China—Book Store Employee Arrested
Source: VOM Sources
In December 2012, an employee of a Christian book store in central China was asked to come to a police station to retrieve $6,000 worth of books that had been seized from the store in a raid several months earlier. However, when Mr. Li arrived at the police station, he was immediately arrested and sent to prison. Although his family was told that he would be released by February, he remains in prison. He will make his first appearance in court on May 9, but officials have not given a reason for his arrest. While in prison, Mr. Li has led three people to Christ. Pray that Mr. Li’s lawyer, who is a Christian, will represent him wisely, and pray for his wife and two children, who desperately want his return.
Malaysia—Christian Work Continues amid Civil War
Sources: freemalaysia.com, Prison Fellowship Malaysia, VOM Sources
Hundreds of Malay- and Iban-language Bibles that use the word “Allah” have been confiscated from a prison in Sibu. Prison Fellowship Malaysia (PFM) said authorities began seizing the Bibles after the Sibu prison director wrote a letter to prison headquarters questioning the use of “Allah” in Bibles given to inmates. PFM said Chinese- and English-language Bibles, which do not use the word “Allah,” were not seized. PFM fears that other prisons in Malaysia will take similar actions, leaving inmates without Bibles.
Libya—Christian Workers Released
Source: VOM Sources
Libyan authorities have released an Egyptian national and three other foreigners who were arrested on Feb. 10 in Benghazi for allegedly illegally importing Christian materials. The Egyptian national is recuperating at home with his wife and two children. “Although he and the others suffered for the sake of the Master’s name, they received it with great joy and with an attitude of willingness to suffer for Christ,” a VOM contact wrote. “As we update you about this, we would like to thank you so much for your prayers and your support for us and them during this last period until all those who were involved in the crisis were released. We pray now for post traumatic relief for the workers who came back, and we seek direction for the next phase in their lives.”
Pray for two conferences this year that will bring persecuted pastors together for fellowship, encouragement and training.