Thursday, October 15, 2009

Updates on: Russia, Egypt, China & Iran

My mom just got this email which was passed along to her by my aunt. And it has some great updates about what the Legal Department is accomplishing in other countries...

"Hope this email finds you and your wife in the best of health spiritually and physically. I recently attended the School for Elders in Patterson, New York...
I visited with Brother Phillip Brumley, Overseer of the Legal Dept. at Patterson. He shared with us some exciting things in progress in countries that the Branch chooses not to publish at this time for fear of hindering the advancement of the good news in those areas...I questioned Brother Brumley if the information was to be confidential? He replied, "Not at all, let your congregation know what Jehovah is doing."

(Regarding Russia)
We learned there is continual work still being conducted in Russia, and that his office had just received the report of two legal victories in the court system and with Jehovah's help we are looking forward to more.

(Regarding Egypt)
In the country of Egypt, the Legal Dept. for years have been working to ease the restrictions against Jehovah's Witnesses and our ministry there. The majority of Egyptians are Muslim, although there are a number of "Coptic Christians" in the country.
Representatives of the Patterson Legal Department recently visited with legal representatives in Egypt. We were shown photos of their visit. One photo was of the brothers as they were meeting with Mr. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, the one time Secretary-General of the United Nations. He is now a political influence in Egypt. He is also a Coptic Christian. As a result of the meeting we are now allowed to witness to Coptic Christians.
Witnessing to Muslims is still considered illegal. Before the meeting we were only allowed to meet in groups of five, but now we can meet in groups of 30, which means that now we can meet as congregations. We enjoyed photos of the legal brothers with two of the congregations.
Jehovah's Witnesses are not yet recognized as a religion in Egypt, but Jehovah and the Legal Dept. are continually working to change that.

(Regarding China)
Reports from China are very exciting. We learned that in China, mostly along the Korean border, we now have Kingdom Halls, Circuits with full-time Circuit Overseers, are allowed to preach from house-to-house, and have assemblies. Brother Brumley said that it may sound strange, but in that area of China, you are not considered educated until you have read the Bible.
What is even more exciting is that the Bible translation the Chinese use has Jehovah's name all the way through it. This makes the witnessing work so much easier. The Legal Department said that "the work there is going gang busters." We used to wonder how those in China would ever hear the good news...with Jehovah, everything is possible.

(Regarding Iran)
In closing, I would like to pass on a recent experience from the Legal Dept. It's regarding an Iranian sister living on the Island of Cypress. In Iran they permit what they call "mercy killings" if someone renounces their faith and takes up another form of worship, their family may put that person to death and will not be held accountable by the Iranian authorities.
This sister embraced the truth two years ago. Her husband, an Iranian dedicated to the Islamic teachings, strongly and cruelly opposed her decision to serve Jehovah. After continued efforts to break her integrity, he informed her that he had made arrangements to send her back to Iran to be murdered by his family. Our sister reported this to her congregation elders.
The Cypress elders immediately contacted the Legal Dept. at Patterson for help. The Legal Dept. received the call on a Friday morning. The sister was scheduled to leave the next Tuesday, four days away, to fly to Iran and face certain death.

The Legal Dept. immediately contacted the Governing Body in Brooklyn and they authorized the department to do whatever was necessary to save this sisters life. The Legal Dept. put everything into action. Patterson Legal called the Legal Dept. in Greece, then the Legal Dept. in Germany, then the Legal Dept. in Switzerland, and also the Legal Dept. in Belgium, informing them that in four days our sister was scheduled to die. Our brothers in these four other countries put together their legal expertise to work as a legal team.
With prayer to Jehovah for help, they put together a quick injunction through the European Court of Human Rights and put a temporary hault to the husband's efforts to send our sister back to Iran.

The Cypress authorities held our sister in confinement for almost six months before addressing her appeal. The result is that the court ruled in her favor and released her from the authority of her husband. During the sister's six months of incarceration, she was able to witness to over 200 persons!
What other organization in a matter of just a few hours, could enlist the attention and help of the top lawyers from five different countries to come to the aid of just one person on an island in the Mediterranean Sea? How comforting it is to see how Jehovah protects Jesus' sheep.

I hope you all find this as encouraging as Jane and I have.

Your Brother, Russ."

*Here's also a news article I saw about another former-Muslim woman whose facing the same problem from her father since she's coverted to Christianity.