Dear Friend …
It’s amazing what a few months can change… from North Korea firing missiles towards Japan and threatening the United States… to now declaring that it wants to build a bridge of friendship with both its former enemies South Korea and the United States.
Behind the scenes, Christians from around the world have been praying and fasting for North Korea, its leadership, the ongoing tension between North Korea and the free world, and for the thousands of Christians – many of which are imprisoned because of their unwavering faith.
It seemed rather surprising to hear the US President praise the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un this week as someone who “loves his people” when over 6 million of his people are starving, and a third of all children suffer from chronic malnutrition. Every day Kim and his family are worshipped and prayed to as a god as North Koreans thank him for all that they have.
Despite severe persecution, God is at work as North Koreans become increasingly disillusioned with their “Dear Leader” as they desperately search for food, and for something more secure to believe in. Today, many believe there are more than 400,000 Christians in North Korea with the church actually multiplying five times its size from 2012 to 2017.
Watch the video below for a first-hand account of life in North Korea, under the dictatorship of Kim Jong Un.
Join me in praying and supporting AsiaLink partners who are making a lasting difference in the lives of children every day by feeding them and for those delivering God’s Word into this darkened world. Let’s be the difference by our prayers!
(Rev.) Dale R. Hiscock
MONDAY Islamic World - RAMADAN - Bondage to fear of evil
Ramadan continues this month till June 14th. Ramadan is the 9th month of the Islamic lunar calendar and is considered the holiest month of the year for Muslims. The observance of Ramadan is one of the 5 Pillars of the Islamic faith, which requires all Muslims who are physically able to fast each day of the month, from sunrise to sunset.
Muslims believe that each person has an angel sitting on each shoulder, recording every single act and intention of every human being. Belief in angels is an integral part of the Islamic faith.
Muslims also believe that each day, 70,000 angels pray above the Kaaba, which is the blackstone in Mecca (people frequently post YouTube videos claiming to have captured an angel sighting on film).
Muslims believe there are nineteen angels that guard the gates of hell, that there are angels that breathe life into unborn babies, and that there are angels that take the souls out of dead bodies.
The Qur’an also teaches that Allah created jinn out of fire and smoke. These unseen spiritual creatures are often malicious, and are able to take control of people’s bodies. Evil jinn are called demons. As a result many Muslims live in great fear of the spirit world. Charms and amulets that “protect” people from jinn are in great demand in many Islamic regions.
Dogs, especially black dogs, are supposed to scare away angels. A reputable Islamic text says that the angel Gabriel was unable to visit Muhammad because there was a dog hiding under Muhammad’s bed… apparently Gabriel tells Muhammad, “We angels do not enter a home in which there is a dog or a picture”. Which leads to the assumption that angels can’t visit places where there are dogs (Sahih Muslim, Book 24, Number 5246). Islam has a long tradition that considers even the mere sight of a dog during prayer to have the power to nullify a pious Muslim’s supplications to Allah.
As Christians we believe that through Jesus Christ we have power over Satan including the Islamic Jinn.
Today, we pray for Muslims who are in bondage to spiritual oppression and constant fear to find refuge in Jesus.
TUESDAY North Korea - MEETING WITH TRUMP WHILE NORTH KOREA SUFFERS
On Tuesday, June 12th US president, Donald Trump met with Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, in Singapore. Just after the announcement that talks between the two countries were back on Kim Jong-un removed three top military officials in an effort at controlling the military ahead of the denuclearization talks with the U.S. Various news sources stated that the military officials were being replaced because they “lacked flexibility in thinking”. Some observers believe Kim was fearful that he would be overthrown by a military coup while meeting with President Trump.
The situation in North Korea continues to evolve as sanctions against the country are increasingly effective affecting Kim’s ability to govern. Food shortages continue at an alarming rate affecting primarily those living outside the capital city of Pyongyang.
Pray for the peace talks and for the people of North Korea who are hungry and struggling to find food.
Pray that God would intervene. Pray for AsiaLink partners who are feeding young children in various schools!
Wednesday Afghanistan - CHRISTIAN REFUGEE BEING RETURNED TO MUSLIM COUNTRY
His name is Mullah and he comes from a small village in Afghanistan, but with no hope for any kind of a future, and the re-emergence of the Taliban, he left for Europe and became a political refugee.
With millions fleeing Muslim countries, some European countries are no longer welcoming refugees with open arms. Crime rates have risen dramatically and welfare budgets are increasing.
Mullah’s never ending journey could be made into major movie. He’s bounced around Europe for the last 5 years. Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, and finally Sweden. But along the way, he discovered something that made a deep impression on him.
“The only people that treated me with kindness in all the countries I’ve been in, were the people that called themselves followers of Jesus!
In Sweden, I met Christians that I learned so much from and I couldn’t wait any longer. I gave my life to Jesus! Now I know that this is the reason for my journey in the first place. I wasn’t really in search of a job, I was in search of the Truth.
I thank God for all the believers along the way that loved me just like Jesus.
I’m on the island of Sicily now, and I am listed as an undocumented refugee. Which means soon I will probably be deported. I’ve been told that if I go back to Afghanistan I will be killed by family or friends. So, would you please pray for me? Whether I stay, or go back to Afghanistan, and whether I live, or die, I am so thankful that Jesus has rescued me!”
Pray for Mullah and the thousands of other refugees who are being sent back to their home country that now believe in Jesus.
Ask God to give them wisdom and protection!
Thursday CHINA – ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS NOW WORKING TO ELIMINATE CHRISTIANITY
School teachers in the eastern coastal city of Wenzhou, Zhejiang province, recently sent messages to the parents of infants and primary school students, demanding that the parents disclose their religious beliefs.
One Christian shared that school officials were visiting the actual homes and workplaces of Christian parents’ asking them to renounce their faith. If that wasn’t enough pressure and didn’t work government officials then told employers that they needed to reduce the salary of Christian employees all in an effort to dissuade them from attending church.
What is so surprising about this is that Wenzhou has for many years had a large and bold Christian influence in the city, region and country. Most churches in this region have built Christian education facilities for Sunday school and children’s ministry. It is the only place in all of China that has managed to operate like this up until the election of China’s president Xi in 2012. His new direction for communism is a return to the old ways with new restrictive religious law coming into effect this year.
In another region of China, an online publication warned, “Schools should make clear to students that they should not have any religious beliefs, propagandise religions, or enter churches.” The publication also stated that schools whose students attend church will face harsh punishment, because religion is a “foreign invasion.”
Ask the Lord to give believers in China the faith and courage they need to withstand the pressure from the government.
Pray the Lord will give believers wise words when they are confronted and questioned by authorities.
Thank the Lord that the Gospel continues to go forth in China and that no amount of human opposition can thwart His plans.
Friday China - BEIJING HOUSE CHURCHES BEGIN TO FEEL THE PRESSURE
Chinese officials in Beijing are now enforcing China’s new religious laws that came into effect February 1st. Last month Chinese authorities began pressuring landlords to cancel their leases with house churches. One house church in Beijing was visited by the authorities at the beginning of the month. Two days after their visit, Chinese authorities reportedly told the landlord of the building to cancel the lease of the church. The police then contacted members forbidding them from organizing religious activities in any form. The following morning, the government forced the [Christian] brother who rented the building to sign a letter guaranteeing that he would not participate in any religious activities.” This has left many house church members uncertain as to what to do. Though China’s new religious laws began earl-ier in the year they are now only now being enforced. In April, government officials report-edly forced one house church to install surveillance cameras both inside and outside the building they were using. Members were interrogated by officials regarding their housing situations, occupations, details about their families as well as their relationship with the church.
Pray for Chinese believers as they live their faith in an uncertain time as rules and regulations governing them have changed.
Saturday Islamic World - DIVORCE in the muslim world
“I divorce you! I divorce you!! “I DIVORCE YOU!!!” Three words repeated 3 times in English is all that is required for a Muslim man to end his marriage.
In Arabic he simply says 1 word “Talaq” 3 times. This Arabic word, meaning divorce, when spoken 3 times to his wife (even written or texted) is irrevocable.
One woman said after having prepared dinner one night, her husband came home in a rage asking what she was still doing there. With yelling and hitting he told her to get out, for she was no longer his wife.
In between blows she asked when he divorced her. He screamed, “I emailed you four days ago!” She and her young child were immediately forced to leave with only the clothes on their backs.
Pray for Muslim married women who live under this pressure.
Pray for new Muslim women who follow Jesus who are either living in fear of Islam’s Triple Talaq Law or are living with the harsh consequences of it, including shame and poverty.
Pray God’s wisdom for them as they seek to share Jesus with their Muslim husbands.