Three Christian hostages killed, six spared

By January 1, 1970

Yemen (MNN) — Three Christian relief workers were found murdered in a terrorist hotbed in Yemen.  The three women were working as nurses in a nearby hospital.  They and six others were picked up by a group of armed men, according to eyewitnesses in a report by Voice of the Martyrs Canada , after visiting a doctor who lived nearby.  The group did not have an armed escort. 

The bodies of the women, two German students- Rita Stumpp (26), Anita Gruenwald (24) -and a South Korean woman named Eom Young-sun (33), were found four days later in the Noshour Valley.  Six others are alive, including three children. 

Locals had expressed concern that the women were doing evangelistic work.  There were missionary tracts in the bags the women were carrying when their bodies were found.  One of the living hostages had previously had previously been threatened by Muslims who objected to his sharing the Gospel with other Muslims.  Local authorities believe the murders are the work of one of two different terrorist groups.

Two suspects have turned themselves in for the incident and have been arrested.

During the 7th century, there were a large number of Christians in Yemen.  However, the population shifted and today there are just an estimated 3,000- and most of
them are foreign workers.  The population is now predominately Sunni Muslim.  Yemen
adheres to the Shari'a law, which interferes with their constitution's promise
of religious freedom.  Christians are not allowed to evangelize, they must register their churches, and Muslim women may not marry non-Muslim men.  However, Christians are mostly free to worship in registered churches.

Pray for the families mourning the loss of their loved ones.  Pray also for the release of the six other captives.  Praise God for the faithful lives of the women who were killed

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