03 18 Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church
‘Secret Church’ Hosting Special Nationwide Simulcast on Good Friday
On April 18 “Secret Church” will host a Good Friday simulcast, called “The Cross and Everyday Life,” from 6 p.m. to midnight CST.
The event will be led by pastor David Platt, author of the best-selling book Radical and senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills in Birmingham, Ala. Registration is available at www.radical.net. Open Doors is partnering with Secret Church, a program of The Church at Brook Hills, to promote the event.
Secret Church is a simulated “house church” that seeks to inform and teach Christians in the West what persecution really looks like for millions of believers around the world. Secret Church desires to mirror the dedication of believers in persecuted areas such as North Korea, Nigeria and Syria with intense Bible study and prayer.
Pastor Platt says: “The persecuted church is a secret church. It’s underground; hidden from the eyes of earthly authorities. But they are not hidden before God. They are growingoften thrivingin cultures and countries that seek to stop followers of Jesus Christ from proclaiming His gospel and His glory. These Christians, our brothers and sisters in Christ, need our prayers and our support.”
The Church at Brook Hills will host the live Secret Church event and stream the program through the simulcast. Secret Church is targeted for individuals who want to know God deeper through His Word and know His global church more fully. Secret Church’s simulcast also seeks to highlight the great need for Christians in the West to pray for persecuted believers around the world. The hope is to take what is learned from the event out to the world, and make disciples of Christ, both locally and globally. More information is available on the Secret Church website at www.SecretChurch.org.
Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry encourages all believers to participate in the simulcast on Good Friday. “Secret Church is a powerful force for good. There’s so much we can learn from persecuted Christians which will deepen our own spiritual journey. I challenge you to participate in Secret Church’s simulcast and learn how you can partner with those fellow followers of Jesus who suffer for their faith.”
Platt says he has “a deep appreciation for Open Doors and all the ways it is coming alongside the church in some of the darkest places in the world….”
Nigeria: Weekend Attacks Claim over 150 – from World Watch Monitor http://www.worldwatchmonitor.org/2014/03/article_3057400.html/
More than 150 people have been killed since Friday in central and northern Nigeria in separate attacks on villages populated by a concentration of Christians.
On Friday gunmen raided three villages in Kaduna state in central Nigeria, killing at least 114 people. The attackers opened fire on the villages of Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwan Gata and Chenshyi at about 11 p.m., according to Daniel Anyip, a local government official cited by Reuters.
Anyip said the attackers were from the The Fulani are a large ethnic group in West Africa. A third of all Fulani people are pastoralists, making them the largest nomadic community in the world., a West African ethnic group of herdsmen, largely Muslim, which has a history of land grievances with Nigeria’s indigenous Christians and others. The settled farming communities targeted by Fulani for several years are largely Christian. Nigeria’s Catholic bishops say the religious dimension of the running conflict is a byproduct of more fundamental herdsmen-farmer disputes over land, according to the Vatican-run Fides News Agency.
Most of the victims in the three villages were burned beyond recognition, according to sources cited by the BBC. Nigeria’s Channels Television reported that 114 of more than 150 victims have been buried in a mass grave.
Fulani also are suspected in attacks on several villages Sunday afternoon in Taraba state, southeast of Kaduna on Nigeria’s eastern border. About 35 people were killed, and a Catholic Church was attacked, according to the Nigeria Daily Post.
Also on Sunday, militants suspected to be part of an extremist group that is located primarily in Northern Nigeria, killed two people in Pela Birni village in Borno state, in Nigeria’s northeastern corner. Boko Haram is an armed insurgency that aims to set up Islamic law across Nigeria’s north, and has been blamed for the deaths of thousands of Nigerians, Christian and Muslim, since 2009. Pela Birni is populated by a concentration of Christians, reported Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper.
North Korea: Riveting Testimony from Former Camp Prisoner
On Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, the United Nations Human Rights Council held hearings, some from North Korean escapees. One was Shin Dong-Hyuk, who was born in Camp 14. At the age of 14 he was forced to watch the execution of his older brother and mother. He said to the delegates: “Look around you and try to find someone who looks evil. You will not find someone who seems to be evil in this room But you can find people with evil in their heart. In Nazi concentration camps 6 million people were slaughtered by people with evil in their heart. Now, 60 years later, in North Korea, 100,000s of people wait for their death. ‘Freedom’ is my favorite word. North Koreans deserve freedom. I have no power in my hands. So I urge you: please release my North Korean brothers and sisters.”