Monday, June 23, 2014

Following the law or following my faith?

“According to the official state news agency in Sudan, a court has ordered 27-year-old Meriam Yahya Ibrahim be freed after her case sparked outrage around the world.
Ms Ibrahim's Christian American husband Daniel Wani was notified earlier this month that the appeals court in Sudan was deliberating the case, though the government had previously promised she would be released.
Sudan's SUNA news agency said today: "The appeal court ordered the release of Mariam Yahya and the cancellation of the (previous) court ruling."
Mr Wani had earlier described how Ms Ibrahim was forced to give birth in prison with her legs chained, after she refused to renounce her Christian faith during a four day 'grace period' when she was eight months pregnant.” (independent.co.uk)

When I heard this news I was ecstatic. This Christian woman was imprisoned for her faith and forced to give birth in a dirty prison. She then cared for her newborn in the same unsanitary conditions and today we finally heard of her release.
Around the globe Christians have been persecuted for generations, so why have I been following this case so closely? The answer is simple. Our beliefs are under attack and you sure don’t have to look very far to recognize that. The position of Ambassador for Religious Freedom is one that was created nearly twenty years ago to aid those with American affiliations who are being persecuted for their faith. This seat has remained vacant for the last several months. Just a vacant spot? That’s the only issue here? No, there’s more. I won’t cry persecution and tell you that Christians in America are abused – I feel that that would belittle the huge pandemic in other countries where Christians are suffering physical torture and even death for their beliefs. It is true, however, that intolerance and hostility for the Christian faith is flaring up and I worry that this is just the prelude for Christian persecution in America. Will it soon become the case that we have to choose to follow the law or follow our faith? Here are some examples of this intolerance to which I’ve alluded:

1. Christian business people cannot refuse services to groups that violate their beliefs.
2. College ministry groups are being banned from dorm halls and told that they MUST allow non-believers to have leadership roles.
3. Baptisms in public waters must now have government approval.

And the list goes on and on. Rome wasn’t built in a day. It also wasn’t torn down in just one day. The corruption of one person at a time and the illegalization of true belief in God are the tipping point to every great nation. What are you doing in your community to ensure your freedom to believe still exists? Consider the candidates you choose to vote for, the groups you endorse and most of all the way you are living your life – is it a faith worth fighting for?

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