President Donald Trump met on July 17 survivors of religious persecution, including several Christians, in the Oval Office in the White House.
A group of 27 people from different countries, including China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Myanmar, and Turkey told president Trump of the hardships they endured in their home countries because of their faith, reports Premier.
We know that if people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much. —US President Donald Trump
Helen Berhane from Eritrea narrated how she was imprisoned in a metal shipping container for 32 months for being a member of Rema church, an unregistered evangelical church in the African country. She was arrested in 2004 and was later granted asylum in Denmark. A gospel singer, she has since then released a Christian album. She asked Trump to help pastors and Christians still in prison for their faith. “I am a voice for those voiceless,” Berhane said.
Pastor Andrew Brunson, mistakenly linked to a failed coup attempt in Turkey and was imprisoned for two years, was also one of Trump’s audience. He said his ordeal gave hope to many young Iranians. “I want to tell you, an Iranian woman told me today that you’re fighting for me — the most powerful person in the world fighting for someone who is not known at all — was an inspiration to many people.”
A Christian from Iran disclosed to Trump how her family’s been arrested for preaching the Gospel. “My father was sentenced to 10 years in prison, my mother 5 years. We still don’t know about my brother.”
President Trump assured the group that he will do something to help the plight of victims of religious persecution. “Each of us has the right to follow the dictates of our conscience and the demands of our religious conviction. We know that if people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much.”