Officials burst into Pastor Sohail’s house in the middle of the night. The authorities accused him of “terrorism” and threw him in jail – for months.
His crime? Helping poor Christians in Pakistan whose homes were destroyed and whose land was seized by local henchmen.
Pakistani Christians in the U.S. organized a campaign to fight for Pastor Sohail. Two weeks ago he was released and returned to his family!
Where did they get the idea that they could impact an injustice against persecuted Christians in a country like Pakistan?
They said they were “inspired by the current United States administration’s focus on international religious freedom and their relentless fight to release Americans wrongfully imprisoned internationally.”
This week was International Religious Freedom Day, the anniversary of the signing of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998. This law created ways for the U.S. government to advance religious freedom.
In the last 3 years this effort was turbo-charged.
When the U.S. makes religious freedom a priority, it gets results – and motivates others.
Countries respond – or feel the pressure. And persecuted Christians – like Pastor Andrew Brunson – are helped.
Did you know that the Abrahamic Accords, the peace agreement brokered by the U.S. between Israel, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) highlights the importance of religious freedom in the very first paragraph?
And Sudan – which once harbored al Qaeda terrorists and enslaved Christians – just signed on!
This came after the U.S. told world leaders at the UN that our rights do not come from government, they come from God, and called on nations to end religious persecution.
So, how can we take part in this global effort? We begin with prayer.
This Sunday is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Let’s remember our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ who suffer worldwide.
And pray for our leaders to use their authority for righteousness.
You can download a free Prayer Kit with resources for your church and family for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.
It is not too late – and they can be used anytime.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.” II Corinthians 4:7