Christian Persecution Isn't Strange, But Sacred

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 …read more

IDOP2021: Let's Pray Together for Persecuted Christians

oin 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.

SABINA MOVIE: The Heart of the Gospel is Forgiveness

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.

CENTRAL ASIA: Pastor's Murderer Becomes His "Spiritual Grandson"

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.


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?

IRAN:Remembering Martyrs, Ministering Today

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.


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.


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.

Martyrs' Widows : "Until we die, we will serve Christ"

Semse Aydin and her husband, Necati, were expecting a baby. Necati had been arrested for gospel work in Turkey, and now the couple had a decision to make. Would they continue advancing the gospel among their countrymen, in spite of the risk of more persecution? Or would they choose a safer path for their now-growing family? Together, Necati and Semse made the decision: they would continue boldly in their Christian work. The decision led them to Malatya, where Necati was murdered in 2007. This week we continue our conversation with Semse and Gracia Burnham. Both women are widows whose husbands were killed serving in front-line ministry work. Both have experienced God’s faithfulness in the years since, and both consider their suffering for Christ an honor. Listen as they discuss their husbands’ legacies and what their ministry looks like today.

Martyrs' Widows : God Takes Special Care

Gracia Burnham was serving as a missionary in the Philippines with her husband, Martin, when they were taken hostage by a radical Islamist group. Martin was killed in a rescue attempt, leaving Gracia to raise their three children alone. But she was not alone; God has been with her. “I’ve seen God be faithful…He takes special care of the widows,” Gracia says. Semse Aydin also experienced the loss of a husband when Necati was murdered with two other Christian men in Malatya, Turkey in 2007. The couple had two young children. Listen this week as these two women share the stories of their pain and loss, but also how God has written a different story, one of joy and forgiveness and provision.

If We Dont Share Christ With Muslims, Who Will ?

Tom and JoAnn Doyle are back to finish our conversation about how Jesus is reaching women across the Middle East—including amazing stories of God’s work in Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Syria and other nations. Tom and JoAnn say these Christian women are committed to following Christ no matter what persecution they face, even the risk of their lives. They are also bold witnesses for Christ; often the greatest initial impact their witness has is on their husbands. The Doyles help American Christians learn to reach out to Muslims through their work with Uncharted Ministries—and they say Muslims are incredibly open to hearing the Good News

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