Now about that time Herod the king put forth his hands to afflict certain of the church. 2And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. 3And when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. And those were the days of unleavened bread. 4And when he had taken him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to guard him; intending after the Passover to bring him forth to the people. 5Peter therefore was kept in the prison: but prayer was made earnestly of the church unto God for him.
Scripture Testimony Index stories for this passage
The fierce persecution of believers in Uganda started when Mwanga became King. Brutally, some were murdered, while others were forced to flee. But like wheat falling to the ground and sprouting again, "the blood of these martyrs became the seed of the Church."
In 1900, the Shanshi province, led by the ruthless Governor Yu Hsien, opposed the gospel, in a feat that remains infamously unmatched. Dozens of native christians, children and missionaries were massacred for their faith.
A thirteen year old girl is about to be killed alongside many others for their faith. But until she was abruptly beheaded, she confronted the Governor upon whose orders they were to be massacred, and utilized her last moments to make a strong case for her faith.
In a flagrant defiance of Diocletian, one of his most trusted soldier would not for anything - threats or riches, deny his faith in Christ. Angered by this, Diocletian subjected this soldier to the worst forms of public torture, but helped by God, he bore it all valiantly; and still preached about his Christ thought it all, untill he finally received a Martyr's crown.
When Dr. Wang was arrested with his little son by the Boxer in Peking, he was offered an opportunity to deny Christ, burn incense in a temple and be set free. But Dr. Wang will not have any of it, boldly he rejected the offer and received a martyr's death.
In an apparent quest to exterminate Christianity, the North Korean government, led by Kim II Sung descended heavily on the Church in that country. Massive arrests of Christian leaders were made, gulags were created and raids were carried out on any place affiliated to Christianity.
In a time when the Bible was a contraband and foreigners completely unwelcomed within Korea's borders, Robert Thomas, a fearless missionary from Whales, entered Korea to distribute and sell Bibles, greatly risking his life - until he eventually paid the supreme price.
Feeling threatened by the growth of Christianity in his domain, the Prince of Chiengmai falsely accused the missionaries labouring among his people. He doubled down on this by ordering their arrest, torturing and eventually murdering the two he captured.
Hossein Soodmand was a Christian preacher who committed his life to serving others, and helped lead Monir and Nevisa to Christ. Soodmand continued to serve the Lord until his arrest, separation from family, torture and eventual death in the hands of Muslim fundamentalists, shouting until his last moment that, "JESUS IS ALIVE".
Peter, a Chinese college student was made to fail all his final year courses, forced out of school and made to look like a voluntary school drop-out. He was warned by the police never to disclose the real reason he was kicked out; which was Peter's newfound faith. He had become a Christian in college.
Rather than deny her faith, Fatima makes a bold statement. Her brother killed her as punishment for forsaking Islam.
During WW II, an American missionary couple in the Philippines, hiding in the mountains of North Luzon were discovered and martyred by the Japanese. Their only request before being killed, was to be given thirty minutes with their Bibles and prayer.
Christians in Zhang's village took turns to read his Bible and guarded it with their all. When Zhang got arrested, a search party was sent to his home by the local government to find his Bible. Fellow believers in his village also got detained.
Zhang's grandfather, Sun, suffered great humiliation and public disgrace for the Name of Christ. "Like a helpless lamb among wolves", he was not only taunted for his faith but eventually martyred for it.
After the Iranian revolution of 1979, the Islamic government, led by the Ayatollah committed without delay, to persecuting Christians and opposing the Gospel, both through rhetoric and actual deeds.
The Assemblies of God Church; Iran's largest known church with believers worshipping in the Persian language was closed by the government of Iran in 2013. Not only was the pastor of the church arrested, but many members lost their jobs.
Alireza Ebrahimi, Saeed Mirzaei, and Sadegh Mirzaei, three christians using social media to promote the gospel of Jesus were arrested by the Iranian government for apostasy. And Sattar Beheshti, another Christian blogger was not only arrested but martyred under false charges.
After the 1949 Revolution, Christians in China suffered extreme persecution; thousands were killed, with many more left to rot in prison, foreign missionaries were sent away and churches destroyed. But all this was not enough to obliterate God's people - His beloved church emerged out of this, even stronger.
Thah-Gray was great preacher who, alongside 39 others were arrested, extorted and tortured, severely for their faith. Thah-Gray would still not deny Jesus, despite his sufferings and was eventually crucified like his Christ; becoming the first Karen Martyr.
The communist regimes in Eastern Europe oppose the gospel and as a matter of priority, "any ministry among children". But at a great risk, believers are defying the odds, and smuggling Christian literatures across borders, just so God's work continues unhindered.
The Bible in Eastern Europe was a serious contraband equated to guns and drugs; its availability and use was vehemently opposed by the nation States. But God's people at Operation Mobilization were undeterred in their quest to resist this opposition to the Gospel.
Abdallah dared death and publicly declared his becoming a Christian after reading a portion of the new testament he borrowed from an Armenian. He was captured and given another opportunity to save his life by renouncing Jesus. But Abdallah refused the offer, choosing instead to die for his faith in Christ Jesus.
In a disguised attempt at perpetuating its opposition to the spread of the Gospel, the Chinese government created the Three-Self Patriotic Movement; promising freedom to worship but empowering itself to completely determine what worship to God should be.
The central government in Beijing was threatened by the power that could result from unity among God's people in China, so in 1997, Yun and other house church leaders walked into a trap of the government. They were all arrested, mercilessly beaten and subsequently prosecuted.
While in prison, Kostyantyn, a Ukrainian Christian incarcerated for his faith, witnessed the great suffering and eventual death many Church leaders in his country suffered for refusing to deny Jesus. Their courage even while suffering, gave him strength to gallantly carry his own cross.
Uganda's government, led by a treacherous King opposed the Gospel and ordered that Christians be viciously put to death. But these young believers, accepted martyrdom with prayer and praise!
Mrs. Vera Yakovlena, just like Ananias in the Bible; came un-invited to see Sabina Wurmbrand with a message to prepare the Wurmbrand's ahead of the suffering they would go through for Christ's sake.
For providing refuge to travelling preachers, Sir John Oldcastle was burnt to death in Wales, becoming the first English nobleman to die for the faith.
Many believers were arrested and viciously put to death for their faith. Hans Leupold, a church elder, was one of them - while in prison, Hans composed a beautiful hymn that has now brought consolation and encouragement to suffering saints.
Fifteen year old girl stands firm in her resolve to honor only Jesus, and pays the price.
When the Chinese government learned that Fangcheng was the center of a nationwide gospel movement in 1983, it ordered the arrest of all Christians there, and sentenced over a dozen to death. But this action only made God's people more fearless and resolute.
Three believers meet their end on earth through violent death, all because of their faith in the One true God.
The Romanian church was hard-pressed on every side; from kidnap, to imprisonment, to heartbreaking lies by State officials to their loved ones and unspeakable tortures. From the clergy to the laity, and even children; no one was spared from persecution by the government.
In an African country, the State was sponsoring the killing of believers. But these believers, "having met a martyr's death, have thus received a martyr's crown."
The government of Sudan is openly suppressing Christians and any attempt at promoting christianity is met with unyielding opposition. Bibles are getting confiscated and christians are pressured to convert to Islam or leave.
After his conversion to Christianity from Islam, David dedicated his life to the Lord; establishing evangelistic ministries among the Somalis in Yemen and Ethiopia. At a great personal risk David soldiered on with the Master's work, until his betrayal by his own sister, who gave him up to be heinously martyred.