By: Robert Clarke, Deputy Director of ADF International
As Christians, we should all be concerned when government actions hinder the spread of the Gospel and undermine the sanctity of life. After all, we know the most wonderful news: Christ died for our sins and conquered death so that we may live. And that is not something we can keep to ourselves.
ADF International is dedicated to keeping the doors open for the Gospel worldwide so that every nation, tribe, and tongue may hear that Good News. And there is much work to be done.
Here are just a few cases that you should know about.
1. Criminal investigation for “hate speech” in Finland
When a member of Finland’s Parliament, Päivi Räsänen, directed a tweet at the leadership of her church, questioning its official sponsorship of the LGBT event “Pride 2019” and quoting Scripture, a criminal investigation is probably not the result she expected. But that’s what happened. In fact, Räsänen has faced a total of four police investigations simply for expressing her beliefs in various forums.
ADF International is supporting the defense of Räsänen and her right to express her religious beliefs as she undergoes these investigations.
2. Church meeting place threatened with demolition in Russia
In Russia, most Evangelical churches can’t acquire property and must meet in residential buildings. That’s exactly what one registered group of Evangelical Christian Baptists was doing—meeting in a residence owned by the pastor. But now, this pastor’s building has been sealed for allegedly violating zoning regulations, and the Russian authorities have started new proceedings to demolish the building.
The ADF International team is appealing this case to the European Court of Human Rights.
3. Depressed grandmother euthanized in Belgium
When Tom Mortier, who teaches at a university in Belgium, received a message from the hospital informing him that his mother had been euthanized, he was shocked. He had no idea that she was going to be given a lethal injection. Tom’s mother had suffered with chronic depression for more than 20 years and had experienced a particularly challenging time after a long-term relationship ended. The doctors who signed off on her request for euthanasia had no previous involvement treating her And the doctor that administered the euthanasia did so after Tom’s mother made a 2,500 EUR payment to an organization that doctor founded. He also sits as co-chair of the government body responding for “approving” euthanasia cases, after the fact.
ADF International is representing Tom before the European Court of Human Rights and challenging the state for failing to protect the life of his mother.
4. Indian Christians acquitted after being falsely accused of kidnapping
In India, a group of 60 children were on their way to Bible camp when they were stopped by the authorities. Despite the fact that their parents had consented to them attending this camp, the adults who were accompanying them, six men and two women, were arrested on false allegations of kidnapping and forceful religious conversion.
Thankfully, allies of ADF International stepped in on their behalf, and all of these Christians were acquitted.
5. The importation of religious literature forbidden in Azerbaijan
Government authorities in Azerbaijan refused to allow the importation of religious literature which they deemed inappropriate. This was bad news for minority religious groups whose work can be hindered by the operation of these blacklists. In its third-party intervention before the European Court of Human Rights, ADF International emphasized the impact these lists have on religious minorities.
Thankfully, the Court ruled that Azerbaijan had, in fact, violated the European Convention, paving the way for greater religious freedom in Azerbaijan where Christians make up less than 5 percent of the population.
We are grateful to God for these victories and trust that He is at work in our ongoing cases. Please join us in praying for our brave clients who are taking a stand—not so they may be glorified, but so God may be glorified through them.
To learn more about the work that ADF International is doing, visit the website.
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