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Christian Martyrs Still Persecuted And
Dying Today In Many Countries
From Emails Received March, 2008

March 18, 2008 - Martyrs Notes About Laos, Indonesia and Ethiopia

Pray for LAOS

LAOS 58 Christians Arrested, 9 Church Leaders Sent to Prison - Compass Direct News

On February 22, Laotian officials arrested 15 Hmong Christian families in Bokeo district, Laos. According to Compass Direct News, the arrests occurred a day before a court sentenced nine Hmong church leaders to 15 years in prison for 'conducting Christian ministry and meetings that had grown beyond acceptable levels for Communist officials.' Compass reported, "The day before the sentencing, Laotian authorities arrived in Bai Sai Janrern village in Bokeo district with six trucks in which they hauled away eight Christian families. Authorities also arrested at least seven families from Fai village three miles away." The arrested families make up a total of 58 Hmong Christians. A Christian source told Compass, "It seems they are rounding up all Hmong Christians from Vietnam to send them back to Vietnam. What will happen to them is greatly feared and unknown." According to the Compass report, the nine Christian leaders sentenced to 15 years in prison for Christian ministry were arrested in July 2007, during a police and military raid of suspected rebels that left 13 innocent Christians dead. The Voice of the Martyrs stands with believers in Laos and encourages you to pray for these believers who have been arrested because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Ask God to give them strength and courage to forgive their persecutors. Isaiah 40:31


INDONESIA Islamic Extremists' Protests Lead to Church Closures - Compass Direct News

Protests from Islamic extremists have stopped worship services at two churches in Sumatra and Java Island, Indonesia. According to Compass Direct News, "Love Evangelical Bethel church, near Pekanbaru, Riau province on Sumatra Island ceased Sunday services after about 60 demonstrators from local mosques on February 15 demanded its closure." The Compass report added the protesters, led by Harry Cahyono and Victor Ramaddan, said they were protesting the church because it did not have a permit for expansion. Compass said, "They (the protesters) wrote, 'do not build without permit' in red paint on the church wall." Rev. Alex Ritonga told Compass his church was the only church in a village of 14 mosques, none of which have permits. He added his church was registered with local Religious Affairs authorities and had been told they were not required to have permits to expand the building. These recent protests against churches in Indonesia are the latest in pressure against believers to stop worshipping. Several churches were closed in 2007. Pray God protects Christians in Indonesia. Ask God to give them creative ways to continue worshipping even though their churches have been closed. Joshua 1:9


ETHIOPIA Christians Killed - VOM Sources/International Christian Concern

On March 3, Muslim militants killed at least two Christians and wounded dozens in Nensabo town southeast of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts and reports from International Christian Concern, militants attacked Christians, including women and children, while they were attending a worship service. According to reports, "Eight of the wounded have been taken to the town of Awassa for hospitalization, while others with serious injuries were taken to Black Lion Hospital in Addis Ababa. Among the wounded were a police officer and a Christian whose hand was cut off by the attackers." Reports indicated that the attack was part of a plan by Muslim militants, influenced by the spread of Wahhabism, in the area to wipe out Christians from the Muslim-dominated region. Pray for those mourning deceased believers. Ask God to comfort them. Pray God will protect and guide believers in Ethiopia facing harsh conditions. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58


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