Pastor Andrew Brunson, who served as a missionary in Turkey for over 20 years, recently predicted that U.S Christians will face increased persecution in the near future.
“On my return to the US just over two years ago, for the first time in my life—most of my life I've been focused overseas—for the first time in my life, I really, I have an urgency for this country, for the United States," Brunson explained. "And not just with this election. It's not precipitated by this election, but it has been growing in me these last two years."
He warned of increasing pressures in the U.S, especially towards people “who embrace Jesus Christ and his teaching, who are not ashamed to stand for him. My concern is that we're not ready for this pressure. And not being prepared is very, very dangerous on a number of levels."
In 2016, Brunson was unjustly imprisoned in Turkey after the government accused him of partaking in an alleged coup against Turkish President Erdogan. Bruson then spent the next two years in prison despite having nothing to do with the allegation.
Fortunately, the imprisoned pastor would be released following diplomatic intervention from the Trump administration. Brunson had also established the Izmir Resurrection Church, which preached Christ and tended to Syrian refugees, including Kurds.
Despite his imprisonment, Brunson believes God would providentially use his story to help prepare other Christians to persevere despite the forthcoming trials
“I think one of the purposes God had for me in my imprisonment was that I learned perseverance at a deeper level again and again and again, as I was repeatedly broken and finally he rebuilt me," he noted. "But one of the purposes he had for me was to learn this perseverance so that I could help to prepare others to persevere."
Whether or not President Trump can overturn the 2020 election, Brunson says persecution will come no matter who is in the White House.
“Whoever ends up prevailing in this election, I believe that persecution is still coming and it's coming quickly and it's coming soon," he cautioned. "So if President Trump prevails, it will delay persecution at a government level, but this will not keep us from the hostility that's rising in our society toward followers of Jesus."
Even though Jesus “was the most loving, kind person in history,” he was called evil, Brunson said, and that the same is to be expected for all Christians.
“They will say that we are evil and they will justify everything they do to us because they will paint us as evil people," Brunson continued. "What is heavy on my heart, is that we need to prepare ourselves to prepare our own hearts."
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Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.