Former Congressman Frank Wolf
Because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining (1 John 2:8c)
Pastor Mario Félix Lleonart Barroso was born in Cuba in 1975. At the age of 9 he accepted Jesus as His Lord and Savior and was baptized in August 1988. In 1999 he obtained his Bachelor of Science and Information from Havana University. Their first daughter Rocio was born in 2000, and Rachel in 2008. From 2000 to 2006 Pastor and his wife, Yoaxis Marcheco were missionaries to the Baptist Convention of Cuba and sponsored by Layman’s Walk Ministries. In 2006 they were professors in the Theological Baptist Seminary in Santa Clara with branch offices of the Baptist Theological Seminary in Havana. He was ordained in 2007 after graduating with a Master in Theological Studies from the Latin America University of Theological Studies. Besides his pastoral and academic work, he became a defender of religious liberty in Cuba, cooperating with organizations like Christian Solidarity Worldwide or International Christian Concern; and offering testimonies before the U.S. Congress, European Parliament, Ministries of Czech and Polish Foreign Relations and religious organizations such as The Voice to the Martyrs in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Because of the religious persecution he and his family experienced in Cuba, which included his brutal arrest on March 20, 2016 when President Barack Obama arrived in Havana; they were accepted as refugees by the US government, where they arrived as such on August 18 of that year. Now they are living in La Plata, MD, serving as Pastor of Iglesia Bautista de Waldorf.
Read Pastor Mario's book ¨Cubano Confesante¨ that describes his experiences in Cuba between 2010 and 2016.
Joseph Hovsepian was born in 1973 in Iran. From a very young age, Joseph traveled with his father, Rev. Haik Hovsepian, to visit underground churches and as a result gained a unique understanding and profound passion for the persecuted believers in Iran. After his father was martyred in 1994, he was inspired to produce films that focused on spiritual messages. Joseph immigrated to the United States in 2000 and founded JFA productions. During this time, he also served on the board of directors at Sat7-Pars and Christ Armenian Church. In 2007, he founded Hovsepian Ministries, Inc., with the mission of continuing his father’s work by sharing the gospel with hundreds of thousands of Iranians through media, outreach events and human rights advocacy. His recent, award-winning documentary, A Cry from Iran, is the story of his father’s martyrdom; it is widely distributed in the United States and viewed secretly elsewhere.
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
Grace Jo was born in North Korea, a place where she almost starved to death as a child. Two of Grace’s brothers died of starvation. Grace’s father was tortured and starved to death. He passed away when North Korean agents transferred him from a detention center to a jail. His “crime” was that he left his country in search of food for his family. One of Grace’s older sisters went to China to find food for her family, but went missing and was probably sold into human trafficking. Grace was repatriated twice to North Korea by the Chinese government, and suffered imprisonment after she was repatriated. Grace’s mother and one of Grace’s sisters were repatriated four times and suffered torture after repatriation. In 2006 Pastor Philip Buck bribed North Korean agents to let Grace and her two remaining family members escape North Korea. In 2008, the UNHCR rescued Grace and her family from China, and enabled them to enter the United States of America as legal refugees. Grace is one of more than 200 refugees from North Korea who have settled in the U.S. Currently, In 2013, Grace became a U.S. citizen. Alongside her family, she has protested the forced repatriation of North Korean escapees hiding out in China. Grace is also Vice-President of the nonprofit organization NKinUSA, which helps North Korean refugees in the United States and China. Read more of Grace's story here.
Asif was born into a Christian family in Punjab, Pakistan, where he studied Islam from an Islamic perspective while observing the suffering of religious minorities, especially Christians. He had first-hand experience of watching this escalate during the military dictatorship of General Zia-ulHaq whose legacy of the Islamisation of Pakistan continues to this day. A gifted linguist, Asif’s education included fluency in Urdu, Hindi, Punjabi and English. He holds a BA in English Literature, Journalism and the Persian Language; an MA from the University of Punjab, Lahore, and a BA (Hons) in Theology and Ministry from the University of Sheffield, UK. His comparative study of theology and apologetics increased his understanding of the differences between Christianity and Islam and deepened his commitment to Christ. During his student years in the UK Asif became committed to helping churches support persecuted Christians worldwide. An anointed communicator, he reaches out to Muslims with God’s love for them, and equips Christians for this vital mission field. Asif lives in the UK with his family.Hear Asif share about life as a Christian in Pakistan here. He requests that those who pray for him use this Bible verse "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? (Romans 8:35)
Afternoon Workshop Panelists
Lou Ann Sabatier
|Saturday Afternoon (1:30 - 2:00 pm)||Chinese Community Church (CCC) Opens and Welcome Guests|
|Saturday Afternoon (2:00 - 3:30 pm)||Panel Discussion: Religious Extremism and Persecution of Christians||James Chen and Travis Wussow|
|Saturday Afternoon (3:30 - 4:00 pm)||Break|
|Saturday Afternoon (4:00 - 5:30 pm)||Panel Discussion: Women Facing Persecution||Kristin Wright and Lou Ann Sabatier|
|Night of Prayer Main Event|
|Doors Open (6:30 pm)||You are welcome to take a seat in the sanctuary anytime after 6:30 pm.|
|Night of Prayer (7:00 - 9:00 pm)||Main Event: Annual Night of Prayer for the Persecuted Church||
Remarks by former Congressman Frank Wolf, Sponsor of the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act
Pastor Mario Barroso, Cuba
Asif Mall, Pakistan
Joseph Hovsepian, Iran
|NGO RECEPTION (9:00 - 9:45 pm)||Meet NGOs working to support persecuted Christians and learn how you can help|
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Who We Are
Why We Pray
Remember those in prison as if you were bound with them, and those who are mistreated as if you were suffering with them.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.
Highlights of the Third Annual Night of Prayer