United States (MNN) – On Tuesday, President Trump nominated Mike Pompeo to become the next Secretary of State to replace Rex Tillerson. Pompeo has led the CIA for the last fourteen months. It’s predicted that he will induce more aggressive foreign policy toward Russia, Syria, and Iran.
Open Doors USA released a statement with a different focus, saying that they are looking forward to working with the incoming Secretary of State on issues of international religious freedom.
David Curry of Open Doors says, “Open Doors is all about trying to advocate for religious liberty and protection of freedoms for persecuted Christians around the world. And there are millions and millions of them. Many people don’t understand how widely spread this religious intolerance has become.”
Part of fighting for religious freedom for Christians includes advocating for religious liberty for all people so that the decision to come to Christ can be made freely and without compulsion. Open Doors USA has been an invaluable resource to the US government regarding the issue of religious freedom. Therefore, they are paying close attention to what takes place in the State Department.
“The State Department is the key, pivotal relationship that the United States Government, and our citizens therefore, have with these governments around the world that are persecuting Christians or, in some cases, they aren’t persecuting Christians, but it’s happening within their territory,” Curry says.
“So we really think it’s important that we have a Secretary of State that understands how persecution of Christians and religious liberty is central to so many of the goals for our national security, for free societies around the world, for free trade—all of the things that we say as a government we’re looking for.”
Curry says Pompeo’s track record suggests that he will be a strong force for religious freedom—but only time will tell. It is Curry’s hope that Pompeo, along with the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownbeck, will work together to make international religious freedom a central concern when it comes to international affairs.
Curry draws our attention to two nations who the United States has many business and governmental deals with: India and Saudi Arabia.
“These are folks who are in the top lists of persecutors of Christians. India has jumped up to number 11 [on the World Watch List]—14 spots in the last four years since the new prime minister has taken over and has an agenda with his political party of pushing Christians out of India.”
And we’ve seen this plan in action—Compassion International’s operations were forced out of India in 2016, and Curry says World Vision is now facing the same kinds of pressures.
“The Secretary of State—he understands how crucial this is to the freedom of people in India, but also that the American citizens don’t want to do business with people who are holding down the rights of their population. I think that’s crucial. I think Mike Pompeo could certainly be a strong, forceful, outspoken person on that.”
God holds the future in his hands. So, will you ask him to give our leaders wisdom regarding this nomination?
Another way you can respond to this story is to be a voice for the persecuted by contacting your representatives.
“We have to speak out. I know folks hear this a lot, but so often, very little is done. And when politicians don’t hear from their constituents, they assume that all is well.
“So Christians have got some bad theology worked into our thinking that because the Bible says persecution is always going to be with you, that that is a mandate to sort of roll over and not speak up for your brothers and sisters around the world. And that’s nothing of the kind. In fact, Scripture tells us we need to pray, we need to reach out and care for those in prison and who have been harmed for Jesus’ name.”
(Header photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr)