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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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