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 August 28, 2012 8:23 AM

Cristina Mexico

Four-year-old Cristina, along with her mother and 13-year-old brother, quickly walked up the steep trail. Lagging behind them, they urged her to move faster as they did not want to be late for church. In a matter of minutes her world would be turned upside-down.

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 May 31, 2012 9:54 AM

Praying Acteal’s Jailed Christians to the Finish Line!
“My soul was poisoned with a desire for revenge,” said Acteal prisoner Pedro Mendez. After spending more than six years in Mexico’s Cerro Hueco Prison, Mendez was a bitter, angry man. Then in 2004, Mendez was transferred to the Amate Prison, where he met some inmates who were “unlike everyone else.” These men who trusted Christ in the bleakest of circumstances were different. Slowly Mendez’s heart began to change.
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 February 10, 2012 6:50 PM

Missionary Couple Slain in Mexico
John Casias, 76, and his wife, Wanda, 67, spent the past 28 years serving as Baptist missionaries in Mexico. On Tuesday, January 31, their earthly ministry was cut short when they were murdered at their home near Monterrey in El Cercado, Santiago, Nuevo Leon.
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 March 24, 2011 6:04 AM

On March 30, 2009, while working to repair his taxi, Luís Edilberto Velázquez, a devoted member of the Pentecostal church was shot and killed, an innocent bystander in the violence targeting the body of Christ in Colombia.
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 January 27, 2010 7:04 PM

  Believer worshipping God

Christians Jailed, Believers' Homes Destroyed in Chiapas

In a series of incidents in the Chiapas region of southern Mexico, Christians have been arrested and jailed, and homes and buildings belonging to Christian families destroyed by leaders of the local community. Local leaders have harassed Christians for months, telling the believers that they need to leave their new faith and return to traditional beliefs. On January 17, eight believers were arrested on the charge that it is a legal violation to not support traditional events and that this is a sign that the Christians don't care about their community.

After being held in custody for 24 hours the men were released. Open Doors staff are now working to help those involved and have filed a case at the local Office for Indigenous Justice in San Cristobal de Las Casas.

Lord, we pray for justice in Chiapas. For those who have lost their homes we pray for shelter. Soften the hearts of local authorities toward the Christians and bring about reconciliation.

Praying with you,

The Prayer Force Team

 
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 January 20, 2010 1:58 PM

Dear Donna, 

Colombian Kogui Christians Escape During Temporary Release for Christmas

Indigenous Kogui Christians in Colombia, detained by authorities because of their faith in Christ, were released temporarily on December 21. Upon their release, local authorities forced them to sign a document promising to report back on January 10, but they determined as a group not to return. 

The thirty-three men, women and children were held last October against their will because their Christian beliefs were considered a threat to indigenous traditions. The main constitution of Colombia gives everyone the right to their own religious beliefs, but local authorities in indigenous areas are given a somewhat autonomous rule. Christians in Bogota are attempting to help draw national attention to the situation in hopes of bringing about their official release. But, if the Colombian government rules in favor of the local authorities, they would be able to confiscate the Christian homes and lands. This would leave them without any means of income and would place a ban on all Christian activities.
 

Father, we call on you to grant wisdom to the government officials and bring about justice for these Kogui Christians. Soften the hearts of the indigenous leaders toward Christians. And protect those who are in hiding that no further harm will come to them.

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 November 16, 2009 3:51 AM

NEWS FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802, 443-220-3269 cell, esollie@lwr.org

Lutheran World Relief Alarmed by Violence in Northern Colombia

Baltimore, November 13, 2009 - Lutheran World Relief is concerned over increased violence against LWR partners in northern Colombia, South America. In the province of Córdoba, murder rates over the last two years have reached historic highs, with more than 500 assassinations last year. LWR partners, representing rural farming communities, internally displaced populations and Evangelical churches are under threat.

The October 29 murder of Ramiro Montes Valencia—teacher, community council president and member of the Beautiful Light Evangelical Church—highlights a disturbing trend of violence in Córdoba. Recent threats, murders and disappearances have been aimed at civil society members taking steps to protect their communities and advocate for improved living conditions in the province’s more marginalized towns.

Lutheran World Relief is saddened by the murder of Montes Valencia, who was killed by unidentified gunmen while waiting for public transportation near the Pica Pica community in the Montelíbano municipality. Montes Valencia leaves behind his wife and four young children. LWR calls on Colombian and US officials to quickly investigate this murder and ensure that Montes Valencia’s family has access to necessary protection measures.

Despite a 2003 government-sponsored demobilization of paramilitary forces in Córdoba, the region has not experienced peace. Annalise Romoser, acting director for public policy and advocacy at LWR explains, “Re-organized paramilitary forces, largely made up of former rank and file paramilitaries, are terrorizing communities in Córdoba and impeding their access to vital land, resources and justice mechanisms. Violence in Córdoba—a region already hard hit by poverty—represents a serious humanitarian crisis.”

Romoser adds that because of violence in Córdoba, the number of internally displaced Colombians in the province has increased in recent years, contributing to the nation’s already significant internally displaced population of four million.

LWR partners in Córdoba affected by violence have received inadequate attention from the Colombian government, including the state agency charged with serving internally displaced people (IDPs), Acción Social. Displaced communities are unable to return home due to precarious security situations and sheer fear. In cities and towns they suffer from unemployment, lack of food and clean water, and unsanitary living conditions.

“Violence in Córdoba and the impunity perpetrators enjoy is a threat not only to our partners, but to development as a whole,” notes Michael Watt, LWR regional director for Latin America programs. “LWR has accompanied displaced communities in Colombia since 1996, but growing violence has required the organization to increase our focus on protection and emergency measures, while limiting our ability to support development and rehabilitation programming, such as improving rural families’ livelihoods and facilitating a return home for IDPs.”

LWR continues to support partners in Córdoba and advocate on their behalf before the US Congress and Colombian government. LWR calls on the US government to work with Colombian officials to investigate all acts of violence in Córdoba and develop decisive plans to protect communities in the region and dismantle re-organized paramilitary groups operating in the region.

“Protection, an end to impunity and political will to address the growing number of illegal armed groups in Córdoba is essential for rural development to take hold and families to break free from poverty in the region,” says Romoser.

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 November 10, 2009 5:38 AM

Experience the Reality

The Voice of the Martyrs

 

Underground Reality Colombia - DVD

When seven young adults embark on a mission trip to Colombia, they discover a new reality - one of violence, conflict, persecution and ... courageous HOPE!

This second installment of Underground Reality, the best-selling DVD series from The Voice of the Martyrs, reveals the harsh realities of Christianity and daring missions in one of the most dangerous nations in the western hemisphere.

Watching this DVD you will witness testimonies from families of recent martyrs, from former assassins and from a missionary pilot who flies over the "hot zones" to deliver the Word of God.

» Watch the trailer for VOM's newest DVD,
Underground Reality: Colombia
.

» Order your copy today.

Designed for families, young adults and youth groups, this video asks: What are you willing to risk for Jesus? What are you willing to sacrifice to spread his message of eternal salvation? Underground Reality: Colombia contains dramatized violence and may not be suitable for children.

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 August 31, 2009 5:04 AM

ACTEAL PRISONERS GIVE THANKS TO GOD, PRAYER WARRIORS, OPEN DOORS AFTER RELEASE: At 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 12, prisoners at El Amate prison in Chiapas, Mexico, indicted with the Acteal massacre of December 22, 1997, gathered together to await news from the Supreme Court Full Story>>  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 August 19, 2009 6:29 PM

Acteal Prisoner Update

Many have prayed long and faithfully over the last 11 years for the prisoners in Chiapas, Mexico who were falsely accused of a massacre in Acteal in December 1997. On Thursday, Aug. 13, approximately 20 of the Acteal prisoners, mostly evangelical Christians, were released following Mexico’s Supreme Court ruling that they had been convicted in unfair trials. 

Father we give thanks for their release and continue to pray for these men as they re-enter a community where they continue to be subject to persecution.  We ask for the safety and encouragement of their families and also for the prisoners who remain in custody.  Today we stand with our brothers and sisters in India and will continue to pray faithfully for them as well.  Giving all the glory to You!

Praying with you,

The Prayer Force Team


 

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 June 17, 2009 9:05 PM

In the Trenches:
Wife of Kidnapped Pastor Thankful



Your prayers are precious to the wife and family of pastor.
Read full story>>
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anonymous  May 13, 2009 1:28 PM

Colombia - Sentenced to death in 2006, Colombian pastor continues to receive threats.  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  April 03, 2009 10:47 PM

March 25, 2009 

Dear Donna 

“Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength.”  Habakkuk 3:18

Guerillas in Colombia Threaten Christians

Cooperate with the revolutionary cause of the guerrillas, leave or die were the three choices given to a kidnapped pastor of the Ebenezer Church in Saravena Arauca, Colombia. 

In the hours that he was held captive they warned him that pastors must not preach to ELN guerrillas (rebels from the National Liberation Army) the Christian message of peace which contradicts their military objectives.  The guerrillas said the ELN does not object to pastors preaching within church walls, but that the congregation must not talk of politics, war or peace. Before letting him go, they told him that the ELN will show no compassion on church members if they continue to disobey those directives.

In 2007 ELN forces took control and quickly declared Christian worship illegal in the Arauca region of Colombia.  By January 2008, the guerrillas had closed seven churches and prohibited preaching of Christ in rural areas. The leftist rebels opposed Christian peace teachings and continued to issue threats of violence against pastors and Christian leaders in the area. 

Pray for God to shield his followers in Colombia and keep them safe under His watchful care.  Pray for His confidence to be present when confronted with opposition and persecution as in Psalm 3:6 “I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side.”

Political figures are also under attack from the guerrillas.  Two unnamed Christian mayors, have been attacked several times by ELN rebels since they took office in January 2008.  And just last Feburary a local councilman was killed. 

“Now we are military targets,” said one mayor. “God brought me here, but sometimes I have wished not to continue, because being a Christian in a context like this where we live has a very high price.”   He added that last year guerrillas killed seven Christians in Arauca.  “Some of them were public officials; others were leaders or simply people recognized by their testimony as believers in Christ,” They have drawn the ire of the guerrillas because they refuse to engage in the rebels’ illegal activities.

Pray for the Holy Spirit to be with these courageous brothers and sisters as they are brought before the rebel soldiers, praying, “This will result in your being witness to them…For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.”  Luke 21:13 & 15

Jesus can work through impossible situations and transform lives. There are encouraging accounts of guerilla rebels in C

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anonymous  January 29, 2009 7:58 PM

ACTEAL ADVOCACY UPDATE. Open Doors launched a faxing campaign to the Mexican Ambassador to the United States on behalf of prisoners from the Acteal massacre in December. Two of these Acteal cases involving 41 prisoners, who are serving prison terms up to 36 years, are under review by the Supreme Court of Mexico. Open Doors thanks all supporters who sent faxes on behalf of the Acteal prisoners. Despite a delay in the Supreme Court review, we are confident that the Mexican authorities are now well aware that many concerned Christians in the United States are following the outcome of this case. Please continue to pray with us that a just ruling be made soon. And it’s not too late to make your voice heard today!   [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  December 22, 2008 1:37 AM

“The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.”
Psalm 29:119

Dear Donna

Take Action and Help Acteal Prisoners*

MEXICO - On Dec. 22, 1997, 45 Tzotzil Indians were killed in an armed confrontation in the village of Acteal, Mexico. Subsequently, 90 people were arrested, of which 77 are still in prison. There is credible evidence indicating that most of the people imprisoned who have been incarcerated for over 10 years are innocent. Many of those people are Christians.

Two of these cases involving 41 prisoners, who are serving prison terms of up to 36 years, are under review by the Supreme Court of Mexico and the final verdict will reportedly be announced on Dec. 20. The Supreme Court review is the last resort for those sentenced under the two pending cases.

Please send a fax  to the Mexican Ambassador, asking that these men receive a fair review. Learn more about the Acteal prisoners  on our website.            

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anonymous  December 18, 2008 4:18 PM

Dear Donna,

Tomorrow, the Supreme Court of Mexico will be announcing the final verdict on two cases involving 41 prisoners who are serving terms of up to 36 years.  There is credible evidence indicating that most of these men who have been incarcerated for over 10 years are innocent.  Many of these men are Christians. This Supreme Court review is the last resort for those sentenced under the two pending cases.

Please take action by faxing a letter to the Mexican Ambassador on behalf of the Acteal prisoners today, asking that these men receive a fair review. You do not need a fax machine, but can send your fax directly through the Open Doors website.  Please invite your friends and family to take action too!

Read More about the Acteal Prisoners>>

Advocating with you,

LindsayVessy_sig_sm 


Lindsay Vessey
Advocacy Program Manager

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anonymous  November 06, 2008 6:54 AM



If you could help with this prayer request!

If you could pray for the Missionaries that work with the people of Papua New Guinea with Patapar Tribe, Madak Tribe and in Mexico with the Southern Tepehuan tribe. The missionaries work through the New tribes Mission that spread the Good News to tribal people throughout the world. There resources are limited, living conditions aren't all that great and then of course there is the language barrier. Plus, if you could pray the tribal people receive understanding. Thank you.

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anonymous  October 21, 2008 3:43 PM

Also in this issue

In the Trenches

His body is thin, his teeth rotting. His only possessions are a makeshift bed, a simple stove, a few pots and pans, and a cell phone he doesn’t know how to use. In the eyes of the world, Roberto Morales is a nobody. But in the Lord’s eyes, this courageous man is a hero of the faith.
Read more>>

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anonymous  September 10, 2008 6:26 AM

Three Family Members Murdered in Chiapas, Mexico* When the 11-year-old daughter of Antonio Gomez became ill of a stomach ailment, her father decided that it was due to witchcraft committed by his evangelical neighbor. On August 23, Gomez and seven of his friends allegedly killed three adults and wounded six children with machetes. According to Compass Direct News, the attackers burst into the family’s hut and killed the eldest son, Rene, and then fatally attacked his father and mother as well. Mariano Lopez Perez, public prosecutor of Indian Justice, said neighbors regarded the father in the attacked family, Gomez Diaz, as “an evangelical who prayed a great deal.” Read more about the Chiapas massacre on our website.   [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
 
anonymous  July 09, 2008 9:36 AM

Dear Donna,   

Death Threats Drive a Pastor from Ministry and Home*

COLOMBIA - A series of death threats against a pastor in a working-class Medellín neighborhood prompted him to abandon his home and ministry last month and flee with his family to Colombia’s capital. For three years, 31-year-old Wilmer Ribón pastored Rios de Agua Viva (Rivers of Living Water), a church in Belén Rincón, a paramilitary-controlled neighborhood with many displaced persons and a high rate of violent crimes. During his tenure as pastor, Ribón had launched several public outreach programs, including a sports club and a project that offered food, medical and economic help to the needy. As reported by Compass Direct News, Wilmer Ribón and his family now live in a cold, windowless, half-finished warehouse that they share with another family. Read More… 

Prayer Points:

  • Pray that Wilmer Ribón and his family will be able to return to their life back home and safely continue the ministry that God has called them to. (Psalm 36:7)
  • Pray that the death threats would cease. (Isaiah 54:17)
  • Pray for those who have brought fear and violence into Belén Rincón; pray that their hearts will be softened towards the gospel by the loving example of the Christian believers in Medellín, so that they may come to know Christ. (John 4:41)
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    anonymous  June 02, 2008 12:16 PM

    Dear Friends,

    We are writing to ask for your urgent prayers on behalf of Colombian Christians in the department of Huila, located, in the south of the country. Last Thursday night, two Pentecostal pastors were assassinated in the village of El Dorado; it appears that the 17th Brigade of the leftist guerrilla group, FARC, is responsible.

    According to the local authorities, Pastors Humberto Mendez, age 63, and Pastor Joel Cruz Garcia, age 27, were approached at around 8:00 PM as they preached at an open-air service by a group of armed men wearing camouflage clothing.  The armed men called them by name and led them away. Their bodies were found the next day 40 meters apart; both had been shot in the head.

    Both men leave a wife and children behind; Pastor Cruz’s only child, a daughter is only a few months old.  Pastor Mendez was the founder of the Prince of Peace Mission and was planning to return to the city of Ibague in just a few months, after completing his work in the countryside.  He had been active in prison ministry for a number of years and was planning to return to this work.

    While authorities and church leaders seem to agree that FARC committed the murders, the motive remains unclear. According to some reports it was in response to the participation of local churches in nationwide protests against terrorism and kidnapping. Church representatives in the area, however, point to the risks that accompany preaching and teaching Christian principles in a region with a significant guerrilla presence. According to church leaders at the local and national levels, FARC has declared protestant pastors to be legitimate military targets. The families of the pastors have said that they never received any warnings or threats from any group.

    Many of you will recall that our partners at the Commission for Restoration, Life and Peace have documented over 100 targeted assassinations of pastors and other church leaders across the country since 2000. While FARC is not responsible for all of these murders, they have been implicated in a significant percentage of them. Right-wing paramilitary groups and another leftist guerrilla group, the ELN, are believed to be responsible for the remaining cases.

    You may also remember a request for urgent prayer and action that went out two weeks ago, following the break-in at the Justapaz offices in Bogotá. The database that was stolen in the robbery contains details of human rights violations committed against Christians in an ongoing project to document precisely what has been happening to the Church in the midst of the country’s conflict.  The assassination of the two pastors is a shocking reminder of the importance of this work.

    Please uphold the families, churches, and communities of these two men in your prayers. Ask God to bring comfort, unity and renewed faith in the midst of deep pain and fear. Please also continue to pray for the work of the Commission for Restoration, Life and Peace and Justapaz as they seek to document these cases and bring support and solidarity to the victims.  Pray especially for encouragement, for protection, for courage, and for discernment to see God’s guiding hand in an increasingly confusing and hostile situation.

    Thank you,

    CSW Advocacy Team

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    anonymous  May 30, 2008 4:24 AM

    Alma reached land Thursday near the Nicaraguan colonial city of Leon. Mayor Transito Tellez said houses had been destroyed and power knocked out by the storm. Rescue personnel described houses whose roofs had been blow off, and homes that had been crushed by fallen trees.

    The storm forced the evacuation of as many as 25,000 people in the area, and telephone service was also knocked out, said Civil Defense Director Mario Perez Cassar.

    "The wind whipped up the sand, and it lashed your face like sandpaper," said Erasmo Lopez, a fisherman in the coastal hamlet of Poneloya, near where Alma made landfall. "The trees were shaking like crazy, cars were shuddering, and you couldn't even see in front of you."

    Nicaragua's Radio Ya reported that a 30-year-old man was electrocuted in Trasbayo, 40 miles southeast of Managua, after a power line snapped under high winds.

    The fast-growing storm took forecasters and many in Central America by surprise. Residents scrambled to prepare for the storm before it hit.

    People crowded Managua supermarkets to buy food, water, candles and batteries, and schools canceled classes and were on standby to become temporary shelters. Many flights were also grounded.

    The storm wrapped the Costa Rican capital of San Jose in a dense fog, slowing traffic to a crawl and causing dozens of accidents.

    Along the coast, some 200 families were evacuated to more than 160 storm shelters set up after Alma dumped rain over the country for 24 hours. Landslides blocked a few highways.

    "Last year, a little water came in the house, but now it is completely flooded," Clara Bermudez said as she was taken by boat to a shelter in Parrita.

    The eastern Pacific hurricane season began May 15.

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    anonymous  May 25, 2008 11:46 PM

    By Carlos Duran Sun May 25, 5:49 PM ET

    QUETAME, Colombia (Reuters) - Hundreds of
    Colombians huddled in makeshift shelters
    Sunday afraid to go home a day after
    5.6-magnitude earthquake damaged scores
    of homes and triggered landslides killing at
    least 11 people.

    In the rural town of Quetame, the most
    seriously hit, families spent the night
    sheltered on the town's football field
    or in a public building after the quake
    knocked out water supplies and damaged
    or collapsed houses and its church.

    "People are still really terrified about a second
    or third one coming," Benedicto Enciso said as he
    sheltered with his companion and two children
    after their home was damaged. "We're trying to
    put up a tent for 20 people."

    Colombia's Red Cross said at least 11 people died
    and 54 were injured, with about 5,000 affected by
    damaged houses and buildings,

    President Alvaro Uribe visited the affected area
    where landslides blocked a major highway from
    Bogota to Villavicencio near the epicenter,
    which was 33 miles southeast of the capital,
    the U.S. Geological Survey said.

    Colombia's disaster-prevention office said
    Sunday in Quetame alone around 3,300 people
    were affected and either moved to safer housing
    or shelters while authorities checked homes for
    damage. Other towns suffered less damage.

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    anonymous  May 25, 2008 4:50 AM

    The Associated Press - The quake started around
    2:20 p.m. (19:20 GMT) and was centered about
    30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of the capital,
    the U.S. Geological Survey said.

    It struck at a depth of just 6 miles (10 kilometers)
    and lasted for about 40 seconds. Shallower
    earthquakes are felt more strongly than those that
    occur deep in the earth.

    A number of smaller aftershocks were felt over
    the next hour.

    Many people fled buildings fearing they could
    collapse and anxiously waited on the streets of
    Bogota. Phone systems were down briefly and
    calls to officials went unanswered.

    President Alvaro Uribe ordered officials to
    assess the damage quickly "to learn how to
    help the community."

    Emergency crews reported that a church in Puenquetame,
    about 20 miles (35 kilometers) southeast of Bogota,
    suffered serious structural damage, according
    Amanda Pulido, director of the president's disaster office.
    Some homes were also damaged.

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    anonymous  May 14, 2008 4:18 PM

    OPEN DOORS

    Pastor Sergio lived in a city plagued by poverty and drug trafficking, and was terrorized by guerrillas, paramilitaries and gangs of hit men. When paramilitaries pressured his son, John, to join their ranks, he refused.

    Soon after, John was shot by gunmen while playing ball in the street. In his last moments, Sergio whispered in John’s ear, “Now everything is done… Now you’re going to the presence of God.”

    After John’s murder, Sergio and his family were forced to abandon their home and move to another neighborhood. John’s killers then targeted Sergio’s younger son for recruitment, so Sergio had to send him to live in a far away city.

    “The church is singled out by both the paramilitaries and the guerrillas because they believe pastors brainwash their militants,” Sergio said.

    “But even though we’re targets, we cannot stop preaching. It’s a faith that has cost us blood, but at the same time, it has brought us life.

    “Open Doors arrived at just the right time in our lives,” Sergio continued. “I realize now that I am not alone. Thank you for being here.”

    Please pray for Sergio and his family… and for all of our brothers and sisters in Colombia who endure similar suffering.



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    anonymous  May 14, 2008 4:13 PM

    Pastor Sergio lived in a city plagued by poverty and drug trafficking, and was terrorized by guerrillas, paramilitaries and gangs of hit men. When paramilitaries pressured his son, John, to join their ranks, he refused.

    Soon after, John was shot by gunmen while playing ball in the street. In his last moments, Sergio whispered in John’s ear, “Now everything is done… Now you’re going to the presence of God.” GOOD SAMARITAN'S PURSE



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    anonymous  April 28, 2008 4:05 AM

    Meet Miriam Amador from Colombia

    • Widowed by local armed group

    In 1996, Miriam's husband Manuel was murdered. An active pastor in Uraba, one of Colombia's most violent regions, Manuel's desire for peace had made him an enemy of the local terrorist groups.

    Following Manuel's death, Miriam found it a huge struggle to face life without him. But, despite her grief, she has continued to trust God.

    Open Doors has enabled Miriam to set up a sewing business where she and three other Christian widows earn an income. She is also active in her local church.

    Meet Pastor Jorge from Colombia

    • Accused of sympathizing with enemies of armed groups
    • Threatened with kidnapping and death

    For years, Pastor Jorge's ministry in a rural region of Colombia has carried many risks. Unwilling to join forces with any of the local armed groups, Jorge has become a target, accused of sympathizing with 'the opposition'.

    Now, along with all other evangelical pastors in rural Colombia, Jorge is facing an increasingly sinister threat. The armed groups have launched an even harsher campaign against the Christians, threatening that all pastors and church leaders will be systematically killed.

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    anonymous  April 28, 2008 4:03 AM

    Meet Pastor Esdras and his wife, Marilene from Mexico

    • Husband and wife ministry team
    • Working in high risk areas

    Pastor Esdras leads church in southern Mexico and his ministry often carries high risks.

    Marilene plays a vital role in the care and support of many suffering Christians in Chiapas, southern Mexico - although her role is most often behind the scenes.

    Marilene is also a faithful intercessor. With her elderly mother-in-law, she regularly climbs a nearby mountain to lift her town before the throne of God.

    Meet David de Vinatea from Peru

    • Former colonel in the Peruvian army who stood against corruption in ranks of the military
    • Wrongfully imprisoned on trumped-up drug trafficking charges
    • Led his fellow inmates to Christ

    David de Vinatea was once a respected Colonel in the Peruvian army. But his stand against corruption within the ranks made him a target of narco-trafficking gangs.

    In 1995, David was wrongfully convicted of drug-related crimes and unjustly imprisoned. During his imprisonment, David's wife Chelly campaigned tirelessly for his release.

    David finally regained his freedom on November 19, 2003, after serving eight years and 10 days in prison for crimes he did not commit.

    However, David is still working to clear his name and, until full vindication comes, David, Chely and their children – David Jr (26), Daniel (24) and Pamela (22) – ask for our prayers, that they will keep on trusting God and have his wisdom in pursuing total justice for David.

    Meet Manuel San Juan from Mexico

    • Former cacique who fiercely persecuted Christians
    • Now zealous for the Lord
    • Former friends have tried to kill him since he came to Christ
    • Daughter, Lucia, witnessed the martyrdom of her friend, Maria, who was shot because she became a Christian

    In the early 1990s, Manuel San Juan had a notorious reputation. As a power-hungry landlord in Chiapas, southern Mexico, he zealously persecuted the Church - angered at the Christians' refusal to participate in traditional pagan rituals.

    Now the tables have turned. Dramatically converted in 1996, Manuel's former allies have since made nine attempts on his life. He has a collection of 86 bullets as a result!

    Manuel now lives near one of the region's persecution hotspots, and is under the constant threat of another attack.

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    anonymous  April 28, 2008 3:56 AM

    Meet persecuted Christians in Latin America

    Indigenous Christians find themselves with many enemies – from power-hungry chieftains, to warring factions and corrupt regimes.

    By providing Bibles, practical aid and legal support, Open Doors' teams are helping Christians to stand firm despite their many trials.

    Meet the Acteal Prisoners from Mexico

    • 35 evangelicals falsely charged and wrongly imprisoned
    • Most have wives and children to support
    • 15 new believers, converted in prison (as of Feb '03), are also innocent of the charges
    • Three converts have now been released

    Just before Christmas in 1997, 45 people were massacred in the remote village of Acteal, in southern Mexico.

    In the investigation that ensued, many innocent local Christians were framed and accused of the murder. The believers made convenient scapegoats - and have been behind bars ever since. Some have been sentenced to 35 years in jail.

    Back home, their wives and children struggle to survive. Their poverty and isolation means they can only visit their husbands once a month.

    In a letter, the Acteal prisoners write: "We pray day and night, crying to God – not only for ourselves, but also for our families who are completely abandoned. God is our only hope."

    Download our Mexican Campaign Pack in PDF format (516k) so you can write to the Acteal prisoners and their families and to the Mexican authorities on their behalf.

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    anonymous  April 28, 2008 3:52 AM

    Dear DONNA,

    The spiritual battle is intensifying around the world. And when the battle intensifies, so must our prayers.

    That’s why I want to ask you to join with thousands of other Christians to pray for the persecuted Church this month! Just click here to see how you can pray for our suffering brothers and sisters in the coming days.

    I hope you will take his call to prayer seriously and stand with us against the forces of darkness.

    I also hope you will make it a point to share a generous online gift this month

    Your gifts are crucial to help us bring the support and resources our suffering brothers and sisters so desperately need!

    Thank you for your partnership in this work. May God use us to help our brothers and sisters shine the light of God’s love in places where the darkness is so strong!

     

    Carl Moeller

    Carl Moeller
    President/CEO
    Open Doors USA

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    anonymous MEXICO, LATIN AMERICA, CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA -CHRISTIANS THAT ARE PERSECUTED IN THESES COUNTRIES April 28, 2008 3:48 AM

    CHRISTIANS WHO ARE PERSECUTED IN MEXICO, LATIN AMERICA, CENTRAL AMERICA, AND SOUTH AMERICA! PLEASE PLACE POST HERE!+


    This post was modified from its original form on 28 Apr, 3:49  [report anonymous abuse]  [ accepted]
     
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