Reports from Iran, North Korea and Vietnam
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1. Update: Released Iranian prisoner thankful for prayers
(Source: VOM contacts)

Mehdi "Petros" Foroutan spent approximately a year in prison in Iran for sharing his faith with Muslims. Thankfully, he was released on June 10 (for more, go to www.persecution.net/ir-2012-06-14a.htm). Since his release, VOM has been helping Petros resettle.

Petros recently shared with VOM that he is very thankful for all who were praying for him while he was imprisoned.

We thank you for praying so faithfully for believers like Petros, and encourage you to remember those in bonds as if bound with them (Hebrews 13:3). Pray that Petros will continue to share his faith with others, despite risk of punishment. Pray that God will use both Petros' time in prison and his new freedom to advance His kingdom in Iran.

For more information on persecution in Iran, go to www.persecution.net/iran.htm.

2. Gospel balloons released into North Korea
(Source: VOM contacts)

A VOM partner, along with four North Korean defectors now living in South Korea, released 10 gospel balloons into the "Hermit Kingdom" on July 5. The North Korean believers hope the balloons and their cargo will reach their hometowns in North Korea and spread the Good News of Jesus Christ there.

Launching these balloons is a tangible way for North Koreans now living in South Korea to reach out to their homeland. The four North Korean Christians wrote their testimonies and included them among the 45,000 flyers delivered by the balloons. This was the fifth balloon launch by the VOM partner this year.

Pray that the gospel messages carried by the balloons will bring hope to those who read them. Also pray that North Korea's new leader will bring about positive reform and respect the freedoms of North Korean Christians. Pray that Christians in North Korea will remain steadfast in their faith and be a light to those around them.

For more information on North Korea's persecuted Church, visit us at www.persecution.net/northkorea.htm.

3. Update: Pastor's sentence upheld in Vietnam
(Source: AP)

An appeals court has upheld the 11-year sentence given to Nguyen Cong Chinh, 43, a Vietnamese believer who pastors a Mennonite church banned by the government.

In March, the pastor was found guilty of giving interviews to foreign media and for posting articles online that "distorted the country's religious and human rights situations" (for more, go to www.persecution.net/vn-2012-04-05.htm).

Vietnam is one of the world's few remaining Communist nations. Though Vietnam's constitution provides for freedom of worship, the government continues to restrict organized activities of many religious groups. Only government-controlled religious organizations are allowed.

Pray that God will grant Nguyen a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). Pray that God will use the time Nguyen spends in prison to further His kingdom. Pray that authorities in Vietnam will respect religious freedom.

To learn more about our persecuted family in Vietnam, go to www.persecution.net/vietnam.htm.
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The Persecution & Prayer Alert is a ministry of The Voice of the Martyrs, Canada.  (Mailing address: P.O. Box 608, Streetsville, Ontario, L5M 2C1)
Tel. (905) 670.9721. Website: www.persecution.net

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