COURAGE AND FAITH UNDER FIRE
Media coverage for All Out For God and Persecuted Church TV programme
A huge thank you to Release International supporters who went barefoot to pray for persecuted Christians at our All Out For God event.
Supporters were encouraged to take off their shoes in an act of identification with persecuted Christians who have to travel a hard path for their faith.
And they were invited to post pictures of the shoes they had taken off along with the prayers they had prayed.
All Out For God was linked to a Facebook live event, where courageous Christians who’ve been imprisoned for their faith described their remarkable experiences.
Among the speakers was Susanna Koh, the wife of Pastor Raymond Koh, who was abducted in Malaysia.
Pastor Koh was snatched off the streets in 2017 in a highly organised operation. It took 15 men in seven vehicles just 40 seconds to kidnap him. The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia has accused state agents of being behind the abduction.
The kidnapping was captured on CCTV. Susannah says she’s had no news of her husband since.
You can sign a petition calling for Pastor Koh’s release here.
Susanna described prayer as a vital cry from the heart. It was prayer that sustained her when she was taken to a police station for interrogation.
She says, ‘Fear gripped my heart.’ She cried out to God: ‘Lord help me.’
‘Immediately the fear disappeared and the song, “I raise a Hallelujah”, came out of my heart.
‘The Holy Spirit gave me boldness,’ she says, ‘and I exerted my right and asked for my lawyer.’
Susanna was joined by Petr Jasek, who had been thrown into a cell in Sudan with Isis assassins. He said: ‘Thanks to the fervent prayers [of my church and family], I was able to sleep peacefully amidst the enemies of the gospel.’
Tortured to make her stop
Gospel singer Helen Berhane, from Eritrea, was tortured to force her to stop singing and saying the name Jesus.
Helen was imprisoned in a shipping container in the desert that burned her skin by day and froze her body by night.
During her ordeal, she was encouraged by the thought of Paul and Silas who kept worshipping God in prison even though they had been severely flogged.
‘The guards tried to stop me,’ she said, ‘but I kept singing and preaching to anyone who would listen.’
Even though they tortured her to try to make her deny her faith, Helen refused. “All I could answer was: “I cannot. I accept Him unto death.”’
In her shipping container prison, Helen said she could feel the prayers of others around the world supporting her.
Helen was joined by Petr Jasek, who had been thrown into a cell in Sudan with Isis assassins. He said: ‘Thanks to the fervent prayers [of my church and family], I was able to sleep peacefully amidst the enemies of the gospel.’
Nigeria is a country of growing concern to Release International. Release partner, Mark Lipdo, runs the Stefanos Foundation there. He told Release supporters taking part in All Out For God: ‘We are used to moments where Christians are violently targeted and attacked, and their homes, their worship places are burned down.
‘Now, this is taking a new dimension. There is kidnapping for ransom that is targeting Christian leaders.’
All the speakers stressed the importance of prayer for the persecuted. Susanna Koh summed it up: ‘Prayer unites us as a body of Christ. As we pray for one another, we draw closer to each other. We suffer with those who suffer, we weep with those who weep.’
Release on TV
All Out For God and the situation in Nigeria have also been featured on Revelation TV’s Persecuted Church programme, which is transmitted on Sky and Freesat, and other channels.
The programme is now being co-produced and presented by Andrew Boyd, who is a consultant for Release. You can find out more here.