This Easter, Do Not Be Afraid, But Remember Our Christian Brothers and Sisters Around the World Facing Violence and Persecution
“Do not be afraid.”
Those were the words of the angel who appeared to Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, according to Matthew 28:
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
There was no reason to fear. Jesus Christ, our risen Savior had conquered death. That is why this weekend we will celebrate Easter, the completion of God’s plan of salvation.
This Easter, it would be easy to fall into despair. The COVID-19 pandemic is still here, a year later; businesses have shuttered, and many still face unemployment. And we find ourselves with a new President in the White House who seems intent on reversing many of the conservative, life-saving policies in place – many of which the ACLJ championed and fought for.
We will continue to be vigilant and challenge every move this Administration makes that puts our Constitution, our religious freedoms, and innocent unborn babies’ lives in jeopardy. And though we must fight harder than ever, we are not afraid. A President is just a man. Jesus Christ, our risen Savior, is King.
Our true hope lies in Heaven. We can rest knowing that no matter what happens here, our victory has been won. But we must remember our Christian brothers and sisters all around the world living in constant fear of persecution and violence.
Radical Islamic militias are targeting Christians all across Africa at an alarming rate simply because of their faith. We just reported how violent Islamic militants savagely murdered over a hundred innocent people – mostly Christians – in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Our team just delivered a critical oral intervention to the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC) regarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo where Christians face the constant threat of violence from jihadist militias connected to ISIS.
And we’ve told you how in Mozambique, Christians were rounded up and murdered in a public soccer field.
In Nigeria, seemingly the epicenter of anti-Christian violence, more than 2,200 Christians were killed in 2020 alone. Innocent Christians are being killed simply for believing in our risen Savior. Entire families have been senselessly murdered. Many Christian girls have been abducted and forced into slavery.
And we’ve told you about Christian teen Leah Sharibu who remains a prisoner of Nigeria’s vile Islamic militia Boko Haram because she will not renounce her faith in Jesus Christ. Now it’s being reported that Leah has been forced to give birth to at least two children while a hostage.
This young Christian woman has refused to deny her Savior, even when faced with a living nightmare. We may not have to be afraid, but we should all be outraged and engaged.
ACLJ Executive Director Jordan Sekulow delivered a critical oral intervention to the HRC demanding international intervention for Nigeria’s persecuted Christians, including Leah Sharibu, and to bring these sadistic terrorists to justice.
ACLJ Senior Counsel for Global Affairs Mike Pompeo placed Nigeria on a persecution watchlist when he was Secretary of State for what he called its government’s toleration of “systematic, ongoing, egregious violations of religious freedom.” This was something we at the ACLJ had long been advocating for. Now he’s working with us to help end this evil persecution. But the rest of the world needs to stand with the United States and demand change in Nigeria.
In China, Pastor John Cao – a U.S. permanent resident– remains imprisoned, having already served 4 years of an unjust 7-year sentence simply for living out his Christian faith and serving the poor.
We have gone directly to the HRC through our European affiliate, the European Centre for Law and Justice (ECLJ), to file critical written submissions and deliver oral interventions urging international intervention for his release. Our work will not stop until Pastor Cao is free to return home to his family here in America.
Hebrews 13:3 reminds us, “Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”
Our Christian brothers and sisters are suffering for their faith in Jesus. We ask for your continued support and prayers as we work to defend imprisoned and persecuted Christians around the globe. We will not stop praying – and fighting – for them either.
Jesus is their only true hope, just as He is ours.
Indeed, He is risen! Happy Easter.