• While walking to his bank in Lahore, Pakistan, Pastor Joseph Priam of Full Gospel Assemblies Church, was abducted and taken hostage by a group of Muslim militants on February 16th. Assist News Service reports that the captors sprung out of their car and applied a chemically treated handkerchief to the pastor’s face, rendering him unconscious as they stole his gold ring and cash. He was brutally tortured for five days and confined in a pitch-dark room. They never gave Joseph food or water, causing the shrinking of his kidneys. The radicals told him, “You are a Christian and your Christian brothers have published blasphemous caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in Denmark. That’s why we are going to kill you.” On February 21st at 1:30 a.m., Joseph was bound and thrown on the roadside before he untied himself and fetched a ride to safety.
Then on March 3rd at Shuangyashan Intermediate court, Heilongjiang province, the first trial of 17 Christian church leaders falsely accused by the Chinese communist government of murder and fraud, finally came to a close after beginning nearly four days earlier at 8:30 a.m. on February 28th. The Voice of the Martyrs’ ministry partner, China Aid Association, states that authorities seek to incriminate the pastors of killing 20 leaders of the Eastern Lightning religious group and for several million dollars (U.S.) in fraud. The no. 1 defendant, Pastor Xu Wenku, testified that interrogators shocked him with electric wires tied to his fingers, toes and genitals to get a false confession. While in custody, they also hung him in the air for five hours and kept him from sleeping for five days and nights. Pastor Li Maoxing, the no. 2 witness, told of being electrocuted after being suspended in the air and wrapped in a heavy blanket until he was drenched with perspiration. In his closing statement, Xu urged everyone to believe in Jesus or face eternal judgment.
Then on January 2005, just two months after Church of God’s president, Pastor Carlos Lamelas was overwhelmingly endorsed for a second term, Cuba’s national board of directors ousted him from his position and expelled him from the church for refusing to accept Castro’s communist hold on church affairs. On February 20th, 2006, five police officers arrested him at his home while seizing his personal computer, documents and office equipment, according to Compass Direct. In a harassment campaign to silence the influential Christian leader, government officials are falsely charging Lamelas with illegally helping emigrants flee Cuba imprisoning and him in an isolated cell.