World Watch 2009 is out. Published by Open Doors, it provides a list of countries around the world where Christians suffer the worst persecution. I have copied the Top 10 countries below.
Last October 2004, I organized “Missionsfest 2004” together with 10 other Baptist pastors of the Baptist Conference of the Philippines-Cebu District. “Missionfest 2004” was a missions mobilizing conference focussed on Muslim missions. We gathered about 500 believers from various churches in Cebu, at UP College, Cebu City. We urged the attendees to exert all efforts to pray and send more missionaries to Muslim unreached people groups. Since then, I haven’t heard of any other conference highlighting muslim missions, at least in the Visayas and Mindanao.
As I have predicted years ago, Islam will continue to be the most challenging religion in this age. It will play a major role during the Tribulation Period. It is one of the fastest growing and resistant religions in the world. According to the World Watch 2009 report, “Islam is the majority religion in seven of the top ten countries: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen and Uzbekistan. Two countries have communist governments: North Korea and Laos. Eritrea is the only dictatorial country in the 10 highest countries on the list.”
Already, many Muslims are coming to Christ secretly. Let us pray fervently and regularly for the Gospel of Christ to penetrate the final frontier—the less than 10,000 unreached people groups of the world—where Islam controls the mind and culture of the land.
Please study the report below. Open Doors, founded by Brother Andrew, is the only evangelical missions agency I know that’s focussed on the persecuted church worldwide. You or your church may want to support Open Doors Philippines in this task.
Lead your church to pray for the Muslim world. The day will come when people from every Muslim tribe, tongue, and nation will stand before the throne and worship the Lamb. It will happen because you and your church prayed and supported missionaries to them!
Focus on the Top Ten
1. North Korea
North Korea tops the World Watch List for the seventh time in a row. Daily life for Christians in the country remains extremely harsh. The border between China and North Korea is almost closed; everything and everyone going in and out of North Korea is strictly checked. As usual, executions occurred in secret. The number of people sentenced to labor camp or prison has increased compared to last year. North Korea is closing its doors and Christians are persecuted constantly. They suffer immensely as no one is allowed to be a Christian in North Korea. Genuine religious freedom does not exist at all. The constitution is firmly based on Juche ideology. The North Korean regime believes that it will collapse if it fails to stop the spreading of Christianity.
“We don’t know very much about the Church in North Korea – because it is so dangerous to be a Christian all the churches have to take place in secret. Over 100,000 Christians are also being held in labour camps. Pray for the safety of Christians in North Korea.
“As many as 3 million people died from starvation between 1994 and 2000, yet the government stockpiles food reserved for the army. Pray that food and aid would reach people in desperate need.” (Operation World)
In our next post, watch out for the No. 2 country in the world that persecutes believers of Jesus Christ.