Roused to Action

  Today I want to thank each and every one of you who contacted your congressman on behalf of the persecuted church. Two years ago few people knew anything about this issue, but a campaign was launched, led by Michael Horowitz, Congressman Frank Wolf, Jim Dobson, and me, and many others who joined in to alert the Christian community. And I'm thrilled to tell you the campaign worked. The House of Representatives recently voted 375-41 to approve the Freedom from Religious Persecution Act. This Act will set up a White House agency to monitor the persecution of people for their faith around the world. And it will impose mild economic sanctions on countries found to engage in religious persecution. This is a great victory, for this type of legislation is urgently needed. In Sudan, Christians are crucified for their faith. Their children are sold into slavery and forced to convert to Islam. In China, house church pastors are tortured, imprisoned, and killed. In Pakistan, a pastor was recently murdered in front of his wife and daughter, and his church destroyed by a mob. In Vietnam, a Catholic priest has been imprisoned for more than 10 years. This is the first time since the passage of the Jackson-Vanick amendment in 1974, designed to help Soviet Jews, that Congress has been roused into action to protect people of faith from persecution. Both Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Frank Wolf deserve tremendous credit. Not long ago I was up on Capitol Hill talking about the Freedom from Religious Persecution Act. I talked to leaders in both the House and the Senate, and they all told me the same thing: They said that they had been overwhelmed with calls and letters from BreakPoint listeners urging them to get behind this legislation. I want to say I am really proud of the people who listen to BreakPoint, and I want to thank you for bombarding your representatives with calls and faxes. But our job is not yet finished. Now we must call our senators and ask them to support the same or similar legislation in the Senate. They're under enormous pressure not to do so. The White House does not want persecution legislation to pass. Neither do many in the business community, who fear the bill will crimp their profits by restricting business as usual with the dictators who persecute and enslave Christians. What I'm asking you to do is this: Once a week, write your senator, or call him. Pray about this legislation daily. Talk to your pastor, and ask him to talk about this bill from the pulpit. Let's keep this groundswell of support going. I talked to Sen. Don Nichols last week. Once his bill goes through the Senate—if it goes through—there will be a House & Senate conference; they will come up with the strongest bill possible and send it to the White House this summer. When this bill passes, I can tell you that all around the world in places of hiding and in underground churches—in the outposts of the kingdom of God—there will be great rejoicing. So please, don't let up. Flood the Senate with calls. I want to thank Rep. Frank Wolf and Sen. Arlen Specter, who have worked so hard to get anti-persecution legislation this far. And I want to say, once again: Thank you, BreakPoint listeners for your support—for being willing to stand with our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.


Chuck Colson


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