Published: 00:00 GMT Daylight Time - Monday 11 September 2006
Six Christians released from prison in Uzbekistan
Prayers have been answered for six Christian men who were arrested last month in Termez, Uzbekistan.
The men, including a Ukrainian national on holiday visiting Christian friends, had been arrested around 24th August. Other Christians arrested at the same time, including some women and children, had been beaten before they were released. Some of the women had been sexually abused, the first report of this in modern church history in Uzbekistan. The six detained men were not told the reason for their arrest. Barnabas Fund received a report on 6th September that they had been released, after paying a fine of $400 each. Church leaders were forced to borrow money in order to pay the fines and also to cover the cost of necessary medical treatment for their Christian brothers.
The men had been held for eight days without prosecution. It is believed that they were held this long in order to give the bruises and wounds they sustained from being beaten time to heal before they could have a medical examination to see how they had been injured. On their release two of the men were taken to hospital; one man had had his hands and feet held in buckets of quicklime, causing injury to his skin.
1. Praise God for this answer to prayer.
2. Pray for these six men and also for the women who were molested, that they will heal quickly, both from their physical injuries and the trauma they have endured.
3. Continue to pray that Christians in Uzbekistan will be able to turn to the Lord in this time of trial and see it as an opportunity to grow in patience, endurance and deeper faith.
4. the Lord for the optimism and hope they have at present.