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Evangelism, Missions and the Persecuted Church discuss Which country or countries have the most persecuted Christians? in the The Church forums; Which country or countries are most hostile to the gospel? Either outlawing Christianity all together or actively suppressing the spread of the gospel?...

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    Blue Tick's Avatar
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    Which country or countries have the most persecuted Christians?

    Which country or countries are most hostile to the gospel? Either outlawing Christianity all together or actively suppressing the spread of the gospel?
    John
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    Reformed Thomist's Avatar
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    North Korea.

    -----Added 7/27/2009 at 08:41:42 EST-----

    The Trampled North Korean Christians
    N.F. Tyler, Hon. B.A. with Distinction (St. Michael's College, Toronto)
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    buggy's Avatar
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    Saudi Arabia as well.
    LTL
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    JoyFullMom is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    Maldives
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    Eritrea.
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    Blue Tick's Avatar
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    Does anyone know how severe the persecution is within in Burma?
    John
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    I wonder if there is a website which lists these countries? It would be a way to include specific countries on a rotating basis in the pastoral prayer each week, in addition to praying for persecuted Christians in general.
    Chris
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    JoyFullMom is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    We get some information first hand from several areas....but Voice of the Martyrs is very informative.

    I know someone who received a recent report from Burma. I will see what I can find out.
    Polly
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    North Korea. Any other country we are allowed to write letters to their prisoners for encouragement, but North Korea is the only country which will not allow letters to it's prisoners. They truly want to isolate them from any outside contact. So they are not only tortured as other prisoners from other countries are but they receive no outside encouragement. They truly are in need of our prayers!
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    Mark Hettler's Avatar
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    Saudi Arabia. The reason you never hear about the Christians that are suffering there is because they're all dead.
    Mark Hettler
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    toddpedlar's Avatar
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    Let's not forget Israel. Evangelism there is not looked upon with favor by any means.

    Persecution.com is a good website for info on the persecuted church worldwide (though they do not say anything about persecution and restrictions upon Christian practice in Israel)
    Todd K. Pedlar
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    TimV's Avatar
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    Are there even underground churches in Mauritania?
    Tim Vaughan
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    Burma

    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Tick View Post
    Does anyone know how severe the persecution is within in Burma?
    I came back from Thailand a month ago. While there, I talked with a number of Burmese Baptist pastors.
    Burma's Socialist Government has renamed itself the Union of Myanmar. Less then 90% of the country is Theravada Buddhist. A majority of the non Buddhists are Christian. Most of these are Baptist. Anglicans and Roman Catholics are found in significant numbers. Christians are not permitted to print books including the Bible in Myanmar. Bibles and Christian literature is smuggled in from Thailand and India.
    The Karen population is a particular thorn in the side of the Burmese ruling regime. The Karen are a predominantly Christian and they resist being assimilated into the larger Burmese society. Recently there have been military activities alledgedly aimed at fighting armed Karen resistance to the regime but actually engaging in driving large number of Karens across the border into Thailand.
    The regime also actively persecutes the Rohingya people who are Muslims living in the costal regions of Eastern Burma.
    Recently a group of men from the Protestant Reformed Churches were able to visit Burma. It would be interesting to hear their take on the situation there.
    Thomas Yeutter,
    Layman
    Chiang Mai, Kingdom of Thailand
    Anglican, attending Trinity Baptist Church Chiang Mai

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    A mysteriously (often) forgotten country is, right next door to Myanmar (Burma), Laos. It gets my vote for worst.
    Dave
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    Blue Tick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeutter View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Tick View Post
    Does anyone know how severe the persecution is within in Burma?
    I came back from Thailand a month ago. While there, I talked with a number of Burmese Baptist pastors.
    Burma's Socialist Government has renamed itself the Union of Myanmar. Less then 90% of the country is Theravada Buddhist. A majority of the non Buddhists are Christian. Most of these are Baptist. Anglicans and Roman Catholics are found in significant numbers. Christians are not permitted to print books including the Bible in Myanmar. Bibles and Christian literature is smuggled in from Thailand and India.
    The Karen population is a particular thorn in the side of the Burmese ruling regime. The Karen are a predominantly Christian and they resist being assimilated into the larger Burmese society. Recently there have been military activities alledgedly aimed at fighting armed Karen resistance to the regime but actually engaging in driving large number of Karens across the border into Thailand.
    The regime also actively persecutes the Rohingya people who are Muslims living in the costal regions of Eastern Burma.
    Recently a group of men from the Protestant Reformed Churches were able to visit Burma. It would be interesting to hear their take on the situation there.
    I to was up in that region about 8 years ago. Stayed in Mae Sot and went to the refugee camps on the Thai Burmese border. I was curious what kind of reformed mission work is taking place in Thailand if any?
    John
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    This little bit is saved from the news from last year. So, even though the data isn't completely up to date (a year old) it is probably very similar.

    If you are a Christian, the worst place to live in the world is North Korea, according to Open Doors’ 2008 World Watch List released Monday.

    The annual country persecution list ranked North Korea in the No. 1 spot for the sixth year in a row. There were more arrests of Christians in the country in 2007 than in 2006, according to Open Doors.

    In North Korea, considered by many the most repressive regime, citizens are strictly banned from worshipping any other gods beside those enforced in the state religion – a personality cult revolving around current dictator Kim Jong Il, and his deceased father, Kim Il Sung.

    Moreover, Christianity is considered a serious threat to the regime’s power and there are many reports of Christians being publicly executed, tortured or imprisoned indefinitely simply because of the discovery of their faith.

    It is estimated that there are at least 200,000 underground Christians and up to 400,000 to 500,000 believers secretly practicing their faith in North Korea. At least a quarter of the Christians are imprisoned for their faith in political prison camps, from which people rarely get out alive, according to an Open Doors local source.

    “It is certainly not a shock that North Korea is No. 1 on the shame list for the sixth year in a row,” said Carl Moeller, President/CEO of Open Doors USA. “There is no other country in the world where Christians are being persecuted in such a horrible and systematic manner.”

    In second place behind North Korea is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia where fundamentalist Wahabbi Islam dominates society and oppresses believers. Under the kingdom’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, apostasy (conversion to another religion) is punishable by death if the accused does not recant.

    Following close behind in third is Mideast neighbor Iran. Although Christians are officially recognized as a religious minority, believers regularly face discrimination and persecution.

    Islam is the predominant religion in six of the top 10 countries: Saudi Arabia, Iran, Maldives, Afghanistan, Yemen and Uzbekistan.

    This year, several countries moved up in the list including Bhutan (No. 5, up from No. 7), but mainly due to Somalia and Yemen’s decrease in persecution.

    Afghanistan also rose from No. 10 to No. 7 due to the South Korean Christian hostage drama last summer as well as other events that contributed to its worsening persecution status.

    Two new countries were added to the 2008 list: Uzbekistan at No. 9, up from No. 11, and China at No. 10, up from No. 12 last year.

    Three of the top 10 countries – North Korea, Laos and China – have communist governments. Bhutan is the only Buddhist country on the list.

    Improvement in human rights occurred in Somalia (from No. 4 to 12), Vietnam (from No. 8 to 17), Burma (from No. 19 to 25), Ethiopia (from No. 37 to 43) and Colombia (from No. 43 to 50).

    The World Watch List ranks countries based on the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. The list is compiled based on answers to 50 questions covering various aspects of religious freedom from Open Doors’ indigenous contacts, field workers and persecuted believers.

    Open Doors encourages Christians to join its prayer campaign for North Korea and participate in North Korea Freedom Week, April 27 - May 3.

    2008 World Watch List

    1. North Korea
    2. Saudi Arabia
    3. Iran
    4. Maldives
    5. Bhutan
    6. Yemen
    7. Afghanistan
    8. Laos
    9. Uzbekistan
    10. China

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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue Tick View Post

    I to was up in that region about 8 years ago. Stayed in Mae Sot and went to the refugee camps on the Thai Burmese border. I was curious what kind of reformed mission work is taking place in Thailand if any?
    The PCA has a work in Thailand. I had no contact with them while they were there. A Burmese Baptist in Thailand told me the PCA people were good people. The Karen Anglicans tend to be low Church, evangelical and reformed. The Karen Burmese Baptists I spoke with are solid on the question of the nature and extent of scriptural authority, original sin, and salvation by faith alone.
    Calvary Baptist Church in Bangkok is an SBC congregation. It has a larger Burmese language congregation then it has in its English language congregation. I was in the Burmese Baptist pastors manse. The Burmese Baptist pastors book shelf has many solid books on it, including works by Spurgeon. I asked him about getting these translated into Burmese. He responded by telling me about the difficulty they have even getting Bibles into Burma.
    One Burmese Baptist told me about how many Burmese are living and working in Thailand. He had a real zeal to reach these Burmese. He thought if the Burmese in exile in Thailand could be evangelized, they would take Gospel back with them to the remotest corners of Burma, when Burma again becomes an open society.

    -----Added 7/28/2009 at 09:28:40 EST-----

    Quote Originally Posted by Scynne View Post
    A mysteriously (often) forgotten country is, right next door to Myanmar (Burma), Laos. It gets my vote for worst.
    You are right. Ethnically Lao people from Shan State Burma, cross over into Thailand to escape persecution. They do not cross over into Laos. Economics may drive these migrations in part but the fact that Thailand is the most open country in the region also has an impact on why these Christians come to Thailand.
    Thomas Yeutter,
    Layman
    Chiang Mai, Kingdom of Thailand
    Anglican, attending Trinity Baptist Church Chiang Mai

    Ezra 7:10 For Ezra had set his heart to seek the law of the Lord, and to do it and to, teach in Israel its statues and ordinances.

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    JoyFullMom is offline. Puritanboard Junior
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    I know someone working in China. They said the situation there is misleading because of the presence of some *visible* *Christian* churches that seem to make it appear as if China is becoming more friendly. This friend said it is a *political* move on China's part and that any church that is visible in China is compromising with the gov't in some way/many ways. The true church is still very underground.

    This friend said it is appalling the number of American ministries and churches that come on trips and publicly request to meet with someone from a house/underground church, or worse yet, try to seek one out. This friend said it is ridiculous that it is not understood that all of that is being observed.
    Polly
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    living in N MS

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    Re: China et. al.

    The very nature of these "most persecuted" lists mean that they're arbitrary, depending on both information available and what the compiler of those lists think important. Rating Iran worse than Kuwait or Mauritania would be a case in point, where a native born Iranian can walk down the street in Tehran and hear a Reformed sermon at a Reformed church, and with a third of a million Christians who are richer than the average Iranian. Not to say it isn't horrible over there, but still, there is an amount of arbitrariness involved.
    Tim Vaughan
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    Quote Originally Posted by toddpedlar View Post
    Let's not forget Israel. Evangelism there is not looked upon with favor by any means.

    Persecution.com is a good website for info on the persecuted church worldwide (though they do not say anything about persecution and restrictions upon Christian practice in Israel)
    I was going to mention Israel. Though you cannot lose your life, it is very hostile to proselytizing there. Our parent Church started a Reformed Seminary in Tel Aviv (home). It's not simply focused on the Jews living there but supporting the Christian Arabs that still live there.

    Sadly, the area used to be about 50% Christian.
    Rich
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scynne View Post
    A mysteriously (often) forgotten country is, right next door to Myanmar (Burma), Laos. It gets my vote for worst.
    Reminds me of the King of the Hill cartoon,

    -"Are you Chinese or Japanese?"
    -"I'm Laotian."
    -"You're the ocean? What ocean?"
    -"Laotian. From Laos, Stupid. It's a landlocked country in Southeast Asia. It's between Vietnam and Thailand, okay? Population 4.7 million."
    -"So are you Chinese or Japanese?"
    Pergamum


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    I've seen some scary stuff in China...
    Kevin, husband of a truly angelic woman, and father to twelve.
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    Massachusetts?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kvanlaan View Post
    I've seen some scary stuff in China...
    Now that you are back in the West, I would love to hear more about this!
    Pergamum


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    Quote Originally Posted by Semper Fidelis View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by toddpedlar View Post
    Let's not forget Israel. Evangelism there is not looked upon with favor by any means.

    Persecution.com is a good website for info on the persecuted church worldwide (though they do not say anything about persecution and restrictions upon Christian practice in Israel)
    I was going to mention Israel. Though you cannot lose your life, it is very hostile to proselytizing there. Our parent Church started a Reformed Seminary in Tel Aviv (home). It's not simply focused on the Jews living there but supporting the Christian Arabs that still live there.

    Sadly, the area used to be about 50% Christian.
    What really bugs me about Voice of the Martyrs is that they're unwilling (from what I've seen) to include Israel among their list of restricted nations, when it clearly is. I know of missionaries to Israel who were never able to say where they were going (until long after they were off the mission field) except that they were going to a closed country. For many to consider that Israel might be a nation hostile to the gospel is a shocker, if not anathema.
    Todd K. Pedlar
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    Here also people getting worse towards mission activities. Everyday we can read something bad happening with the servants of the Lord.


    Someday I want to minister to the Hindi/Nepali speaking people of Bhutan. I hear and read that there are many of them. I love this beautiful country and pray for her.
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