Contributed by Vic Kohring
Christians have been the subject of persecution throughout time. The apostle, Paul, one of Jesus' twelve disciples, was persecuted by the Roman government for preaching his message of salvation. He wrote multiple letters to supporters from prison, some of which became the basis of books in the New Testament including 1st and 2nd Corinthians. Fast forward to the year 2016 and you see a U.S. government reminiscent of the Roman Empire in terms of its hostile attitude toward Christianity.
The Muslim sympathizing the Obama administration has used its power to harass Christians, deploying agencies such as the IRS to attack conservative Christian groups. The Justice Department has been used as a weapon to force the administration's mandates down the throats of Christians who oppose Obama's progressive agenda on moral grounds, an agenda contrary to traditional family values reflecting the sanctity of marriage and protecting lives of the unborn. Moreover, Obama has celebrated Ramadan and visited mosques while simultaneously attempting to block the traditional evangelical, Christian-based National Day of Prayer, an annual event for over 60 years established by President Truman.
The Democrat Party has spiraled downward into secularism over the past generation, attempting to cast God out of this country. Under the Democrats’ watch, school prayer was banned. Near unlimited access to abortion remains prominent in their party's platform. Hillary Clinton and host of democrats have led a chorus against conservative, largely Christian talk radio, to limit or even ban its programming. They're also attempting to restrict and censure the use of the internet, a threat to the dominant liberal, mainstream media that attempts to mold the thinking of Americans with socialist doctrine. Hillary even wishes to "reeducate" Christians not in rigid lockstep with her. It's scary.
A large number of Christians, myself included, have been targeted by the FBI and thrown in prison. When I sat rotting in a cell near Death Valley, California years ago, I was surrounded by many who were genuine men of God and whose transgressions were minor and far from criminal. Some of these people were active in the Christian ministry including pastors and various leaders of the church, even a missionary. It was incredible to think we were all incarcerated by a government that's supposed to be fair, unbiased and of the people. Some, if not most, were being appropriately punished for legitimate crimes against society, but others clearly were not.
One elderly inmate whom I befriended was a dental surgeon who did mission work as a volunteer in the Turks Islands. The poor fellow was falsely accused of investing money in illegal tax shelters and forced under great pressure into a plea deal he later recanted. The charges were a crock. I experienced the same as mine, involved ludicrous bribery claims over a minuscule hundred dollar gift from a friend while a legislator. Would either of us have been tossed in jail if we were not conservative men of faith? I seriously doubt it. An atheist democrat would never have been treated the same.
Another Christian leader who found himself in the crosshairs of the U.S. government is the Reverend Dr. Kent Hovind. I've enjoyed the evangelist's ministry for years and find him a superb speaker who convincingly presents the gospel in a logical, fact-based easy to understand way. Unbelievably, Hovind also found himself in prison for years. His "crime" was allegedly not following Big Brother's tax laws to a tee and being nailed on technicalities.
While imprisoned, I attempted to emulate Saint Paul through letter writing as an encouragement to others. Like Paul, I was persecuted by an ungodly, anti-Christian government. I'm of course no Paul as he's a titan in the annals of history, but there are similarities between him and me. He was a Christian who was a target of a repressive government, but used his experience in a positive way to help others and win souls. I'm hoping that my letters from jail were likewise a source of inspiration and that writings in the pages of this publication, postings on my websites and social media and my book manuscripts will provide comfort and encouragement to those down and out and in need of God.