5 Places Where Having a Bible Will Get You Arrested or Killed
In many places around the world, the most dangerous item to have is the Bible. Owning, printing, importing or distributing the Word of God in hostile or restricted nations can result in being arrested or even killed. Governments and groups opposed to Christianity impose harsh penalties and deadly punishment in attempts to stop evangelism and Bible distribution.
The Voice of the Martyrs recently compiled this list to raise awareness to the challenges and need for Bible distribution in the most difficult and dangerous places to follow Christ.
North Korea's government is built on the cult of personality around the Kim family dynasty. There, kindergarteners are taught to say, "Thank you, Father Kim Il Sung, for our food" before meals. This oppressive government highly restricts access to outside information-especially the truth of God's Word. The Bible is not only seen as the guide book for a "western" religion, but as treason and a direct threat to the regime.
Since the Taliban re-took control of Afghanistan, Bibles are even more dangerous to own. Younger fighters are more tech savvy and have demanded to search the phones of suspected Christians, looking for Bible apps and searching web traffic history to Christian sites.
The jihadist members of Al Shabaab have systematically hunted for suspected Christians in Somalia. Visibly carrying a Bible would mean almost certain death.
The Islamic government of Iran greatly restricts the freedom of its citizens, including stern laws against printing or importing Bibles in Farsi, the national language. Any Bibles must be printed in secret or smuggled in from outside of the country.
No Bibles are printed inside the country and importing Bibles is restricted. Bibles must be hand carried into the country, and those doing so know they risk prison or death if discovered.
For more than 50 years, VOM has been smuggling Bibles into restricted countries. VOM's founders, Pastor Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, smuggled Bibles into communist controlled areas of eastern Europe and trained members of their church's youth group to do so as well.
The Voice of the Martyrs continues to distribute more than one million Bibles every year in restricted nations and hostile areas, serving believers who are willing to take any risk to have and share God's Word. This list is merely five of more than 70 places where Bible ownership is restricted.
"Believers in restricted and hostile nations know that it is dangerous to have Bibles and to share them with others," said VOM's Todd Nettleton. "But their desire to have, study and share the Word of God is greater than their desire for safety or comfort. Christians in these difficult and dangerous places creatively share God's Word despite the constant risk of arrest, imprisonment or even death. We can be inspired by their boldness and bravery in the face of persecution."
"From the very first days of ministry, VOM has been committed to getting Bibles to persecuted Christians hungry for the hope and truth of God's Word," said Nettleton.
VOM has a goal to fund 300,000 Bibles this month in which they will smuggle into Iran.
Learn more about this Bible smuggling challenge at vom.org/BiblesforIran.
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