Tuesday, 11 February 2020

Using fears of the deadly coronavirus

In the world there are many viruses which cause respiratory infections, including the common cold, which are typically mild, though rarer forms such as SARS, MERS and 2019-nCoV can be lethal. These weeks lots of people got infected by a new virus, with  a fringe reminiscent of a crown or of a solar corona, which has brought already more dead people than SARS.

Coronaviruses are in the subfamily Orthocoronavirinae in the family Coronaviridae, in the order Nidovirales.

The fear for this virus has given several groups to blame others and to create hatred against certain groups of people, first the Chinese and secondly the Jews.


Much like the neo-Nazis who are using fears of the deadly coronavirus to stoke hatred against Jews, the Arab media is using it to conjure conspiracy theories about Israel and the United States.
In a piece published last week by the Suadi Al-Watan, writer Sa’ud Al-Shehry claimed that the coronavirus was a plot hatched by American and Israeli drug companies aimed at increasing their profits.


According to Egyptian journalist Ahmad Rif’at, the U.S. is waging a propaganda war with Israel’s help to smear China’s “prestige and status” in the world.


“This war is not only intended to worry China, trouble it and cause it to spend billions of dollars on emergency measures and medicines — which, by the way, will be manufactured by an Israeli company,”


 Rif’at writes on the Egyptian news website Vetogate.com as translated by MEMRI.


Similarly, since the outbreak of the lethal virus, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has been reporting on Neo-Nazis and white supremacists who have been using social media platforms to attack the Jews.
One anti-Semitic post on Telegram the ADL discovered said

 “Finally! Science has discovered a cure for the most insidious disease of our time…Jewishness,”

 and another post on the anonymous English-language Internet subculture image board website 4chan reads

 “Send the sick to Israel – if you already die at least take out as many Jews as you can.”
Conclusion:
The Edomite spirit is unrelenting and cancerous by nature šŸ˜“

Kerkplantersbeweging Acts 29 en Steve Timmis

In de evangelische beweging kan men heel wat kleine, maar ook zeer snel groeiende en zeer grote bewegingen vinden, zoals o.m. The Crowded House en Acts 29 (‘Handelingen 29’).

De Amerikaanse evangelische predikant en auteur Mark A. Driscoll, het best bekend als de stichter van Mars Hill Church is momenteel Senior en Founding Pastor van de in 2016 opgerichte The Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona. Hij richtte ook The Resurgence (een theologische coƶperatie) op en was medeoprichter van andere parachurch-organisaties, zoals Acts 29 Network. In die laatste moest hij 'oprotten' omdat de megakerkpastor zijn boekje veel te ver te buiten was gegaan.

Maar nu blijkt diegene die de leiding over nam, Steve Timmis, ook wat te veel een machtsgeile positie ingenomen te hebben.
Timmis is, naast leider van Acts 29, voorganger van The Crowded House in het Engelse Sheffield.


Als CEO van Acts 29 of Handelingen 29 was Steve Timmis een effectieve en gerespecteerde leider. Gedurende zijn zeven jaar aan het roer keerde het gemeentestichtingsnetwerk terug van de fall-out rond zijn mede-oprichter Mark Driscoll en breidde zich uit van 300 voornamelijk Amerikaanse kerken naar 800 over de hele wereld.

Timmis stond bekend om het model van een intensieve evangeliegemeenschap, ontwikkeld in zijn 120-koppige kerk in het midden van Engeland, The Crowded House. Hij benadrukte 'het gewone leven met de bedoeling van het evangelie'. Maar terwijl zijn internationale reputatie groeide, leerden mensen dichter bij hem een andere kant kennen. Sommigen die Timmis in zijn gewone leven kenden - die baden, samenwerkten, en evangeliseerde met hem in woonkamers, kantoren en cafƩs - zagen een andere kant welke minder aangenaam was.
Uiteindelijk werd zijn arrogante houding met het 'uitkafferen', intimideren en lastig vallen van mensen ondragelijk.


Vijftien mensen die onder Timmis dienden, beschreven aan Christianity Today een patroon van spiritueel misbruik door pesten en intimidatie, aanmatigende eisen in naam van missie en discipline, afwijzing van kritische feedback en een verwachting van onvoorwaardelijke loyaliteit.


Toen in 2016 de ouderling Andy Stovell, die 14 jaar naast Timmis leidding had in The Crowded House in Sheffield, vertrok, schreef hij in een brief aan zijn mede ouderlingen over het bang zijn van sommige mensen:
“Ik ben niet overtuigd door de uitleg dat dit een geval van sterk leiderschap is dat onvermijdelijk ertoe leidt dat sommige veren worden verstoord. Mensen zijn gekneusd door de stijl van Steve. Mensen zijn er laf van geworden. '

Twee weken geleden gaven interne rapporten vergelijkbare zorgen over het leiderschap van Timmis in de kerkbeweging Handelingen 29, en het bestuur stemde maandag om hem te verwijderen als CEO. Acts 29 president Matt Chandler kondigde het nieuws aan in een video die de volgende dag naar het netwerk werd gestuurd en zei:
 "Want waar we nu naartoe gaan, moesten we Steve uit deze rol halen."

NGK-GKv wensen samen verder te gaan

Na twee dagen kennismaken in conferentiecentrum Mennorode sloten de afgevaardigden van de Vrijgemaakt-gereformeerde synode en de Nederlands-gereformeerde landelijke vergadering,  het eerste gezamenlijke besluit om samen verder te gaan.

In het Nederlands kerkland heeft er doorheen de jaren steeds heel wat verschuiving plaats gevonden en kon men steeds een heel groot lappendeken van verdeeldheid vinden.
Maar nu blijkt er toch een kering te komen.
De twee kerken hebben zich uitgesproken om voort te gaan op de weg van eenwording. Het besluit was voorgesteld door de regiegroep die de eenwording leidt. Die vond dat nodig omdat er tot dan toe slechts een verlangen was uitgesproken om te komen tot Ć©Ć©n kerk.

Eerst werd er nog gediscussieerd over het vormbesluit dat het
 ‘tot eer van God en tot zegen van de kerken’ 
is als deze weg wordt ingeslagen. In het definitieve besluit staat daar:
 ‘De liefde van Christus drijft ons en het is onze hoop en gebed dat het tot eer van God en zegen van de kerken zal zijn.’
Frans Schippers, voorzitter van de landelijke vergadering, kwam zaterdag terug op de extra zitting die een week geleden werd gehouden. Daarin konden Nederlands-gereformeerde afgevaardigden hun zorgen en bezwaren uiten over het eenwordingsproces. 
Voor hem en meerdere anderen was een eerste moeilijk punt de belijdenisgeschriften.
 ‘Aan beide kanten is er behoefte met elkaar te spreken over de inhoud en de binding eraan. We bouwen voort op onze vaders en moeders, maar tijden veranderen. Dat vraag opnieuw nadenken over belijden in deze tijd.’
Voor meerdere kerken zou die kijk op veranderende tijden reden genoeg moeten zijn om te onderzoeken hoe men vandaag verder kerk kan uitbouwen en mensen kan laten aanvoelen een deelgenoot te zijn van het Lichaam van Christus.

Voor vele mensen kan het niet anders dan opvallen dat in het verleden het steeds een verdeel en heers methode is geweest in het Nederlandse kerklandschap. Kerkorde kan men wel verwachten, maar bij veel mensen is daar een heel ander idee over dan bij de kerkleiders.
 ‘Er leven verschillende beelden: hoe uitgebreid moet die zijn, hoe gaat het met het al dan niet heersen over elkaar? Wat wil je wel en niet regelen met oog op de verschillen tussen plaatselijke kerken?’ 
Deze week zal hierover nog heel wat gepraat en gemodereerd worden met de regiegroep.
Regiegroepvoorzitter Ad de Boer gaf wel al duidelijk aan wat het koersbesluit allemaal nĆ­Ć©t inhoudt. 
‘Het gaat niet over wat plaatselijke kerken wel of niet moeten doen. Het gaat niet over het tempo waarin het proces loopt. En het is ook geen mal waar alles doorheen geperst moet worden. Het besluit is een vertrekpunt.’
Volgens de Nederlands-gereformeerde dominee Kees de Groot zijn overdenking is het de Heilige Geest die het proces van eenwording begeleidt, en niet de regiegroep.
Bij het delen van brood en wijn stonden alle afgevaardigden en de leden van de regiegroep in een grote kring.
 ‘Ga met God, en Hij zal met je zijn’,
 sloten ze hand-in-hand zingend de viering af.

Corona en carnaval makkelijk gebakken broodjes voor verhogend racisme

Niet alleen 57 Chinees-Nederlandse organisaties hoefden een carnavalslied over Chinezen en het coronavirus
‘Discriminerend en haatzaaiend.’
te verklaren. Het carnavalslied toont weer eens aan hoe carnavalsliefhebbers geen voeling hebben met mensenrechten en respect voor anderen.

Het lied Voorkomen is beter dan Chinezen is door dj Lex Gaarthuis gemaakt en vrijdag uitgezonden in zijn show Laat met Lex. Het gebruikt onder het mom van carnaval racistische stereotypen en spreekt onder andere over ‘stink-Chinezen’.

Gaarthuis bood excuses aan, maar het probleem is breder. Chinese Nederlanders voelen zich bedreigd, worden geweigerd als ze de bus in willen, worden op straat uitgescholden. Of mensen hoesten op hen.

Ook in het vroeger boeiende Nederlands praatprogramma dat van 2014 tot 2019 uitgezonden werd bij de publieke omroep, maar dat Belgen die niet geabonneerd zijn op RTL 4 sinds januari 2020 niet meer kunnen volgen, werden gasten uit de actualiteit aan de tafel gebracht bij presentatrice Eva Jinek, in haar talkshow Jinek die het stereotype van Chinezen die hond eten over de tafel aankaartten.


Bij het landelijk meldpunt discriminatie kwamen 3000 meldingen binnen, alleen over het lied van Gaarthuis. Dat is een enorm aantal - gemiddeld krijgt het meldpunt 4500-5000 meldingen per jaar.
Een petitie en aangifte deden de ronde om hier de strijd tegen aan te binden.



Zowel in Nederland als in Belgiƫ worden bepaalde Chinese wijken geweerd. In Nederland gaat een deel van de bevolking zo ver mensen met Aziatisch uiterlijk te beschimpen. Die westerse Chinezen krijgen opmerkingen toegeroepen als:
‘Alle Chinezen Europa uit’, ‘kanker-Chinezen allemaal doodmaken’, ‘altijd die Chinezen met hun scheve ogen’.
Dit valt natuurlijk goed in de ogen van populistische politici die graag zout op  de zoete broodjes gooit om zo nog meer anderen dan AriĆ«rs uit te laten maken en te verwensen.

Zich profilerend met Christelijk character

Sinds maandag kan men op de Nederlandse televisiezenders van de publieke omroep (NPO) reclame zien voor het Nederlands Dagblad.

In de zomer van 1944 werd Het Nederlands Dagblad als een half illegaal blad onder de naam Reformatie Stemmen opgericht als gevolg van de onenigheid binnen de toenmalige Gereformeerde Kerken in Nederland. Onder de naam De Vrije Kerk werd het na de oorlog de kerkelijke spreekbuis van de in 1944 van de Gereformeerde Kerken afgescheiden Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt.

In 1967 probeerde men met algemeen nieuws in een dagkrant al alle Nederlanders te bereiken die geĆÆnteresseerd waren in nieuws op basis van een gereformeerde levensbeschouwing. Jarenlang gold het Nederlands Dagblad  als spreekbuis van de Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt en de daaraan verbonden politieke partij het Gereformeerd Politiek Verbond (GPV). Maar als in 1973 journalist Peter Bergwerff werd aangetrokken om te schrijven over ontwikkelingen buiten de vrijgemaakten, leide dat tot stormen van kritiek. Toch kon vanaf de jaren tachtig en negentig het dagblad zich op een breder christelijk publiek gaan richten, om zich uiteindelijk in 1992 zich los te rukken van de bijzondere band met de Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt, die als consequentie had dat redacteuren belijdend lid moesten zijn van een van de kerken. Sindsdien bestaat de grondslag alleen nog uit de Bijbel en de Drie Formulieren van Enigheid.

Bij aanvang van de 21ste eeuw begon de krant ook mensen met een evangelische achtergrond in dienst te nemen, nadat zij in 1999 de krant door de grens van 30.000 exemplaren doorbrak.

Na de lancering in juni 2016 van een nieuwe (online en papieren) nieuwsdienst gericht op jongeren, genaamd Dag6 van het ND samen met de Evangelische Omroep stopten beide organisaties in mei 2018 met de app en het blad, omdat er te weinig betalende abonnees waren.

Klaarblijkelijk denken ze niet aan opgeven maar willen ze er voor zorgen dat het dagblad weer een boost kan krijgen. Zij willen precies niet meer enkel mensen van diverse orthodox-protestantse en evangelische kerken aanspreken maar ook andere christenen.

Tot eind februari brengen NPO 1 & 2 het door Maarten Bakker en Peter van Zijp samengestelde reclame filmpje waarbij lezers van de krant getoond worden uit allerlei beroepen.

> Lees hier meer over en bekijk de video: Nederlands Dagblad vertoont zich met haar christelijk character

Thursday, 30 January 2020

By the commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp #2 Holocaust deniers and twisters of the truth

In spite of the numerous eyewitness accounts to the horrendous events that took place during the Holocaust, many today still deny its very existence.

The loss of six million Jewish people in the Holocaust confirms that when anti-Semitism festers, the ultimate result can be catastrophic.
We should be aware what happened after 1918 and how there grew a hatred against certain groups of people, starting with Jews, then Roma, continued by the prosecution of Jehovah's Witnesses and all that  contradicted the way the government foresaw the best community to live in. All refuters or protestors had to be silenced, and because non of the onlookers dared to react it became quite easy to continue to deport people.

Today, as global anti-Semitism rises, we must go beyond solemn moments of remembrance and speak out against anti-Semitism (hatred toward the Jewish people and Israel) and anti-refugees as well as any hatred against other people or religious groups. After World War I many thought it would never again, but just a few years later in 1939 a new and even more horrible war was at the doorstep of Europe that was going to fall in pieces.

When Europe got to hear what Nazi Germans did to Jews, nobody wanted to believe it, at first.

Regarded as exaggeration and Polish war propaganda, a lot of the reports sent to different news agencies and governments were simply not believed

Despite “strong demands” by the Polish and Jewish resistance for Britain or the US to bomb the railways leading to Auschwitz and other death camps,
 “the military’s attitude was: ‘We’ve got to concentrate on military targets, not on civilian things’,” 
said Davies, an authority on Polish history.
“One of the targets that the (British) military did bomb was a synthetic fuel factory near Auschwitz”
 in 1943-44, he added.

Although British warplanes flew over the death camp itself, incredibly, no orders were given to bomb it.

Professor Dariusz Stola, an expert on the history of Polish Jews, echoes this assessment.
“Military leaders didn’t like civilian politicians meddling in their business,”
he said.

For Allied military leaders, bombing Auschwitz, or its supply lines
 “was looking like a humanitarian operation and they didn’t want it,” 
said the former head of the Warsaw-based Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Auschwitz-Birkenau was the largest of all Nazi Germany’s death and concentration camps and the one where most people were killed. And it is the only one to have been preserved as it was when it was abandoned by the Germans fleeing the advancing Red Army.

Operated by the Nazis from 1940 until 1945, Auschwitz was part of a vast and brutal network of death and concentration camps across Europe set up as part of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” of genocide against an estimated 10 million European Jews.
Once Europe’s Jewish heartland, Poland saw 90 percent of its 3.3 million pre-war Jewish citizens killed under Nazi German occupation between 1939 and 1945.

Even after the liberation of the first camp by Russians, other camps had to be seen by Americans, to have more people to come to the  realization that the unseen horror could really have been something which had to overcome thousands of people.

We must never forget those who suffered during the Holocaust. For the sake of the Jewish People and all people everywhere, we must never forget what happened so that it will never happen again.

We should listen to the voices of the survivors of those inhuman detention camps and should see what is going on at the moment in Europe and the United States. Everywhere around us we can see politicians who want to be very popular and who do not mind twisting the truth or even to tell lies to enlarge their popularity.

Again people shall have to choose if they are going to stand by and be silent or if this time they shall react in time!

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Preceding

By the commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp #1 Finding a solution to a created problem

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Find more about this terrible political and human offence: Endlƶsung der Judenfrage (Final Solution to the Jewish Question):
  1. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  2. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  3. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  4. Is it really true that Anti-Semitism will never be tolerated? 
  5. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking

By the commemoration of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp #1 Finding a solution to a created problem

In a series of articles we can look back at an industrialized killing machine that took the lives of nearly 6,000 people a day. 75 years ago for those who were still (somewhat) alive on the 27th of January 1945, there was a liberation from the horror camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, but not from the atrocities they had to witness and the horror which would haunt them for the rest of their life.

Of the estimated 1.3 million people — at minimum — who were deported to the concentration, labour and extermination camp Auschwitz, between 1940 and 1945, at least 1.1 million were murdered, through mass exterminations, starvation, infectious diseases, individual executions, and medical experiments.
Gross of the survivors still suffer the effects of the trauma they experienced during the Holocaust.

How the Nazi Killing Machines Developed


In the part of Europe which could not keep up to the agreements mad in Versailles after World War I fertile soil was created for economical and political unrest. Ideal to undermine the government was speaking along ideas the majority of the people had, giving certain people the fault or cause of all the misery.

Creating a scapegoat, the popular political figures had to make sure they could win more votes and as such knew they had to get away with the "problem" they had showed to the people. Best was also to create a pure people, done away with all what did not fit the picture of a good Arian soul.
Speeches creating hatred against one group of people, at first, took care lots of Germans started to believe that those who lived in big houses and had lots of shops, were the bad guys who had to be eliminated and their places given to the real Germanic race.

It took not many years before the lies about the Jews were accepted as a real truth to be handled. So people turned against the Jewish inhabitants and wanted them away. The Nazi government forced the Jews from their homes and herded them into railway cattle cars.

Initially, however, the Germans used killing groups called Einsatzgruppen (task forces) to round up and massacre entire Jewish communities.

Rivka Yosselevska, who testified at the trial of Adolph Eichmann in 1961, was one of a few who survived the Nazi massacre of 500 Zagrodzki ghetto Jews (near Pinsk in Belarus) in August 1942. Yosselevska lost her daughter, mother, father, and sister, as well as other relatives in the slaughter. She said her daughter had asked her when they we were lined up in the ghetto,
 “Mother, why did you make me wear the Shabbat dress; we are being taken to be shot.”
At the mass grave, she asked,
 “Mother, why are we waiting? Let us run!”
Yosselevska said,
 “Some of the young people tried to run, but they were caught immediately, and they were shot right there. It was difficult to hold on to the children. ... The suffering of the children was difficult; we all trudged along to come nearer to the place and to come nearer to the end of the torture of the children.”

Although Yosselevska was shot in the head, she lived. For three days, she lay among the dead. The farmer who found her, hid and fed her. He also helped her to join a group of Jews hiding in the forest where she managed to survive until the Soviet army arrived in 1944.

Eventually, the Nazis decided that shooting as a method of mass killing was too expensive and inefficient. It required killing to be done one bullet at a time. And it demoralized the troops.

The Wannsee Conference Decides the Final Solution


In 1942, Nazi Party officials met near Berlin at the Wannsee Conference to discuss the “Final Solution” for the destruction of European Jewry. There they coordinated the deportation of Europe’s Jews to extermination camps that were already operating or were under construction in German-occupied Poland.

As many as 11 million Jews were to be transported to these killing centres, including residents of countries not then under Nazi control, such as Ireland, Sweden, Turkey, and Great Britain.

They decided that the mass transportation of these populations would be accomplished by train.

The SS and the police coordinated with local auxiliaries or collaborators in occupied territories to round up the victims and transport them to the death centres. In charge of all this was SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann, who was later to meet his demise at the end of a rope in an Israeli prison.

To disguise their intentions, Nazi authorities referred to these deportations as “resettlements” to labour camps in the “East.” In reality, they were killing centres for mass murder.

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Find more about this terrible political and human offence: Endlƶsung der Judenfrage (Final Solution to the Jewish Question):
  1. Black page 70 years Release – commemoration Auschwitz
  2. World remembers Auschwitz survivors
  3. Polish commemoration of the liberation of the concentration and extermination camp Auschwitz-Birkenau
  4. Is it really true that Anti-Semitism will never be tolerated? 
  5. Auschwitz survivors providing a warning of rising anti-Semitism and exclusion of free thinking


 


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Spark Understanding, Stitch Connections

Anyone and everyone who is committed to more peaceful homes, schools, businesses, and communities is encouraged to attend a peace education session at St. Michael’s Lutheran Church
1660 County Rd. B, St. Paul, 55113
(One block west of Snelling Ave. on County Rd. B in Roseville).


Celebrating at a Peace Site

Learning peace education
with colleagues

There is given an opportunity for individuals interested in peace to hear renowned speakers, create connections, share ideas and learn some new ones. Peace Education is structured with discussions, sharing, group work, speakers, networking, and planning time. Peace Education can be brought to your site as well! Please contact Peace Sites Organisation to find out more about this opportunity!  Bring a friend or colleague with you so that you will feel supported in your efforts!  

All sessions begin at 8:30 am (continental breakfast at 8:00 am and a box lunch are included (feel free to bring your own food for dietary specific needs). Water will be available to fill your water bottle (adhering to PROTECT the environment, bottles of water will no longer provided).

For daytime programs, up to two substitutes per school district expenses reimbursed (not in excess of $150 per substitute)

January 28, 2020, 8:30 am to 3:00 pm

"Spark Understanding, Stitch Connections"
with Erin Walsh

Erin Walsh of Spark and Stitch (formerly Mind Positive Parenting) will be our speaker. This workshop will address parenting and teaching for courage and connection in the digital age."

Cost: There is no fee to attend!

Monday, 13 January 2020

Persecution follows suit as the church in Iran multiplies

As the church in Iran multiplies, persecution follows suit. Over the last few months, Open Doors has learned about arrests of numerous Christians in Iran.

The crackdown on house churches continues to intensify, as officials search for and arrest anyone involved in these typically tiny fellowships. Prison sentences of varying lengths are inevitable outcomes for anyone who defies Iran’s “no house church” law.
Open Doors has reported numerous atrocities against Christians in Iranian prisons, infamous for their treatment of political prisoners.

In 2019, at least 37 Christians have been arrested: eight in Bushehr, nine in Rasht, 12 in Amol, two in Ahvaz, and one each in Hamedan, Shiraz and Isfahan.

On July 1, in the southwestern city of Bushehr, eight Christian converts, mostly in their 30s, were arrested, including five members of one family. Seven are still in prison, most likely in solitary confinement. Their homes were raided and Bibles confiscated, as well as Christian literature, wooden crosses and pictures with Christian symbols. Authorities also took laptops, phones, identity cards and bank cards. The officers are reported to have treated the Christians harshly, even though small children were present during the arrests.

Also in Bushehr, in April, 16 other converts from Bushehr reportedly lost their appeals against prison sentences for “propaganda activities against the regime through the formation of house churches.”
Another five converts submitted themselves to the central detention center in Karaj in July 2019 to begin their jail sentences for “propaganda against the state.” Manoto News broadcast footage of the Christians, four of whom have young children, waving goodbye to their loved ones.
After their arrests, the five were released in early 2018 after each posted a bail of 30 million tomans(around $7,000).
In March 2019, Milad, Yaghoob, Shahebedin and Alireza were sentenced to four months in prison. Amin, who has already spent a year in prison for his religious activities, was given 14 months. Their appeals were rejected last month.

Pray with us by name for all of these believers, recognizing that they represent only a handful of thousands of our brothers and sisters in Iran who have been threatened, arrested or imprisoned for turning to Jesus and following Him.

Your part in this expanding story

Writing in a time of great persecution for Christ followers who had lost property, been thrown into prison, were ostracized from their Jewish community, etc., the author of Hebrews offers a clear call to prayer for those who are suffering for the gospel:
“Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering” (Heb. 13:3).
And in Matthew 25:34-36, Jesus is clear that when we enter into the suffering of others, we are answering His call:
“Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
Jesus is strategically building His church and exhorts us to stand with and encourage our brothers and sisters as they live out the gospel.

Explosive growth of Christianity in Iran

Violence in the name of Islam has caused widespread disillusionment with the regime and has led many Iranians to question their beliefs. Multiple reports indicate that even children of political and spiritual leaders are leaving Islam for Christianity.

Already more than 20 years Christadelphians provide literature in Farsi and make huge efforts to communicate and unite with those who either felt not at home with their original religion or with their nation. Lots of those who fled the war zones and found a safe haven in Europe also found something interesting in the faith of many Europeans. Overhere there are not only the housechurches but in Great-Britain Christadelphian halls are open to bring the Farsi speaking people together.

Because Farsi-speaking services in Iran are not allowed, most converts gather in informal house-church meetings or receive information on Christianity via media, such as satellite TV and websites. The illegal house-church movement — including thousands of Christians — continues to grow in size and impact as God works through transformed lives.

Church leaders in Iran believe that millions can be added to the church in the next few years.
“If we remain faithful to our calling, our conviction is that it is possible to see the nation transformed within our lifetime,” 
one house church leader shared.
“Because Iran is a strategic gateway nation, the growing church in Iran will impact Muslim nations across the Islamic world.”
And like the church of Acts shows us, the persecution that believers suffered as a group of committed disciples — inspired and ignited by the Holy Spirit — became a catalyst for the multiplication of believers and churches. When persecution came, they didn’t scatter but remained in the city where it was most strategic and most dangerous. They were arrested, shamed and beaten for their message. Still, they stayed to lay the foundations for an earth-shaking movement.
So it is in Iran. When the Iranian revolution of 1979 established a hardline Islamic regime, the next two decades ushered in a wave of persecution that continues today. All missionaries were kicked out, evangelism was outlawed, Bibles in the Persian or Farsi language were banned, and several pastors were killed. Many feared the small, fledgling Iranian church wouldn’t survive.  Instead, the church, fueled by the devotion and passion of disciples, has multiplied exponentially. Iranians have become the Muslim people most open to the gospel in the Middle East.