Four evangelists who are supported by Voice of the Martyrs have suffered beatings by a crowd of irate Muslims, but they first succeeded in handing out more than 13,000 Christian tracts at a conference on Islam.
Officials with VOM, a U.S.-based Christian group helping members of the persecuted Christian church worldwide, said one of the beatings was so severe that the Christian apparently suffered internal bleeding as a result.
But the message was delivered, much as Jesus described in Matthew 16:18, where he announces that “thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
Gates, of course, generally are immobile, implying that it is the Christian message that advances. That is what happened at the Pakistan conference, VOM said.
“We are thrilled to stand with such courageous Christians,” said Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for VOM. “These men bravely carried Christ’s message of love to some of those who need it most, even though it was costly to do so.
“We are blessed to be able to provide medical care for them, and to continue to provide gospel materials to Pakistani Christians who risk so much to live for Christ,” he said.
The team was at a Muslim festival in the city of Pakpattan on a Friday late last month. The four-member team handed out more than 13,000 Christian messages at that event before being attacked by radical Muslims.
VOM reports that three members of the team were beaten up, then taken to the police station where they were detained and questioned before being released.
The fourth member, however, “was badly beaten by a mob of more than 100 angry Muslims, who then dragged him through the crowd before taking him to the police station,” the VOM reported. “He was beaten so severely that he reported blood in his urine and his stool.”
VOM said workers on the scene are overseeing his hospitalization and care.
Tens of thousands of Muslims gather for similar conferences each year in Pakistan, where they are lectured on the demands of Islam and ordered to follow the Quran’s instructions on handling apostates, VOM said.
VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.
It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate’s Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, “Tortured for Christ,” was released.