Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Open Doors: Cuba, Malaysia

CUBA:* The Rev. Carlos Lamelas, pastor and former national president of the Church of God in Cuba, was unexpectedly freed from jail on Monday (June 26) according to Compass Direct. The surprise move astonished and delighted many observers following the case. Members of Lamelas’s extended family accompanied his wife, Uramis, and their two daughters to the Villa Marita Detention Center in Havana for what they thought would be their weekly 15-minute visit with the jailed pastor. “It was a surprise indeed on Monday when we went for the visit,” Rev. Lamelas’s sister, Lourdes, informed friends in an e-mail. “They informed us that they had decided on a change in procedure and that the case was closed! He was free to go home.” Arrested on February 20, Rev. Lamelas was jailed for more than four months without being formally charged. Government officials reportedly accused him of aiding Cuban citizens in leaving the country illegally. Read More

Please pray:

- Thanks and Praise to the Lord God Almighty!

- For Rev. Lamelas’s health and full recovery from his ordeal.

- That he and his family will neither be harassed nor threatened, but would walk in the Peace of God.

MALAYSIA:* Hotels in Malaysia have refused to host a series of religious rights forums after angry protestors shut down an event on May 14 and accused the organizers of being “enemies of Islam.” Article 11, a coalition of 13 religious and human rights groups, had organized a series of forums to discuss constitutional rights and the dilemma created by a dual legal system incorporating both civil and sharia law. The coalition is named after the same article in Malaysia’s constitution, which guarantees the right of every citizen to “profess and practice his religion.” On May 14, police cordons and a crowd of roughly 500 demonstrators greeted participants arriving for a forum in Penang. Eventually police insisted that the forum be shut down, despite having issued an official permit for the event. “This incident shows how serious the breakdown in constitutional values is,” National Human Rights Society deputy president and lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, a speaker at the forum, told local reporters. “If we cannot speak on the constitution, where are we as a nation?”
Read More

Please pray:

- That the Lord would give wisdom and determination to Prime Minister Badawi and his government, to uphold the Malaysian constitution and defend and protect all the citizens of Malaysia.

- For the strength and safety of Malik Sarwar, the National Human Rights Society, the Article 11 coalition, and all those who are striving for peace and justice.

- For the Christians living in Malaysia to remain strong and not let this shake their faith.

No comments: