[GospelWeb.net Globe]
Christian Martyrs Still Persecuted And
Dying Today In Many Countries
From Emails Received March, 2008

March 25, 2008 - Martyrs Notes About Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, and Laos


AZERBAIJAN UPDATE: Baptist Pastor Released from Prison - VOM Sources

On March 19, Baptist Pastor Zaur Balaev was released from prison in Azerbaijan, under a presidential amnesty on Novruz Bairam, a holiday marking the beginning of spring. The Voice of the Martyrs contacts reported Pastor Balaev was met by his son and Ilya Zenchenko, head of the Baptist Union. "When Balaev was released, journalists asked whether he was feeling grateful to Azerbaijan's president for his release. Zaur answered that he always in everything feels grateful to Jesus only and no one else. Journalists immediately quit shooting (footage) of him," VOM contacts said. The Voice of the Martyrs rejoices with Pastor Balaev and his family on his release. We encourage you to continue praying for their protection and wisdom as he returns home to his family and congregation. Ask God to give him discernment and favor. Isaiah 54:17

Pray for SRI LANKA

SRI LANKA UPDATE: Wife of Martyred Pastor off Ventilator and Recovering

The National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka (NCEASL) reports the wife of martyred Pastor Edirisinghe is recovering from severe injuries sustained during an attack that killed her husband. "The NCEASL chairman visited Shiromi yesterday. She is experiencing a great recovery, she speaks, breathes well and has been transferred to Kandy General for surgery to remove [the] bullet," NCEASL reported. Mrs. Edirisinghe was critically injured on February 17 when two assailants gunned down her husband outside their home in Ampara, Sri Lanka. She sustained critical injuries to her stomach and their two-year-old son was also injured in the attack. Pray for her quick recovery from the remaining surgeries. Ask God to heal her emotions and to touch their son with the love of Christ. Pray God will give them supernatural ability to forgive the assailants and for their testimony to draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Christ. Psalm 23

Pray for LAOS

LAOS Pastors and Believers Arrested by Police, Nine Church Leaders Sentenced to Prison - VOM Sources/Compass Direct News

* UDOM SAI PROVINCE "Eight Khmu pastors from Udom Sai Province in Laos who were arrested when entering Thailand to attend meetings, are waiting for the police to escort them back home. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, 'We are still waiting for the police to arrive from Udom Sai to escort the prisoners to their home villages. Their families have been told they will be tried once they get home with a likely huge fine and imprisonment. We do not know what the charges will be, but we do know that Udom Sai is a real hot spot as far as persecution and has been increasing over the last 12 months." The pastors were arrested on March 18 when they entered Thailand and were followed by the Laos police. They were searched and two of them had Bibles. Everything the pastors had with them was confiscated, including a cell phone. The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to pray for these pastors and their families during this difficult time. Ask God to protect and encourage them. Pray for their speedy release and that their testimonies will draw their captors into fellowship with Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:7

* BOKEO PROVINCE "On February 22, Laotian officials arrested 15 Hmong Christian families in Bokeo province, 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. 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. Hebrews 13:6


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