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Vivian Gilmer

Two Southern Baptist ladies are being held under house arrest in Dubai after being arrested for illegally distributing Bibles and other Christian literature. 72-year-old Vivian Gilmer of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and Marie Bush, 55, from Waxahachie, Texas were detained in Dubai on February 21. The ladies were imprisoned, but later placed under house arrest. On February 28, a judge in a lower court refused to make a judgment on their case. They will now have to appear before a higher court. The ladies have asked to be deported to the United States.

Gilmer and Bush were traveling with the Tommy Cox Evangelistic Association, an Arkansas-based mission organization when the incident occurred. The Association's lawyers are working to negotiate their release to the United States, hopefully within the week. They are staying with a local pastor until a ruling is made. The eleven other missionaries they were with have already been expelled from the country.

Christians are permitted to practice their faith in their own homes and churches in Dubai but evangelism is illegal. Islam is the official religion of the country. Please pray that these two ladies will be allowed to return home shortly. Pray for their safety, as well as the safety of the Christians in the area, since there is some concern that there may be repercussions as a result of this arrest.

For more information on religious liberty in UAE, click here.