CHINA: Prisoner reports conversions
An itinerant evangelist, imprisoned for preaching the Gospel, rejoices in the opportunities to witness in prison. At first, he was beaten and mistreated, but gradually he gained the respect of prisoners and guards alike.
After a time he was put in charge of prisoners in his cell. He writes, “I preached to them … and as a result everyone in the cell accepted Christ.” Because of this, he was moved out of the cell, but prisoners came to him secretly to ask for spiritual food.
In order to avoid being observed by the guards, he invited them to come one by one and hear the Gospel “under the cover of a quilt, which from the outside would appear like two persons sleeping together.”
Before his release, the evangelist saw great blessing in the prison. “Sometimes the prisoners wept when they would repent of their sin,” he writes. “I had the experience of baptizing a convict two days before he was to face execution.” Now that he is released, he is back ministering in the house churches.
He expresses deep gratitude for the “strong support” as he spreads the Gospel “vigorously.” Through Partners International your gifts are sent to assist itinerant evangelists in China and together we are committed to praying for their ministry.
MEXICO: Persecution reported
Dr. Virgilio Zapata, president of CONELA, a continentwide fellowship of evangelical bodies in Latin America, has written to President Carlos Salinas de Gortari of Mexico regarding increasing reports of Catholic persecution of evangelicals. Zapata does not believe these persecutions have necessarily increased in intensity. But as evangelicals have united and become more vocal, the incidents receive greater publicity.
The concern is that when there is serious physical injury and even murder, the authorities seem to tum a blind eye to the crimes, rather than investigating them thoroughly. Zapata’s letter was acknowledged by the president’s office, but so far no commitment to follow up these accusations have come forth.