Frequently Asked Questions
What is a martyr?
Christian martyr [literally witness]: “one who chooses to suffer death rather than deny Christ; sacrifices something very important to further the Kingdom of God; endures great suffering for their Christian witness.”
Voice of the Martyrs supports not only those who are killed for their faith in Jesus, but all who are persecuted for their Christian witness.
What is persecution?
Persecution is often thought of as violent aggression against Christians. This, however, ignores much of the social and psychological hostility against Christians throughout the world. Voice of the Martyrs is committed to supporting Christians who face ridicule, harassment or restrictions just as much as those who face physical violence, torture, abuse, imprisonment or death.
Thousands of Christians face persecution for their faith in Jesus every day. But why?
Christians face persecution because of Jesus Christ. Jesus said “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first” (John 15:18). In each country, there are different political and social reasons why Christians are persecuted. But in every case, it all comes down to the same basic reason – people hate Jesus, they hate the Gospel and so they persecute Christians.
Why does Voice of the Martyrs smuggle Bibles and support covert ministry? Isn’t this illegal?
When we hear the words, “against the law,” it disturbs us as Christians. But is our first loyalty to Christ and His Kingdom or to man-made government laws? Check out what Brad Konemann (Youth Director for Voice of the Martyrs Australia) has to say about this controversial topic.
How can I get more involved with Thirteen Three?
There are many ways that you can get more involved with Thirteen Three as we serve persecuted Christians. Here are a few ideas:
Where do Christians face the worst persecution?
North Korean Christians are among the most severely persecuted believers in the world today. Christians are forbidden to meet together. They are put in prison camps or executed just for owning a Bible. The nation’s leaders are trying to completely eradicate Christianity. But despite horrific opposition, God’s church is growing!
Christians also face severe persecution in Communist countries like China and Vietnam. In many Islamic countries (including Iran, Pakistan and Egypt), those who come to Christ face rejection from their families, imprisonment or even death according to Islamic law.
How many countries does Voice of the Martyrs work in?
Voice of the Martyrs Australia has been a ‘voice’ for the persecuted church for over 40 years. In partnership with other international offices, we have served persecuted Christians in the 66 restricted countries listed below:
How do we invite a Thirteen Three speaker to our school, youth group, camp or event?
Please click here to submit your request and the details of your group. Please note that while we will do our best to book a speaker, we cannot guarantee availability at the time and location you ask for.
How many Christians are killed each year?
It is difficult, if not impossible, to say for certain how many Christians are killed for their faith every year. Most figures are, in fact, projected averages or statistical guesses rather than based on hard figures or actual documentation. Sadly, most martyrs suffer and die anonymously, unknown, forgotten.
In many cases, the verification and documentation of instances of persecution is extremely dangerous and Christians are nervous about sharing their story for fear of retribution. This means that it is extremely difficult to provide an exact number of Christians who are killed annually.
Despite these difficulties, Voice of the Martyrs continues to tell the stories of individuals who have been persecuted for the name of Jesus. We must continue to tell these stories and remind the Australian church to stand with Christians who face persecution every day.
Doesn't reporting about persecution promote intolerance and hatred towards other religions?
Jesus Christ commanded His followers “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44). This is a radical response to persecution – instead of intolerance and hatred there is love and prayer. This cuts right to the heart of the Gospel – instead of rejecting those who rejected Him, Jesus died in the place of sinners. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Jesus reached out in love to those who hated Him. There is no room in this response for intolerance or hatred.
As Voice of the Martyrs reports the reality of persecution, we follow Jesus’ radical response to speak the truth in love and pray for the salvation of those who persecute Christians.