Five Most Dangerous Places in the World to Be a Christian*

1. North Korea – For the 12th consecutive year, this is the place where Christian persecution is most extreme. The God-like worship of the leader, Kim Jong-Un, and his predecessors leaves no room for any other religion, and Christians face unimaginable pressure in every sphere of life. Forced to meet only in secret, they dare not share their faith even with their families, for fear of imprisonment in a labor camp. Anyone discovered engaging in secret religious activity may be subject to arrest, disappearance, torture, even public execution.  50,000-70,000 Christians imprisoned in labor camps.

2. Somalia – Pressure is increasing on the tiny Christian community in this Muslim-majority country. Islamic leaders and government officials publicly reinforce that there is no room for Christians, and there is a strong drive to purge Christianity from Somalia. The militant Islamist group, al-Shabaab, targets Christians and local communities. Ten believers are reported to have been killed by members of al-Shabaab in 2013. There is a high level of fear and mistrust among believers, who have to hide their faith for fear of betrayal. The country has a population of 10.3 million with a reported population of Christians less than one thousand.

3. Syria – As the civil conflict inside Syria becomes more and more severe, targeted violence against Christians has escalated. The Syrian opposition is increasingly ‘Islamizing’, and Christians are becoming more vulnerable in all spheres of life. Many Christians were reported to have been abducted, physically harmed or killed, and many churches damaged or destroyed. On October 21st, Islamist militias invaded the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad, killing at least 45 people, and injuring many more.

4. Iraq – There was an increase in attacks and threats against Christians in 2013. Islamist terrorist groups, influenced by the conflict in Syria, are increasing in number. One of their aims is to empty the country of Christians, and this situation is aggravated by the government’s total authority. According to a local source, every two or three days a Christian is killed, kidnapped or abused. As a minority, Christians are an easy target for kidnappers.

5. Afghanistan – The situation in the country remains unstable, and Islamic extremist groups continue to gain power. Christianity is still considered a ‘Western’ religion, and is seen as hostile to Afghan culture, society and Islam. Those who leave Islam are treated as apostates, and face huge pressures from family, society and local authorities. In September 2013, an Afghan MP called for the execution of converts to Christianity. There is no public church, even for ex-pats. Christian converts keep their faith secret, since any connection with Christianity is dangerous. The country has a population of 31 million but only a few thousand Christians.

Do not forget to keep the persecuted church in prayer.


Evidence of Heaven and Hell… on Earth

“So you are not sure whether or not you believe that heaven and hell are real places. OK. Try this. Do you believe that America and North Korea are real places? Start with what you can see. God will help you to believe in what you cannot see.

If you want to get a small glimpse of the immeasurable difference between heaven and hell, just compare America to North Korea. One nation was founded largely upon the Bible and Christian principles. America is a free land, and we owe our freedom to Jesus Christ. The other nation is held captive to satanic control, and it has produced hell on earth for those who dwell there.

Camp 14 in North Korea is believed to hold 150,000 people doing hard labor while barely existing on the brink of starvation. It is a modern-day concentration camp. If you dare to question the North Korean government, you can be sent to that camp for the rest of your life. It is like hell on earth for those who dwell there.

Shin Dong-hyuk was born in that camp, and he escaped in 2005 at the age of 23. Shin was brainwashed to believe that life was only about obeying the prison rules. He actually witnessed his mother and his brother being killed right in front of him. Shin was so empty of any love that he admits he felt no sadness watching his mother and brother die. He felt they were getting what they deserved. After all, they had broken the prison rules.

Shin stated in recent years that he was actually the one to turn in his mother and brother to the authorities. At the time, he felt it might get him some preferential treatment.

That is a picture of what Satan gives a person.

No empathy. No love. No compassion. Shin, like the rest of his family, was a victim of cruel leaders and a spiritual adversary who has worked hard to turn North Korea into a living hell, and people into zombie-like robots.

There is another hell, which is also “living.” It is a place of eternal existence. And there is a real heaven, and its residents will never leave that place. America is not paradise to be sure, but it is a far cry from North Korea. The Gospel of Jesus Christ produces freedom in hearts and in nations. Satan produces hatred, control, and the killing of innocent people.

If you are someone who doubts the existence of heaven and hell, just compare America to North Korea. Who would have guessed that a world which God created could end up with such opposite experiences? One is free, and one is under cruel control. One allows people to live in happiness, and the other forces people to live in constant fear. One is an earthly portrait of heaven in a way, while the other is an earthly portrait of hell. The actual heaven and hell are just as real, and far more extreme in terms of the joy and the pain which people experience in those eternal destinations.

Shin escaped from Camp 14 and from North Korea. No one will escape from hell. At the same time, no one will ever want to leave heaven. Just because you have never been to North Korea does not mean it doesn’t exist. The same thing is true about heaven and hell. If you can trust a YouTube video showing North Korea, how much more can you trust God’s Word as it tells you about heaven and hell?

Start with what you can see. God will help you to believe what you cannot see.”

Excerpts from Christian Post article by Dan Delzell