Not long ago a pregnant young mother with a toddler at her side was shown the open door. "All you have to do is renounce your faith and you can be free," said her jailor.
Yet, even though she was sentenced to be hanged for being a Christian, Mariam Ibraheem could not bring herself to deny her faith. Only a miracle would save her now.
As a committed friend of Family Research Council, your prayers and financial support helped rescue Mariam from one of the most brutal prisons in the world, in Khartoum, Sudan.
Thanks to your commitment, FRC was able to get more than 53,000 signatures on a petition to the White House calling for the release of Mariam. Through your support, I was able to work with key Members of Congress, and meet with the Sudanese ambassador. I presented convincing arguments that hanging a young mother for her faith was an outrageous violation of basic human rights and would be costly for Sudan.
In recent weeks I have been asked, "Why did Family Research Council fight so hard to free a woman in a foreign country halfway around the world?"
First and foremost, it was the right thing to do. As Christians we are called to help our brothers and sisters, not only here in America, but throughout the world.
Second, there is no evidence that the Obama State Department did anything to intervene. Somebody had to protect the rights of this young Christian who is the wife of an American citizen.
Third, and perhaps most significant for you and me, indifference to religious persecution abroad can only lead to greater religious intolerance here at home.
I, for one, was not surprised at the lack of response from the Obama administration. From what I have witnessed, the President and many in our country who share his radical Liberal ideology are more likely to be overtly hostile to our First Freedom -- religious freedom.
While Christians here in America are not yet being thrown into prison, they are losing their jobs, their family businesses, and their careers simply because they are Christians who are living out their biblical values in their everyday lives. What just a few years ago began as a trickle, today is on the verge of becoming a flood.
Just ask Christian bridal shop owners, Victoria and Thomas Miller in Pennsylvania. They've received violent threats, including a message that read, "I hope your children get raped." Their crime? Refusing to make "dresses for groomsmen" at a same-sex "wedding."
Or Cynthia and Robert Gifford. They were fined $13,000 for acting on their belief that marriage is the union of a man and woman when they declined to rent their family farm for a lesbian "wedding."
Broadcaster Craig James, now on the staff of FRC, was fired from Fox Sports for affirming natural marriage in a statement he made when he was running for the U.S. Senate a year and a half previously.
The Benham brothers lost their HGTV show for leading a prayer meeting and upholding natural marriage.
At no time in our nation's history has there been such a systematic, concerted, and government sanctioned effort to take away our freedom of religion.
I say "government sanctioned" because the hostility toward religion is the result of statutes and ordinances put in place by government leaders.
The ongoing policy statements and actions of the Obama administration almost on a daily basis reveal its contempt for religious freedom. Administration officials are insidiously redefining freedom of religion to be "freedom of worship." In other words, the First Amendment protects your right to sing songs or teach the Bible inside your church or home, but not your right to live your beliefs outside your church or home.
Put another way, according to the views prevalent in the Obama administration, there can only be one capital "G" in Washington, D.C. -- and that's almighty Government, not God.
In one instance after another, the Obama administration is forcing Christians to either compromise their faith or face punishment.
Most alarming is President Obama's recent executive order. It effectively forces businesses or agencies with government contracts to accommodate all forms of sexual preferences and gender identity in the workplace. What makes this mandate even more heinous is the fact that no objections on religious grounds will be tolerated.
Many people used to ask, "What if persecution of Christians ever came to the shores of America?" Today, it's no longer "What if?"
Persecution is already happening. The Bible says persecution can include loss of property, income, and shaming. All of that is happening to American Christians today!
The only questions are these: How bad will we allow it to become? How severely will we allow the gospel to be restricted? How much damage will be done as Christian influence is forced out of key areas of society and kept from the people around us?
Biblical truth is important. Truth gives people life-changing hope and answers. Truth gives moral health to a nation. Truth is the foundation of all our freedoms.
That's why FRC exists and why we are strategically located within blocks of the U.S. Capitol, the U.S. Senate and House Office Buildings, the U.S. Supreme Court, the White House, and other critical federal buildings.
It is why our headquarters is filled with nearly 100 staff members, such as leading national experts on the value of biblical influence in American society -- including our laws regarding the family, churches and religious liberty.
FRC's experts and communicators are in the halls of power every day: testifying before Congress, talking privately to members of the House and Senate and their staffs, filing briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal courts.
For all these reasons, I'm asking you to continue to support the work of Family Research Council with a donation today. No other organization in Washington does more for the cause of religious freedom.
As I mentioned, FRC was instrumental in helping save Mariam Ibraheem from execution and securing her release from a hellish prison when the Obama administration did almost nothing to secure her release.
FRC submitted an influential amicus brief to the Supreme Court in the Hobby Lobby religious freedom trial. (The decision handed down by the majority in this precedent-setting case followed the logic presented in the FRC brief.)
FRC has successfully exposed and opposed the pattern of hostility in the U.S. military toward religious freedom.
FRC works tirelessly with allies in Congress to protect your First Amendment rights and promote the freedom of religion in American life.
As an FRC supporter, you helped make these accomplishments and more possible. But we cannot let up now. Our country is threatened from the inside out. Unless we quickly return to the biblical foundation that made America an exceptional nation, we will continue to decline as a nation. That's why it is essential that we stop those bent on destroying religious freedom.
Far too many people of faith do nothing and hope that things get better. Thankfully, you are not one of them! You know that the fight for the heart and soul of America won't be won from the sidelines.
Can I count on you now for a gift today to help FRC raise the funds it needs to defend religious liberty on all fronts? Unlike those organizations on the Left who are supported by government funding and elite billionaires, such as George Soros, FRC relies primarily on the support of people of faith willing to protect faith, family and freedom. People like you.
So please give the most generous gift you can at this most critical time. Your gift now will help ensure that your children and grandchildren will be able to freely live their faith today and tomorrow.
Thank you for standing with FRC. I never take your support for granted and thank God for you every day.