Persecution Escalates in the Middle East

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Air Date: September 09, 2013

Host: Vic Eliason

Guest: Jerry Dykstra

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Jerry Dykstra is the media relations director for Open Doors, a ministry that began with Brother Andrew back in 1955 as he smuggled Bible’s into Eastern Europe. Open Doors has worked in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these dark places.

Jerry noted that wherever you go in the Middle East, Christians are not only victims of random violence, there is also the targeting of Christians for simply being Christian. In the case of Egypt this is often due to people taking out their frustrations because of the removal of Mohamed Morsi. It has taken the form of Christian businesses being targeted, Christians losing their jobs and income and churches being burned down.

He asked listeners to pray for those who are considering leaving Egypt so that they have wisdom regarding what to do and also to support Christian organizations that are trying to help these individuals.

In Syria, under Assad, Christians have had a degree of freedom. They are afraid they may lose that limited freedom should Assad fall.

Iran’s change of leadership has had no impact in terms of improvement for Christians. Satellite TV is playing a roll in impacting the people there and Jerry reported that there has been news of people coming to Christ via dreams and visions.

The Open Doors website has a world watch list so you can numerically see where each nation sits in terms of their amount of persecution. North Korea currently leads the list and has done so for 11 straight years.

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