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

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April 8, 2008 - Martyrs Notes About Russia, China and India

Pray for RUSSIA

RUSSIA - Church Dissolved for Having a Sunday School - Forum 18 News Service

On March 24, a United Methodist congregation in Smolensk, Russia, was dissolved by the regional court in response to a suit filed by the Regional Public Prosecutor's Office protesting the church having a Sunday school program. According to Forum 18 News, the court agreed with the Regional Organized Crime Police's assertion that the Smolensk United Methodist Church was breaking the law by conducting "educational activity in a Sunday school without a corresponding license." While the court's decision to dissolve the church means loss of legal status rather than a complete ban, it does bar the Methodists from maintaining or developing any form of public profile as an organization. Pray that the religious rights of this church will be recognized and restored. Pray that the congregation will rejoice in the opportunity to grow in Christ likeness through the opposition they face. James 1:2-4

Pray for CHINA

CHINA - House Church Leaders Detained; Female Leaders Remain in Jail - China Aid Association

On March 29, seven house church leaders were arrested in Qu county, Sichuan province, during a house church praise and worship service. According to China Aid Association (CAA), "Seven believers were taken by a group who claimed to be from the local religious affairs bureau, community administration and national security. Two believers were released after interrogation, one was released the following day and three female house church leaders remain in the detention center. " Meanwhile, on March 30, nine female house church leaders and four children were arrested by police officials after a Sunday school service in Sichuan province. CAA reported, "All the children and two elderly believers were released after interrogations, but seven female house church leaders are still in the detention center, and one is missing." According to copies of the criminal detention notice issued to the family members of some of those arrested, the house church leaders were being "suspected of using [an] evil cult to obstruct the enforcement of the law." These arrests are the latest in the Chinese communist governmentís crackdown on Christians prior to the Olympics this summer. The Voice of the Martyrs stands with believers in China despite the governmentís attempt to harass and intimidate them. VOM encourages you to pray for these arrested believers and their families. Ask God to comfort and encourage them. Also, pray their testimonies will draw nonbelievers into fellowship with Him. Deuteronomy 33: 26-27

Pray for INDIA

INDIA - New Testament Distribution by Gideons Stopped by Hindu Radicals - VOM Sources

On April 6, Hindu extremists stopped a Gideon International New Testament distribution in Bhubaneswar in Orissa State. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts, "New Testaments were being given to college students that were leaving the Examination Center at the Central School. These students had just completed their medical school entrance examinations. Realizing the New Testaments were being given openly to the students, local Hindus demanded the group stop the distribution." VOM contacts added, "When the members of Gideons ignored these requests, more Hindus began to intervene. After distributing 390 New Testaments, the mob became irate and began to manhandle the Gideons, demanding they leave. They were forced to pack up the New Testaments and leave immediately. As they were packing up, the mob was able to take 10 New Testaments and set fire to them in the street. A few members of Gideons sustained minor injuries." Please pray the students that have received the New Testaments would put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, pray for those injured in this attack and for God's Word to go forth without disturbance in this area of India. Isaiah 54:14

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