Sunday, June 20, 2010

This summer will you Blow the Whistle... on Persecution?

This summer the world will be watching. 32 teams in 8 groups, 64 matches in 10 stadiums but only one winner. By the time you read this the World cup will be well under way. But in some countries fans won't get a chance to follow their team.
North Korea, Algeria and Nigeria all appear on Open Doors list of 50 countries where persecution of Christians is hardest. What is Open Doors you may ask?
The ministry of Open Doors began in 1955 when God called a young Dutchman to act on the basis of Revelation 3:2: "Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die." He went to Poland and discovered a church under threat behind the Iron Curtain, and desperately longing for the Word of God.
So Brother Andrew became God's Smuggler, taking suitcase after suitcase of Bibles to the persecuted church, facing great danger, but determined to bring encouragement and hope. He has never forgotten the words of one believer: "Your presence here with us is worth more than your ten best sermons."
Right now millions of Christians are at risk of persecution around the world. Open Doors is active in around 45 countries, supplying Bibles, leadership training, Scripture-based literacy programmes and support for Christians suffering for their faith. And they want to continue to encourage the church here in the UK to play its part: that means not only responding to the needs of the persecuted church, but also learning from their experience of what it means to follow Jesus.
Just to highlight what is going on in these 3 countries playing in the World Cup. This is the current state of play for those Christians living in North Korea, Algeria and Nigeria.
NORTH KOREA has a population of 23.9 Million and is the most hostile place on the
planet for Christians, up to 70,000 Christians are held in labour camps.

Kim Jong-il’sregime controls everything. In September 2009 Kim Jong-il called a ‘100-day battle’ to strengthen the economy. Everyone had to work actively for the state. Anyone found on the street without a valid reason was sent to a labour camp. The North Korean regime especially targeted secret Christians. They have arrested and tortured Christians, reportedly using some for testing biological or chemical weapons.

NIGERIA (NORTH) has a population of 154.7 Million Twelve northern states in Nigeria follow Shariah (Islamic law). There have been repeated outbreaks of ethnic and religious violence killing many people.

More than 100 Christians were killed during 2008. In November, violence in the city of Jos saw six pastors killed, 40 churches destroyed and 369 Christians seriously injured.

In March this year Muslim Fulani herdsmen with machetes attacked three Christian villages near Jos, leaving over 300, mainly women and children, dead.

ALGERIA has a population of 34.9 Million. Evangelical Christians are still seen as a
danger to the country. Persecution actually decreased in 2009 after international
pressure following the closure of a number of evangelical churches, but many church leaders believe persecution may increase once international attention lessens.

In December, 50 Muslims stopped Christians from attending a Christmas
service and threatened to kill the pastor in protest at a new church building in their
neighbourhood.

If you want to know more about Open Doors speak to myself or Jane Redden or go to www.opendoorsuk.org/blowthewhistle to watch a film you will not see on SKY, ITV or BBC this summer.

Our fellow Christians need our help please pray for them.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Vicarage Garden Party

Come along to the

Vicarage Garden Party

Vicarage Drive, Wadworth

Saturday 19th June 2010

to be opened at 2.00 pm by Wadworth May Queen

Church open for tours from 12:00

Bring your favourite Teddy to join the Picnic – you could win a prize!!

Stalls include

Cakes, Bric-a-Brac, Books, Tombola, Games, Raffle, Lucky Dip.

Refreshments including:

Strawberry Cream Teas

Admission 50p