News from Voice of the Martyrs


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Serving the persecuted church with practical and spiritual assistance and leading Christians in the free world into fellowship with persecuted believers.

IRAQ: Fleeing for Their Lives

Photo 1 Ahmed came to faith after reading his wifes Bible RELEASE MAG 98 linked 27A VOM worker recently visited a Middle Eastern country to meet Christian refugees who have fled conflict and persecution – and saw how VOM ministry partners are caring for them – 

Ahmed* (not his real name) was brought up in a strict Sunni Muslim home in Iraq, but fell in love with a Christian girl. They married and his wife kept her faith to herself, not allowing her in-laws to discover her Bible. However, curiosity got the better of Ahmed and, thinking that the Old Testament and the Koran were the same, he began to read his wife’s Bible. As he did so he began to experience real peace and after a period of three years gave his life to Christ.

Knowing how his family would react if he openly declared his new-found faith, he too kept his beliefs secret – at least to start with. Ultimately though it was impossible to hide them in a community where lack of attendance at the local mosque would be noticed.

At first his family tried to pressure him to return to Islam, but Ahmed stayed true to his new faith, even when it cost him his job. Then one day as he was driving home he was stopped by three men dressed all in black who dragged him from his car. In the beating that followed his skull was fractured…

After ISIS

Christian refugees in northern Iraq are now facing the difficult choice of returning home to Mosul and other areas formerly occupied by ISIS.

The Islamic State group is now on the back foot, having been driven out of Mosul and other areas of Iraq and Syria. Christians who formally lived in these areas but who were forced to flee in the face of ISIS, now face the challenge of returning to their destroyed towns and villages, often with very little of their old lives remaining. Their homes have been destroyed, business ransacked, and churches burned and vandalized by ISIS.

Recent clashes between other independence forces and the Iraqi army haven’t helped, with Christians caught up in the middle and concerned about the future.

“People are scared because of the conflicting news and all that is going on, and Christians are the first affected as they are a minority,” explains a church leader in the area.

Family Medical Packs for Syrian Families

Syria Aleppo destruction

800x600 Syria familyAction Packs are a tangible way of reminding our persecuted family that Christians in New Zealand have not forgotten them. Each pack provides much-needed practical items and medical necessities for Christians in need in Syria. This month, with the chance to add a photo or personal note you can show your love and give some much-needed encouragement to Christians who are suffering in the Syria conflict. Will you help?

You have the opportunity to send some personal encouragement to Christian families in Syria by sending a family photo or note along with a Family Medical Action Pack. Here’s how:

  • Provide us with your family photo or note of encouragement (optional) You can post this to us, upload it using the form below, or email the image or scanned copy of your note to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.,
  • Donate for the Action Pack ($48),
  • VOM will aim to include your photo or note with the Action Pack delivery to Syrian families later this year*
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Iran – Praise God for Maryam’s Release

201708 IRAN MARYAM RELEASED vom social media image posts square 1200px 400x400Thank you for your prayers for Maryam Naghash Zargaran, an Iranian convert to Christianity, who, we are delighted to report, was released from prison on Wednesday (NZ time).

Maryam has served a four-year sentence in the women’s ward of Evin Prison in Tehran. She was imprisoned in July 2013 after being found guilty of ‘propagating against the Islamic regime, and colluding to undermine national security’.

Maryam suffers from heart disease, for which she requires regular medical attention. Harsh prison conditions have also resulted in her suffering from depression.

Please join Iranian Christians in thanking God for her release and continue to pray for her health and well-being: that the Lord will strengthen Maryam mentally and physically, that she will receive the medical attention she needs and that she will adjust well to ordinary life after her long prison sentence. (Source: Release International, Middle East Concern)

What VOM does in Iran: VOM is sponsoring the printing and distribution of at least 137,000 Bibles in Iran. VOM also supports training focused on discipleship and church planting, as well as Christian satellite broadcasts into the country.

Monthly Prayer Focus: Syria

Syria man fixing cross on churchCategory: Restricted
Major Religions: Islam 90.1%, Christianity 5.9%
Prevalent Ideology: Islam
Leader: President Bashar al-Asad

Large swaths of Syrian territory remain in the hands of Islamist rebel groups since the 2011 uprising. More than 4 million refugees have fled the country, and many more remain displaced.

Life for Christians
Syria was once religiously diverse and protective of Christians’ rights. But today both Orthodox and evangelical Christians are targets of the Islamists. Christian villages have been overrun, churches destroyed and believers abused or driven out.

VOM Work
VOM is heavily involved both inside and outside the country, providing Bibles, support to churches, blankets, food, water and more.

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Pray for Christina, a 6-Year-Old Girl Freed from the Islamic State

Iraq Christina 574 CHRISTINAABADA 400x400Christina Abada, a 6-year-old Iraqi girl, was reunited with her Christian family on June 9 after being held by the self-proclaimed Islamic State (ISIS) for three years. While Christina is in good health, it is unclear what she may have endured or witnessed while in captivity, and she has no memory of her mother and father. Her family, originally from Qaraqosh, currently live in a camp for displaced Iraqis in Erbil. On June 9, they received a call alerting them that Christina had been found in a poor neighbourhood of Mosul that had been recently liberated by Iraqi forces. Please pray that Christina will be restored spiritually and emotionally and that she will fully reconnect with her family.

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