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Yuri Pak was released from prison Saturday 17 June. Yuri a teacher, dean of a high school and a local church leader was sentenced to two years in prison, after being convicted of making a false emergency-services call.

In April 2015, someone used Yuri’s mobile phone to make a prank phone call to Kazakhstan’s emergency services. Authorities were quick to charge Yuri with making a bomb threat in that call and arrested him.

During the trial, the “evidence” used against him was a two-minute-long recording of a man, obviously drunk, and using rough prison jargon. Expert witnesses testified that the caller’s voice did not match Yuri’s voice. Additionally, the caller references spending 10 years in prison and being angry at police, but Yuri had not been in prison.

As a testimony to his character, Yuri’s students came to his trial to support him. His pastor also wrote a letter of support. Various local news stations reported on the spurious trial, but even with all that support, he was sentenced to two years in prison, apparently in retaliation against his involvement in a Christian church.

After his release, Yuri was able to attend the graduation ceremony of several of his students that same weekend.

While Yuri was in prison, many people wrote letters of support to him through Yuri’s wife Olga, wrote to VOM, saying, “Our family is extremely grateful to each one of you for your prayers and letters with words of encouragement and faith. Your prayers and letters helped us to go through this difficult trial without losing our faith and courage. We believe that ‘your labour is not in vain before the Lord.’ With love in Christ: Yuri, Olga, Anna and Daniel Pak.”

Source: The Voice of the Martyrs USA

  • Give thanks to the Lord for answered prayer for Yuri and his family. Pray the Lord will help them overcome the time of trial and separation.
  • Pray the Lord will use Yuri’s story as a witness to His Gospel and further extend His Kingdom throughout Kazakhstan.
  • Thank the Lord for the encouragement Yuri and his family received through receiving letters of encouragement. May those in authority in the prison who witnessed this support be moved and intrigued by this gesture.