Thursday, October 31, 2013

Underground Believers in North Korea Pray for American Christians

ICC Note: Despite living in perhaps the darkest nation on earth and facing life imprisonment or death for their beliefs, North Korean Christians are reportedly praying actively for the church in the United States. The report below encourages Americans to join with their persecuted brothers and sisters in America to pray strength in the midst of hardship. 
10/30/2013 North Korea (MNN) - As people gather to pray this Sunday (November 3) during the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church (IDOP), they should remember Christians in the world’s most persecuted country.
Rev. Eric Foley, CEO of Seoul USA, says instead of praying FOR members of the North Korean underground church, people should pray WITH them. “They don’t ask God to deliver them from persecution. They pray they’ll remain strong and faithful in the midst of their suffering.”
North Korea is the world's biggest Gospel opponent and persecutor of Christ-followers. It tops the Open Doors USA World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 countries where persecution of Christians is most severe.
Officials routinely put believers in modern-day concentration camps and worse. The government has tried repeatedly to extirpate Christianity from the country, but the underground Church has survived and has overcome severe suffering.
“The NK Christian’s example may help Americans better prepare for the persecution that may be coming soon to the USA," explains Foley. “Their experience reminds us that a commitment to the four pillars of worship is integral to the Christian life.”

Monday, October 28, 2013

Discrimination Helps the Gospel Spread across Nepal


10/24/2013 Nepal (Asia News) - Reading of the Bible and Pope Francis' message on World Mission Sunday (20 October) provide a "strong impetus to fight social inequality and injustice" in Nepal.
The rising number of non-Catholics attending Sunday Mass is a token of that, local priests told AsiaNews. The same goes for the number of young people who undertake the catechumenate, drawn by the message of equality and human dignity announced by the Catholic Church.
Last Sunday, more than 500 people attended Mass in Kathmandu's Assumption Cathedral. The parish priest, Fr Robin Rai, read the Holy Father's message, asking everyone present, Catholics and non-Catholics, to proclaim the Word of God to the members of their communities.
Worshippers who attended the service found the pope's words for World Mission Sunday perfectly suited to the needs of Nepal, a country where many people suffer daily discrimination and oppression. Many of them also pledged to print and spread the papal message in their workplace.
"I converted to Catholicism eight years ago, because I found no discrimination in this religion," said Rita Adhikari, a member of Nepal's lowest caste. "All human beings are equal and should be treated in the same way, irrespective of caste, colour or social class," the mother of three told AsiaNews.
In view of the discrimination she had to endure, she opted to change his name. "My real name is Biswakarma," she explained. "For Nepali Hindus, it indicates the lowest caste. To them, we are 'untouchable'."