell us what Christians there are facing, and give ways to pray. You can be inspired to pray for Christians in these and other nations throughout 2022 when you request your free copy of the 2022 VOM Global Prayer Guide. Subscribe to the VOM Radio podcast so you never miss an episode!
Join us as we continue to look back on some of the most moving moments on VOM Radio in 2021: “Brother Aaron” says Christian persecution in Pakistan is “like the air”—all around, all the time. Aaron Miller says his personal experience of persecution was surprising—but sacred as well. Dan Baumann and Andrew Brunson said they don't miss being in prison, but sometimes they do miss that intimacy with God. (Register to view the Imprisoned for Christ Virtual Event.) Ellen Oblander shared how Richard Wurmbrand responded to suffering—even long after he was released from prison. Anita Smith remembered the death of her husband, Ronnie Smith, in Libya, and how she began to pray for the men who killed him. Tat Stewart tells about being in Tehran the day the US Embassy was taken over in 1979—and how God honored the spiritual seeds he planted in Iran. Andy Byrd told of a young lady who came to Christ in the Himalayas—and paid a very high price. “Brother Stephen” remembered telling the story of Jesus in a Bedouin camp to people who had never heard it before. Tom and JoAnn Doyle shared how God transformed a man from Syria named Mohammed—and through that transformation reached his wife, Dina, as well. John Weaver shared specific ways to pray for Afghanistan after the Taliban takeover of the country. After hearing these brief program excerpts, you'll want to go back and listen to the entire conversations. You can search for VOM Radio on your favorite podcast app, or listen online at the links below. Brother Aaron from Pakistan Aaron Miller Dan Baumann and Andrew Brunson panel discussion Ellen Oblander, editor for Richard Wurmbrand Anita Smith on forgiving her husband's murderers Tat Stewart on living in Tehran in 1979 Andy Byrd, leader of The Send Brother Stephen from Operation Mobilization Tom and JoAnn Doyle John Weaver on Afghanistan We praise God for allowing VOM Radio to share these amazing stories of His faithfulness in 2021. THANK YOU for listening. Please subscribe to the podcast and share VOM Radio with Christian friends you know would also be encouraged by these testimonies!
Join in as we begin a look back on some of the amazing testimonies God allowed VOM Radio to share in 2021: C. Anderson from YWAM shares how she overcame fear to serve the Lord around the world. Brother Joshua from Cuba says he's afraid every time he encounters Cuban police or authorities—but trusts God will give him the words to say. Maria says she told God that if He was calling her to dangerous work in restricted nations, He needed to take away her fear—and God answered her prayer! Alayu from Ethiopia was given a choice: “choose Jesus or my gun.” He explained to his persecutor that he'd already made that choice: he chose Jesus. Brother Joe was almost overcome by a spirit of fear when he was told a spy had infiltrated his Bible smuggling network. Listen to how he prayed—and the Biblical example that inspired him to overcome. Paul and Suzy Childers serve together in ministry with YWAM. Listen to how they consistently send each other out into difficulties and danger, trusting each other into the Lord's care. Cheng Jie and her husband—a Chinese pastor—had talked about what would happen if he was arrested. But they weren't prepared for her to be the one who went to jail. Both Gracia and Semse lost their husbands to persecution attacks. They shared how they have been able to bear that loss—and how it affected their children. We'll also share a brief excerpt from the audio version of VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton's book, When Faith if Forbidden. After hearing these brief interview excerpts, you'll want to go back and listen to the entire conversations. You can search for VOM Radio on your favorite podcast app, or listen online at the links below. C. Anderson Brother Joshua Maria from Cuba Alayu from Ethiopia Joe and Dawn: “We didn't come here to be safe.” Paul and Suzy Childers: Part 1 and Part 2 Cheng Jie Gracia and Semse: Part 1 and Part 2 When Faith is Forbidden audio book: Departure Day and Day 1 Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts. Also: share a link to VOM Radio with a Christian friend who will also be blessed by these testimonies.
Jonathan Ekman leads The Voice of the Martyrs' international work, overseeing a team serving persecuted Christians in more than 70 nations around the world. As we look back on VOM's international efforts in 2021, listen to hear how God used Covid-19 to facilitate delivery of 50,000 Bibles into an extremely closed nation, how persecution has increased in Africa and how God may use the Taliban to further the gospel advance in Afghanistan. Jonathan will also talk about what Christmas looks like in hostile and restricted nations, and encourage us with specific ways that we can pray for our persecuted family members. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
“I was really thirsty for God, hungry for God, to find who He is,” Pastor Amir Bazmjou says. “That's why I became very fanatic Muslim.” Amir was born into a Shia Muslim family in Iran, and he grew into a very devout Muslim seeking to earn Allah's favor. When Shia Islam couldn't answer the desires of his heart for a relationship with Allah, he became Sufi, a form of Islamic mysticism. Then someone gave him a Bible. In spite of a lifetime of conditioning not to believe the Bible, Amir began to read. When Amir asked Jesus—if He was real—to change Amir's heart, God answered that prayer. Listen to hear Amir's inspiring testimony, and pray for persecuted Christians in Iran. Amir's wife, Rashin Soodmand, is the daughter of Iranian martyr Pastor Hossein Soodmand. Listen to her story. Connect with Amir, Rashin and Torch Ministries at their web site. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
“Pastor Chitria” has been arrested multiple times for his ministry work in Nepal. He says such treatment is an honor and a privilege! Pastor Chitria talks about preparing believers to stand strong in the face of Christian persecution. He says new Christians preparing for baptism must answer seven questions, including whether they are willing to lose their family, friends and even their freedom to stand for Christ. Hindus believe there are more than 330 million gods—yet radical Hindus in Nepal see Jesus as a great threat to their life and culture. Pastor Chitria shares one unique challenge Nepali Christians face when one of their fellow believers dies, and how it is used to pressure new believers to renounce their faith in Christ. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
On December 5, 2013, Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in the Libyan city of Benghazi. In this second half of our interview with Anita Smith, Ronnie's widow, she talks about the legacy her husband left and the faith she continues to exercise in raising their son without his earthly father around. Shortly after Ronnie's death, Anita spoke in media interviews about her love for the Libyan people and about forgiving her husband's murderers—including interviews in Arabic with Middle East broadcasters. Anita will share some of the things she wants their son to know about his earthly father, and ways God has encouraged and sustained her in the eight years since Ronnie's murder. She'll also talk about how the testimonies of other Christians facing persecution and hardship encouraged her faith. If you missed the first half of the conversation with Anita, listen here. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
On December 5, 2013, Ronnie Smith was shot and killed in the Libyan city of Benghazi. Within days, Ronnie's wife, Anita, spoke on national TV in the US about her love for the Libyan people and about forgiving her husband's murderers. She also did interviews—in Arabic—that were broadcast all over the Middle East. Listen to Anita Smith share the story—the story of her grief, but also the story of how God was present in those days, and in the years since. She'll talk about how God inspired her and Ronnie to pursue overseas gospel work—and how they prayed as they moved to Benghazi just months after the US consulate was overrun by Islamist fighters. She'll tell how their neighbors welcomed and adopted them—and about the day she received the terrible phone call that Ronnie had been killed. Listen next week for Part 2 of our conversation with Anita Smith. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Aaron Miller leads VOM's work in the Middle East. Recently he spoke in a college chapel, including telling the story of an experience of persecution he endured in India. Aaron says even though the Bible promises Christians will face persecution, in that moment of suffering as he was punched and kicked he was surprised. But something else happened as well: he experienced God's presence and grace in a significant and sacred way. “In a way that I never dreamed of, I had a fellowship with Christ that I did not have before,” he says of that day. Aaron also shares stories of persecuted Christians in Colombia, Bangladesh and the Middle East. Aaron Miller has previously appeared on VOM Radio; you can hear some of those conversations here, here and here. Our thanks to Reformation Bible College for permission to share Aaron's chapel presentation with VOM Radio listeners. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio. Subscribe to the podcast.
Join us this week for a podcast concert of prayer on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world in commemoration of the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians (IDOP). Leaders from among VOM's international ministry regions will talk about specific prayer needs in their region of the world, then lead in prayer for persecuted brothers and sisters in those regions. Author John Weaver will lead a special time of prayer for Afghanistan and Christians there in light of the upheaval and transition that took place in that nation this year. Former prisoner for Christ Petr Jasek will lead in prayer specifically for Sudan in light of the recent coup. Join in prayer for persecuted Christians this week on VOM Radio, then pray throughout the year with help from VOM's Global Prayer Guide, iCommitToPray.com or the 2022 VOM Prayer Calendar. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
John Grooters is the director of a new movie portraying the marriage, choice to become Christians and early persecution of VOM's founders, Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand—told through the eyes of Sabina. SABINA: Tortured For Christ, The Nazi Years will screen in more than 800 theaters in the US for three days only – November 8, 9 and 10. Buy tickets here. Grooters also directed Tortured For Christ – The Movie, which portrayed how the Wurmbrands were persecuted under communists in Romania. SABINA is a prequel to the first film, telling an earlier part of the Wurmbrands' story, including their persecution—and how they blessed—Nazi forces that occupied their nation. Listen as John talks about the challenge of making a film in the Wurmbrands' native Romania in the midst of a worldwide Covid-19 pandemic. John will also share how God's hand was on the production, including filming the scene of Richard's baptism in the very room where it happened! You'll hear how Richard and Sabina's faith has impacted Grooters as he spent five years deeply connected to their story as he created two films, and how he hopes it will impact the faith of viewers around the US and all over the world. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio. Subscribe to the podcast!
Jonathan Ekman and Matthew Hanson recently visited persecuted Christians in Central Asia—Christians caught between a growing wave of radical Islam and governments with a communist-style distrust of all religion. Matthew and Jonathan will share stories from believers they met. Listen to hear “the rest of the story” of one of the chapters in When Faith Is Forbidden (VOM Radio host Todd Nettleton's book), including how God has built on the legacy of a martyred pastor in Tajikistan. They'll also share the story of a woman who faced intense persecution from her own family, yet has seen God take her suffering and create something “beautiful.” Christians in Central Asia don't have protection from their governments or from families. Yet the church is growing across the region as more and more people experience the spiritual family of followers of Jesus. You can receive a free copy of When Faith is Forbidden when you make a donation to The Voice of the Martyrs. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
How long was it from the time you heard Jesus died, until you knew that He rose again? What did you feel in that interim? Grief? Loss? Defeat? And what did it mean when you knew that He did rise again? “Brother Stephen” has worked with Operation Mobilization for many years sharing the gospel among Muslims, including nomadic peoples in the Middle East. He has told the story of Jesus to people who had never heard it before! Listen for the story of how one woman responded to Jesus' death. Brother Stephen will share how God called him to missions, and advise those feeling a call to missionary service today. He challenges us to see Muslims not as an enemy to be defeated, but as a prize to be won for Christ. He'll also share about Muslims making the decision to follow Christ and the price they often pay for that decision. How can Christians living in free nations reach out to Muslims they know or work with? How can we pray for gospel work among Muslims? Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Rashin Soodmand was 13 years old when Iran's government executed her father, Pastor Hossein Soodmand, and buried him in an unmarked grave in a part of the cemetery reserved for “the cursed.” But killing this faithful pastor didn't erase his legacy or stop the growth of the church in Iran. Her father wasn't the only martyr of the persecuted Iranian church that Rashin knew well. In this second part of our conversation, Rashin shares things she remembers about other martyrs she knew personally: Haik Hovsepian, who preached at her father's funeral; Mehdi Dibaj, who encouraged her to attend Bible school; and Pastor Mohammad “Ravanbakhsh” Yusefi. To learn more about the current ministry activities of Rashin and her husband, Amir, visit the Torch Ministries web site. If you missed the first part of this conversation, listen here. Next month Christians around the world will join in prayer for persecuted Christians on the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. Download your free IDOP resources now. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Rashin Soodmand was 13 years old when her father, Pastor Hossein Soodmand, was executed in Iran for the crime of apostasy. Rashin remembers that day as a strange mix of sadness and joy as she, her family and members of their church dealt with the loss of Pastor Soodmand while at the same time celebrating his life and the fact that he had stood boldly in the face of Christian persecution and threats. Rashin will tell how church leaders encouraged Pastor Hossein to leave Iran and go somewhere safer. He refused; he knew that for him to flee would discourage the hearts of his congregation. She'll describe the man she knew—a man who genuinely loved people, both Christians and Muslims—and tell of the last time she saw her dad. To learn more about the current ministry activities of Rashin and her husband, Amir, visit the Torch Ministries web site. Next month Christians around the world will join in prayer for persecuted Christians on the International Day of Prayer for Persecuted Christians. Download your free IDOP resources now. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.
Joe Handley leads Asian Access, a ministry to train and equip church leaders—including many working in countries where Christians face persecution for their faith. Listen as Joe shares the story of an imprisoned Christian in Myanmar who found a way to be a blessing, even from inside prison. Joe will also talk about training up leaders in hostile and restricted nations—and especially helping them learn to abide in and rely on Christ. Hear how Christians in Sri Lanka reached out to those opposing them, and the way it opened a door for the gospel in a formerly-closed village. And learn how the gospel is advancing in India, in spite of persecution. Don't forget: the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, coming up November 7. Get free resources from VOM to help you and your church pray. Never miss an episode of VOM Radio! Subscribe to the podcast.