Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Open Doors: Chiapas (Update - Direct Post)

On December 22, 1997, a tragedy occurred in Acteal village, located in Chiapas, Mexico. Long-festering ideological and political differences led to an armed confrontation resulting in the senseless killing of 45 indigenous Tzotzil Indians, 37 of whom were women and children. The manhunt for the perpetrators resulted in the arrest and imprisonment of 90 people, of which 83 were unjustly imprisoned. An Open Doors contact reports that about 60 percent of the prisoners in the Acteal case are Christian.

We have recently been updated that the prisoners are doing well in general, although many of them suffer from some sort of illness. The illnesses that are most often suffered are gastritis, diabetes, and hemorrhoids. For this reason, Open Doors has brought in medical groups to help provide the prisoners and other evangelicals with the necessary medical attention.

Fortunately, the imprisoned brothers are allowed to hold church services. Among the incarcerated are six preachers who faithfully lead the services. To supplement the encouragement and Bible instruction from these services, Open Doors provides workshops on the theme of Standing Strong Through the Storm. These workshops strengthen the brothers through biblical lessons that they are able to follow along in their own Bibles, which are printed in their native language, Tzotzil--though some of the brothers can also read Spanish. Most of the brethren have learned to read while in prison and the few who can’t are starting to learn with the help of the others.

Please Pray:
  • That the believers falsely imprisoned for the murders in Acteal will be healed from their illnesses and released from prison. (Matthew 8:8)
  • For the families of the men imprisoned to be able to stand strong in the face of adversity. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

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