Sunday, February 5, 2006


Over my computer is a poster, a map of the world with certain countries highlighted to indicate "Hostile Areas" and "Restricted Nations." It's only a map, a piece of paper with some photos and outlines and letters on it, but it represents hundreds of thousands of believers whose daily lives involve facing torture, imprisonment, and death because they bear the name of Christ.



Chiapas, Mexico






Mindanao, Philippines

North Korea




Sri Lanka
Saudi Arabia


United Arab Emirates




Laura's mom said...

Isn't it interesting that when you talk about something fluffy, everyone happily jumps in to comment, but when the subject is persecution, we hesitate. Perhaps our lives have gotten busy, or perhaps we don't want to face the ease of our Christian experience in America, while untold numbers of our brethren around the world must exercise caution to even speak the name of Jesus.
We have become lazy, fat and complacent, while others gladly take the role of the martyr.
God help us.

G. F. McDowell said...

I have to question Belarus and Nigeria. Especially Nigeria, given that it is Nigerian bishops who are fighting for the faith within the Anglican Communion. Christians practice openly in Nigeria.

Laura said...

Maybe it's mislabeled on the map I got from Voice of the Martyrs, but both Belarus and Nigeria are colored in yellow, which they define like this:

"RESTRICTED NATION: This includes countries where government policy or practice prevent Christians from obtaining Bibles or other Christian literature. Also included are government-sanctioned circumstances where Christians are harassed, imprisoned, killed or deprived of their possessions or liberties because of their faith in Jesus."

I'll do a little searching around, but it seems that "Restricted" doesn't just mean countries where evangelism etc. are forbidden on pain of imprisonment or death.

Laura said...

I wondered too about Nigeria, especially since you mentioned the Anglican bishops -- I remember having heard about their diligent work in promoting orthodoxy.

Sorry, I don't know how to do links (bad blogger), but this info was very enlightening to me on official government policies versus de facto practices and conditions in various regions of Nigeria and Belarus.

For Belarus, it seems the major tension is between Protestant and Orthodox churches, and particularly as it relates to the governmental favoritism shown to Belarus Orthodox Churches and members.

Laura said...

Allison, if you're reading this, along the lines of "hate the lie" and the Liar: my AMAZING Missiology professor, Dr. David Sills, has a funny saying that made me think of you. He'll talk about people who say weird, unorthodox things, and then follow it up with, "The reason that smells like smoke is because of where it comes from." Love it!

Donna said...

Amen - we need more posts about praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters. Here are a couple of posts I left recently about two areas that my heart breaks for often: North Korean and the Sudan.

Lorie said...

How does the map classify Cyprus? I lived there for two years and am interested to know.

Allison said...

haha... thats funny....

So, I used to live in Malaysia.... it was pretty cool, and it is a very restricted country. Basically, if you were born a local, then you are forced to be muslim... no local malay would be caught dead having anyhting to do with them christian folk... except for a few of course that were saved secretly by missionaries.... Everytime we did an outreach of any kind with our church, we had to do all this confusing legal stuff.... it was pretty crazy having you write this post, and then looking back to those times...

good post... good one...


Lindsay said...

girl...i have friends in one of those countries!! scary stuff! they hear gun shots on a semi-regular basis! they are certainly champions of Christ!!

Laura said...

Lorie, Cyprus is in blue, which means "Hostile Area: This includes large areas in nations where governments consistently attempt to provide protection for the Christian population, but Christians are victims of violence because of their witness."

Laura said...

OK, so here are two that I'm surprised NOT to see on the list: Singapore and Taiwan. I guess China claims Taiwan is under their sovereignty, but Singapore regulates EVERYTHING!! Why not Christianity?

Allison said...

haha...., well maybe since Singapore is like at the tip of the malaysian peninsula, then they just kinda considered it part of malaysia... even though its not... yea Singapore is really weird, they fine you for the weirdest things... youve gotta be careful going there.... if you ever go... dont spit..especially gum.... lol...

oh, and dont pick the flowers...
but I can say its the cleanest city Ive ever been in!

Laura said...

Um, isn't gum illegal in Singapore? And the president or whatever of Singapore is a total nut case I guess... I saw something about him on A&E awhile ago.

Allison said...

yea, it is, thats why you shouldnt spit gum out.... People bring gum into Singapore....
secretly of course....

among all the crazyness... Singapore has a really great zoo!



Laura's Dad said...

Laura, et al,

Being as you go to this cool reformed seminary with excellent reformed theology and all, I think you'll like my blog post today -- I use the word "sovereign" in it TWICE.

Of course, we Americans should be ashamed of ourselves for thinking we've got it tough here. Most of us don't know the meaning of the word "tough."

ckjolly said...

Nigeria is on the map because Muslims have come in from the north and have taken over in Jihad form almost all of northern Nigerai by force ... um, death to those who do not convert.

G. F. McDowell said...

Good point, Christine. While it is true that the northern provinces are beginning to see sharia law, there will soon be more christians in Nigeria than anywhere else, if trends continue.

G. F. McDowell said...

I guess I see their point re: Nigeria. Context.

Laura said...

Great idea. Let's all show how offended we are at our great prophet being portrayed as violent by... um... burning churches and embassies and killing people. Awesome.

Anonymous said...

Why isnt China on your map?I was there with a group smuggling Bibles and other christian literature and the persecution is tremendous.My first time I was caught.The authority there is hateful of Christians.Praise God He works mightily there.Now Im in Mexico-and possibly Chiapas in a week.If that happens Ill try to send another comment.Its close by the city Im in.Praise God for your love of the Saints.