2015 Victories: Christian Pastors Released from Possible Death Sentence
This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at a few of the many victories by the ACLJ in 2015.
They’re free! After months of aggressive advocacy across the globe two Christian pastors are finally free from imprisonment and possible death in Sudan.
Christian persecution is everywhere, but it is no more prevalent than in the Middle East and northern Africa. Earlier this year, two traveling pastors—Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith—were arrested by Sudan’s Islamist government on false charges because of their Christian faith. What’s more, they were clandestinely detained for months before their families even knew the situation. They were charged with crimes that could lead to death sentences – just because they are Christians. This was a blatant attempt to not only persecute these two Christian pastors but also scare the entire Christian community out of Sudan.
At one point during their trial, Pastors Michael and Peter were transferred to a more dangerous prison without explanation, and their families and attorneys were denied access. Shortly thereafter, the Sudanese judge overseeing their case found “sufficient evidence” to charge them with the trumped-up offenses alleged against them.
It was a complete farce, and the situation seemed darkly bleak.
We engaged in an aggressive international advocacy campaign for their release. After sending an emergency legal letter to Sudan’s Minister of Justice in July, and garnering over 200,000 of your signatures, Pastors Michael and Peter were released in August.
This was a major victory in the fight against Christian persecution worldwide. Through your prayers and support and our aggressive multifaceted international advocacy campaign, they are now free. Not only this, but we are now able to report that Pastors Michael and Peter have been able to safely leave the country with their families.
Our efforts for persecuted Christians in Sudan continue, working together with Mariam Ibraheem. It was just last year that Christian mom Mariam Ibraheem was on death row in Sudan because of her Christian faith. After our intense advocacy campaign, she was released and is now safely in America.
Because of your support for our international work, because you are willing to be heard, these persecuted Christians are now free today.
To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a tax-deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be doubled dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.
You will be able to read more in the ACLJ’s 2015 Victories series here.