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They kept on stoning Stephen as he called out to the Lord, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”     He knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not remember this sin against them.”     He said this and died.

That very day the church in Jerusalem began to suffer cruel persecution.     All the believers, except the apostles, were scattered throughout the provinces of Judea and Samaria.

Some devout men buried Stephen, mourning for him with loud cries. But Saul tried to destroy the church.     Going from house to house, he dragged out the believers, both men and women, and threw them into jail.

(Lesson Text: Today’s English Version, Copyright ©1992 by the American Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)