Watchmen On the Wall - FRC

Prayer Targets: Religious Liberty Ministerial, Brunson House Arrest; USAF Defends Replacing Bible

July 25, 2018

Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. Luke 6:38

Dear Praying Friends,

In 2018, Mike Pompeo (bio) became the 70th U.S. Secretary of State. A dedicated Christian he graduated first-in-his-class at West Point and spent 5 years as a U.S. Army officer before earning a law degree from Harvard. After practicing law in Washington, D.C., Pompeo returned to his home state of Kansas and acquired and consolidated several aerospace parts manufacturing companies. After 10 years he sold his interest and took a position in another company. In 2010, he was elected to the U.S. Congress serving four terms. Key Congressional committee experience prepared Pompeo for his 2017 presidential appointment as CIA Director, and in 2018, Secretary of State. These excerpts are from his July 19 interview with Tony Perkins, new Commissioner on the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF):

TONY PERKINS: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called for the first-ever Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom... The three-day event will bring together government officials, representatives of international organizations, religious leaders, rights advocates, and members of civil society organizations from around the world, and I'll be there.... the obvious question: Why?

SECRETARY POMPEO: Tony, it's incredibly important... in the Trump administration, to make the case and sound the clarion call for religious freedom all around the world. You mentioned Pastor Brunson. There are many countries in which religious freedom is not available... We believe that religious freedom is important for every citizen around the world and we want to bring everyone together to discuss how all faiths have the right -- people, individuals have the right to worship in the way that they choose, or if they choose not to... every country ought to honor that.

PERKINS: Mr. Secretary, you and I have been around government for quite some time... I know you're a man of action. What do you hope will be the tangible outcomes of this gathering?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We expect, Tony, this to be far more than just talk. We do believe that just putting people together from all across the world in a room and talking about this topic will empower them to go back to their home country and advocate for religious freedom as well. It's difficult, Tony, as you know, in many countries to even speak about religious freedom. And so, we hope to provide a support system and a basis for some of them to head back to their own countries.

We'll announce a number of initiatives. The vice president will be speaking; Ambassador Brownback will be speaking... And we will be laying out a path where we are hopeful that the State Department here in the United States can lead a process where religious freedom is raised as a priority for the citizens of every country. And we will have our teams in the subsequent weeks and months in the field talking about religious freedom on a continued basis. We'll have just three days here, but this will be a mission of the State Department every day.

PERKINS: As you pointed out, this issue of religious freedom, both domestically and from a foreign policy standpoint, is a priority for this administration. This is much more than lip service...

SECRETARY POMPEO: We want people of all faiths -- Christians, Muslims, Jews - we think this forum will reinforce countries that enjoy religious freedom and encourage those that are on the cusp... in a place where it's more challenging, [It] will help provide them courage to continue to make religious freedom a priority for the citizens of their own countries as well. This was laid out in the president's National Security Strategy, which is unique and different from previous administrations. We do place a high priority on religious freedom... we can -- we will continue to fight for it every place that we travel.

PERKINS: What has been the response from your counterparts around the globe?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It's been remarkable... traveling this past six or eight different places -- I had foreign ministers say, "I'm going to be there..." They're excited to [with] others who believe religious freedom is important. I was in Muslim countries... places with religions very different than my own Christian faith. But every one of those leaders was excited about the opportunity to gather with likeminded individuals who share the desire, the quest for every individual to be able to practice their faith in their country in the way that they wish...

PERKINS: And I know countries are on a waiting list.

SECRETARY POMPEO: (Laughter.) It is indeed oversubscribed, Tony, which we consider an enormous blessing... it bodes well for continuity for a program like this... not just these three days but to make sure that there are real actions that follow from this event.

PERKINS: One final question... What can the average American do to bring greater awareness to this issue of religious freedom? Not just as an American right, but... as a human right?

SECRETARY POMPEO: It is deeply a human right... Those of us who believe in faith and prayer can pray. I think it's important for every individual to demand of their elected officials that they consider religious freedom among one of their priorities. It's important to support groups and nongovernmental organizations prepared to help fight for religious freedom all around the world.

PERKINS: Do you anticipate seeing movement in countries like Turkey, like North Korea? Do you really think -- during this Trump administration that we're going to see movement?

SECRETARY POMPEO: We've seen some already... Tony, you know this is a long march, but absent leadership, absent the State Department engaging in this as an important priority, we know that the likelihood of it happening is less. So we'll work in every place to raise the awareness of the centrality of religious freedom not only for individual human dignity, but for success of nations... (Perkins/Pompeo Interview, edited for length: see full transcript, hear full audio interview).

Visit the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. 2) See three-day Schedule, Fact Sheets and Releases. 3) View the livestream HERE and view the archive HERE. 4) View related FRC Panel Discussion with Dr. Thomas Farr and Prof. Robert Destro: Religious Freedom and National Security: Opportunities for Secretary Pompeo. 5) Read Tony Perkins' Obama, Trump a World apart on Freedom; Pompeo Rolls out the Welcome Mat for World Leaders and From Torture to Triumph: The Path Forward.

See last week's prayerregarding this historic event. And please pray diligently that this Ministerial will be a turning point toward real religious liberty for many nations!

  • Lord, we thank you for the religious liberty we enjoy. Thank you that the same liberty has enabled American believers to carry and send the gospel to the ends of the earth and multiplied millions have been saved because of Americans using their liberty! (Ex 18:21; Lev 25:10; Is 61:1; Jn 8:31-36)
  • Lord, American religious liberty is being challenged today as never before. Impress on those who harass people of faith that failure to protect the First Freedom will jeopardize all other liberties. Thank you, for our president making religious liberty a priority, not only at home, but around the world. Help us to preserve and to use the blessings of liberty that You and our forefathers secured for us. May we be ever vigilant to do so (Jer 34:12-16; Gal 5:1; 1 Tim 1:5, 19; 3:9; 4:2). 
  • As the Trump administration and USCIRF embark upon a new effort to influence nations whose peoples do not enjoy religious liberty and labor to build a great coalition of religious liberty advocates around the world, please grant success!  (Pr 11:14; Ec 4:9; Is 42:6-8; 61:1-2)
  • God, liberate the nations bound in the darkness of religious oppression. Break the demonic bonds and tear down the strongholds that have motivated tyrants and oppressors to rape, imprison and murder people because of their faith (1 Cor 6:20; Gal 5:1-15; 2:4-5; Eph 6:10-20).
  • As more and more people become free to believe, we pray for the spread of the gospel. May we see a fulfillment of Matthew 24:14 (ESV): "And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come," just the Lord Jesus predicted! In Jesus's name, Amen! (Is 42:6-8; 61:1-2; Hab 2:14; Mt 24:14; Luke 4:17-19; 6:38)

Finally, 1) This morning, Turkish officials announced that Pastor Andrew Brunson had been released from prison, however he is still under house arrest and his trial will continue. 2) The State of Delaware has become the 15th state to ban counseling to those who seek to overcome same sex attraction. 3) A new study shows that injecting female hormones into male bodies, sought after by many who seek to change their gender, can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke by up to 90 percent. 4) The Air Force is defending the replacing of the Bible in a permanent, longstanding POW/MIA display with a generic "Book of Faith" (Read FRC's View, Sign Petition).

As always, thank you or praying.