Eight members of a Baptist church in Kapshagai, Kazakhstan have been arrested for holding a children’s summer camp with a biblical focus, according to Almaty News Information Agency. The detainees include seven South Korean citizens and one United States citizen who allegedly organized the camp under the guise of free English courses. The case is currently under pre-trial investigation.
At this time of year when our family members and friends are participating in or helping to lead Christian summer camps or vacation Bible schools for the children in our communities, this news serves to highlight the relative religious freedoms that we might take for granted in our country.
In many parts of the world, churches are forced to be creative when hosting events for children in order to avoid restrictions on Christian activities. A common result is English courses meshed with biblical studies.
Today, let’s pray for these church members who are being detained for their ministry efforts, and let us not forget that our brothers and sisters around the world are taking great risks to proclaim the gospel. May the contrast between our lives and theirs cause us to lift them up in prayer daily, and let us remember to make the best use of the freedoms we have been given – to the glory of God.