3. International Pressure in media and in diplomacy
The last key to moving a country up the Freedom of Conscience and Religion scale is to apply international pressure through media and diplomacy. This is last because it is both last in importance and last in sequence. The first two keys will precipitate the third.
As an example of a country moving up the Freedom Scale as these three keys factors play out we can look at the imprisonment of Fransisco Penzotti in July of 1890. Penzotti had been won to Christ and discipled by an American Methodist missionary in Uruguay. This missionary sent him out as a licensed preacher and distributor of the Word to the Pacific Coast of South America. Upon founding a Methodist church in Callao, Peru, Penzotti was jailed by the Catholic governor where he preached to the prisoners.
He remained in jail until March of 1891 when a the international pressure mounted for his release. An American engineer by the name of E. E. Olcott had taken his picture in prison and had published it in the New York Herald and other newspapers. Penzotti’s release marked the last time an evangelical would be jailed by Catholic extremists for preaching the gospel.
In this example we see all three factors: a bold foreign missionary having prepared a bold, national believer and international pressure as a result of his persecution.
None of these three keys guarantees religious freedom to be forthcoming for a country. God is sovereign over all the decisions of man. Sometimes God chooses to allow evil to continue that he may be even more glorified in the deaths of his saints and in his eventual and miraculous victory. We cannot pressure to control the events of history or the actions of kings and governments knowing the God alone controls. We will undoubtedly see thousands of martyrs shed their blood for Christ before we see the governments budge and inch. That is why it is key to remember that martyrs die for the cause of Christ not the cause of religious freedom.
These are, however, three God-ordained and history-proven keys that we must employ in every Muslim country in the world. We want to see religious freedom grow because it is just for it’s people and it is good for the wide-spread preaching of the Word.
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I hope these articles written by my friend will at least help you to think through the process. Feel free to comment or ask questions.