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Uzbekistan: Standing Firm in a Muslim Land

Uzbekistan

Ruth, a 10-year-old Christian, lives in a country in Central Asia. She is shown in the photo with a worker from The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). The worker is sharing notes with Ruth from Christians who are praying for her. Ruth speaks Russian and a little bit of three other languages. Her favorite game is hopscotch, and she loves to sing and read.

Ruth’s father is the pastor of a church that meets in Ruth’s house. Most of the people in Ruth’s town are Muslims. Some of them learned the truth about Jesus from Ruth’s family. But other Muslims were angry when the church began to grow.

Very late one night, someone started a fire in Ruth’s backyard. They set the fire on purpose. Whoever started it was probably trying to stop Ruth’s father from preaching the truth.

The fire spread to the house church, and then it was put out. In the morning, church members began to rebuild the church and repair the damage.

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Colombia: Trapped in Violence

Celso and his three Christian friends arrived at the camp at noon. A group of camp residents met them. Celso gave each member of the group a Bible and a radio. He had more gifts with him for others at the camp.

Not everyone at the camp was happy with the presents. They were not used to getting gifts, and unexpected visitors did not often show up in the area.

Celso and his friends had bravely dropped in on some guerrillas at their camp in the Colombian jungle. Guerrillas are people who carry out illegal acts of war and terrorism.

Many of the guerrillas in Colombia are part of a group called “FARC” (rhymes with “dark”). The letters in FARC stand for the Spanish words “las Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia.” In English, that means “the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.” FARC members are not part of a regular army.

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Vietnam: Finding Happiness in Prison

Silas was in prison. His cell was about 66 feet long and about 16 feet wide. Fifty-six other men lived in the cell with Silas.

“We slept on cement platforms,” said Silas. “In the morning we ate nothing. At midday and in the evening we ate rice. This rice was cooked from moldy, rotten rice. The bowls were never full, and after a few mouthfuls it was gone.”

Silas was arrested because he took part in a protest to bring attention to the problems of some ethnic groups in Vietnam. In free countries, it is legal to protest in public. But Vietnam is a communist country. Government officials can have people arrested for protesting in public.

The ethnic groups want the freedom to worship the God of the Bible. Vietnamese leaders do not want Christianity to grow among the groups. They also do not want the people in the groups to be able to read the Bible in their own language.

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