FIVE Baptist women have been released from prison in the Soviet Union after serving only eight months of their sentences, reports Keston College, the Centre for the Study ot Religion and Communism. All were Workers on the secret printing press discovered by the KGB last autumn in Latvia.
The five — Ida Korotun, Tatyana Ko7hemyakina, Zinaida Tarasova, Yekaterina Gritsenko and Nadezhda Lvova — were freed in June in connection with International Women's Year.
Alexei Bychkov, SecretaryGeneral of the All-Union Council of Evangelical Christians and Baptists, said at the council's ,congress in Moscow that the confiscated printing press had been returned to the Baptists, but this has not yet been confirmed, After their release, the five women wrote a letter "to all Christians of the world," praising God for their release and thanking "all those who by their earnest prayers and appeals assisted our release and the lightening of our lot."
At the same time they asked for prayers for the two men arrested with them, also workers on the "Christian" printing press, who are still in prison, and for other Christian prisoners. They particularly mentioned Georgi Vins. "at present in the grim conditions or a. labour camp."
Cieorgi Vins, the Baptist imprisoned at the end of last year, is in a prison camp near Yakutsk, in the Soviet Far East, where he was recently visited by his mother and eldest daughter. They found him "beaming and sprightly" but in bad health, suffering from neck and chest pains.
Vins's prison identity card is marked with a special red stripe, which means he is considered liable to attempt to escape.