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    Bible Miraculously Survives Church Fire in Kyrgyzstan

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    In an incident which Christians called an “amazing sign,” a Bible was left unscathed after militants firebombed a church in Kyrgyzstan, reports Release International.

    The Evangelical Christian Baptist church in the northeastern town of Kaji-Say was doused with gasoline and set on fire in the early morning of January 3, 2018. Radicals threw Molotov cocktails through the windows of the empty church which started the blaze.

    The Christians said the Bible was left open at the altar after their fellowship. Seeing it undamaged after the fire encouraged them to remain strong in their faith.

    The fire was so intense it caused extensive damage to the church. The pews were burned down, but before the flames reached the altar, firefighters were able to control the fire.

    Officials reported that there were still several bottles of gasoline around the church that failed to ignite.

    The Christians said the Bible was left open at the altar after their fellowship. Seeing it undamaged after the fire encouraged them to remain strong in their faith.

    “This happened once before when Communists set fire to a Pentecostal Church during the night,” said Paul, from Operation Mark, a partner of Release International in Kyrgyzstan.

    He added that, “The Bible and that building survived too, and there is no doubt the church in Kyrgyzstan will survive – and continue to preach the gospel.”

    Observers said the fire might have been a revenge attack by the radicals. The Evangelical Christian Baptist Church is active in outreach programs which could have prompted the hostility.

    Local police have started an investigation into the church fire. Residents believed it was an arson attack. Kyrgyzstan is a predominantly Muslim country and Christian converts have been subjected to persecution which worsened in recent years.

    In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Pamir Kutuev, governor of Kaji-Say, said people should wait for the investigation and not think that the fire was a hate crime.

    “The church has been operating here since the collapse of the Soviet Union [in 1991].” Kutuev said. “There was never an arson attack on the church. There is no religious discord here. Because there were no witnesses, the investigation is proceeding slowly.”

    Sources:
    Release International
    Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

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