Pastors Imprisoned for Faith Speak Out on Mental Health Challenges, Purpose to Pain

5:00PM 3/24/2021 Nadia Joy Schult

Christians from more than 1,200 churches in over 150 countries around the world gathered for an Imprisoned for Christ virtual event hosted by The Voice of the Martyrs.

The event highlighted the testimonies of three faith leaders imprisoned for their beliefs and the ways the Lord revealed His faithfulness to them, even in the midst of the hardest moments.

"My first concern was not that I will actually die in prison," said Petr Jasek, who was arrested, charged as a spy and sentenced to life in a Sudanese prison. "I was feeling like I am losing my sound mind, and I was praying hard asking the Lord, 'Please keep my mind sound.' The Holy Spirit kept reminding me of important passages from Scripture that continued to give me peace."

Pastor Andrew Brunson could also attest to the trials of solitary confinement, as he spent two years in a Turkish prison, and the toll it can take on mental health.

"I read that there are many people who go under that valley of testing, and that the valley of testing is full of the skeletons, the dry bones of believers who failed. It is not that they lose their salvation. They end up losing their friendship with God and having lives with no fruit," said Brunson.

The Lord worked in miraculous ways through their suffering. Now they rejoice in God's mercy to allow them to share their experiences with other and, hopefully, offer light in what is commonly a dark and treacherous path.

Through his prison transfer, Jasek learned to pray, "Lord, now I know why I had to stay in prison: because these people needed to hear the gospel."

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