I WOULD like to draw your readers' attention to the plight of a Catholic priest imprisoned in a Siberian labour camp since 1983 and ask for their prayers and help.
He is Fr Sigitas Tamkevicius, a forty-eight year old Lithuanian. Over two years ago, a small group in the village where I live, began to pray for him, and I believe there may be many more who would like to know a bit more about him and work towards his release. So much is happening at the moment in the Soviet Union, that we feel now is a good time to really widen our prayer.
Fr Sigitas Tamkevicius, was imprisoned for "anti Soviet agitation and propaganda". He is well known for his involvement in working for believers' rights. Earlier this year he was transferred to a KGB interrogation prison and, asked to recant. He refused and has recently been returned to the same prison camp. He has also suffered a minor stroke.
We urge all who read this letter to pray for him and if possible please put him on your church prayer lists. Letters sent to the Soviet authorities on his behalf would also help tremendously and we appeal for as many people as possible to write. Please keep letters brief, simply asking politely that he be released and be allowed to practise his faith in freedom and peace.
Last autumn a young Orthodox man, Alexander Ogorodnikov, was the subject of much prayer and many letters were written on his behalf. We were overjoyed to learn about his release in February. Please help us to secure the same happy outcome for Fr Tamkevicius. He is a fellow Christian suffering persecution and very much in need of our prayers and support. Please send your letters to Mr Gorbachev, RSFSR g Moskva, Kreml 4, Staraya Ploschad', Tsk KPSS, Generalnomy Sekretaryu. GORBACHEV M S USSR.
And the Soviet Ambassador:H i s Excellency, Leonid Zamyatin, Soviet Embassy, 18, Kensington Palace Gardens, LONDON W8 4QX.