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CENTRAL ASIA: SUMMER CAMP RAISED AND CLOSED BY POLICE

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A SUMMER CAMP FOR CHILDREN AND TEENAGERS RUN BY CHRISTIANS IN CENTRAL ASIA WAS RAIDED BY POLICE BACK IN AUGUST AND THE CAMP LEADER WAS ARRESTED AND FINED. YOUNG PEOPLE ATTENDING THE CAMP WERE ALSO QUESTIONED BY POLICE.

Did you got to a Christian summer camp, house party or festival over the last few months? If so, imagine how it would feel to have the event raided by police, the leaders arrested and for you to face intense questioning by the authorities. It seems pretty far fetched in the UK and Ireland, but in Central Asia, the police are actively looking to shut down for events, camps and services aimed at sharing the Good News of Jesus with young people.

Back in August, this is exactly what happened at one camp in Central Asia, that was just coming to an end. An unexpected check from the local security services, sparked by a complaint that the leaders had been sharing the Gospel with children and teenagers, led to the camp being closed and leader being arrested.

During the inspection, several children were taken to the police station for questioning and they were held for several hours. They were pressured and intimidated, while teachers were not allowed to attend the interrogation of children. In this Central Asian country, questioning children without the presence of adults (parents or those who are responsible for them) is against the law.

The director of the camp, Hakim*, was also detained and his phone was confiscated. He was threatened with severe criminal punishment for “Evangelizing” children. The camp was closed. Hakim was held for more than 10 days and faced some intense interrogation try and shake his faith and get as much information as possible about local Christian networks.

The security officials said: “If we even put Muslim priests in jail for many years, do you think we won’t do the same with you?!” Despite the ordeal, Hakim did not lose faith, trusting the Lord, which helped him to get through the days in prison. By the Grace of God, Hakim escaped criminal punishment. Instead, he had to pay a huge fine.

After his release, Hakim felt physically ill and looked depressed. He also worried about his family – his wife and 6 children – for whom this whole situation and his arrest became a great stress. Both Hakim and his wife have not been well since the arrest – please use the prayer points below to pray for them and their family.

*Name changed for security reasons.

PRAY NOW...
1

For emotional and physical recovery of Hakim and his wife

3

For strength and opportunities to continue serving among children and teenagers

2

That God will strengthen the faith of Hakim and all members of his family and keep them safe

4

For those children who were also detained and scared while being questioned – pray for their recovery from the stress.

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