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Coptic Martyr

The Coptic Martyr of Cairo

The latest international thriller from best-selling author Martin Roth

Four Americans in Egypt on an archaeological dig. In the blistering summer heat they are fighting amongst themselves. Then they unearth a body. It is an old priest who has been murdered.

The gruesome discovery sets in train a sequence of events that leads to a deadly Islamist attack on the ancient church where the Americans are working.

The leader of the expedition, Professor Rafa Harel, must decide whether to withdraw his fractious team or continue on a mission to unveil a controversial series of wall paintings, knowing that these images have the power to spark even greater violence.

Meanwhile, watching over all of them is a dreamy young Egyptian Christian named Amir. His only quest in life is to become a martyr...

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Praying for North Korea – Online Resources for Your Church

Few peoples need prayer more than the North Koreans. They live under one of the most barbarous regimes on this planet. Christians are persecuted particularly harshly.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide is calling for a week of prayer for North Korea, from June 23rd to 29th.

I have a particular concern with this issue. My wife is Korean, from Seoul. Both her parents fled from North Korea some 50 years ago, during the Korean War.

I am hoping to involve my church in the prayer week, and have started preparing some resource materials, based on information at various websites.

I hope other Christians around the world might also try to involve their churches, during the prayer week and later. To help you, here are some of the online resources I have found especially useful.

Christian Solidarity Worldwide has prepared some excellent material for churches, including small group and youth resources. Here is an excerpt:

Before the communist regime was installed, the north was a centre of revival and Pyongyang was known as the Jerusalem of the East. Most Christians fled to the South during the Korean War, or were martyred. Kim Il Sung, the “Great Leader”, ordered that three generations of a Christian’s family must be eliminated.

A few believers have managed to hold on to their faith despite the horrific persecution. Many Christians have been publicly executed and others have been taken away to camps where they are subject to barbaric abuse and treated as sub-human. They will never be allowed out of the camps, alive or dead, and are worked to death in brutal conditions and terrible deprivation.

Christians suffer especially cruel treatment in these death camps as they are under ongoing pressure to renounce their faith. They are subject to frequent torture and abuse and are also forced to do the most gruelling and dangerous work, both by guards, as punishment, and by fellow prisoners, who despise their faith as insanity.

Amidst all the horrific suffering that we encounter on a daily basis at Christian Solidarity Worldwide, we believe that the suffering of the Christians in North Korea may be the worst experienced anywhere in the world. We are anxious that the Church should be aware of the terrible situation of our brothers and sisters who are holding on to their faith at such dear cost. We hope that through this awareness the Church will be rallied to pray fervently for North Korea.

Christian Monitor has prepared an excellent four-page pdf document, North Korea: Five Days of Prayer – touching on concentration camps, famine/starvation, refugees, Christians and “Those Who Help” - that can be printed out for distribution to church members.

Two Christian Monitor editorials provides further information, with details of how to help.

Finally, the superb Chosun Journal, one of the best of all human rights websites – it calls itself “North Korea’s Virtual Holocaust Museum in Real Time” - provides a vast amount of practical material.

There is plenty more. Most organisations concerned with the persecuted church provide resources on North Korea. I shall explore these in a further commentary.

June 10th, 2003


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