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September 23, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Formerly persecuted pastor Andrew Brunson offered some solemn advice to America for the challenges facing the country Tuesday evening at the Family Research Council’s (FRC’s) annual Values Voters Summit. The Protestant pastor spent almost two years in a Turkish prison until his release in 2018, following months of public pressure and private negotiations by the Trump administration.

From COVID-19 to the economy to numerous other pressures, Brunson told FRC president Tony Perkins he believes “we’re being prepared as a church for how to stand against even greater pressures to come.”

Brunson said he feels a sense of “urgency” in this period of “increasing hostility toward people who identify as followers of Jesus Christ,” and believes “many people in the United States and the church especially were not prepared for current pressures” – despite the fact that Jesus Christ told His followers to expect to be hated and persecuted for believing in Him.

“We as a church need to prepare for difficult times,” Brunson warned, saying “we’re always one generation away from losing our values and our culture.”

To prepare, he advised that American Christians “first be aware that it can happen,” despite the relative lack of anti-Christian persecution in US history, and second to “focus on loving God,” because “we are more willing to suffer for one that we love.”

“Are we going to be more afraid of the Twitter mob or of standing before God?” Brunson asked.

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