Dirk Willems was arrested in his hometown of Asperen, Netherlands in 1569. His crime – choosing to be re-baptized as a devoted follower of Christ and hosting worship services in his home – was completely unacceptable to the religious and governmental leaders of his day. The young Dutchman was carted off to a palace that had been converted into a prison to stand trial alongside other religious “troublemakers.”
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Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor in Germany when the Second World War began. He is immortalized for being the one who said, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
In 2005, an African-American man named Jameel McGee was arrested on drug charges by a white officer named Andrew Collins. Like most accused men, McGee adamantly proclaimed his innocence.
Unlike most accused men, he was telling the truth.
In 1940, Langdon Gilkey, equipped only with a degree in philosophy from Harvard, went to China to teach English at Yenching University. Three short years later, he was taken prisoner when the Japanese Army came crashing into the city.
His confinement taught him a powerful lesson: fellow prisoners could be less merciful than the enemy.
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When Moung Nau died in Burma in the 19th Century, he did so as a Christian. The Buddhist had been reached with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in his native land by the efforts of an American missionary who labored and suffered like no other.
But would that missionary’s success be worth the horrible anguish he faced?
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It takes some people longer than others to learn their lesson. Marcus Wayne Hunt is one of those people. For years, he’s been on the wrong side of the law, and as a result, he’s been arrested on multiple occasions.
But his latest arrest may have set a world record.
For years, he served as a highly decorated law enforcement officer. President Clinton appointed him to the National Commission on Crime Prevention and Control in 1995 and he was honored as Sheriff of the Year in 2001. A jail in Colorado was even named after him!
But when former sheriff Pat Sullivan broke the law, he was sent to the very prison that bore his name!
Around 175 AD, a girl of noble descent named Perpetua was born at Carthage, which happened to be the epicenter of Christianity’s growth in northern Africa. Believing Christianity undermined Roman patriotism, Emperor Septimius Severus began a focused persecution of the Christians in that province.
Perpetua and a few friends were immediately arrested…but that was only the beginning of their troubles.
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Prisons in California were recently ordered to release a sizeable number of convicted criminals in order to reduce overpopulation at the state’s correctional facilities. In the process, over 10,000 law breakers were paroled. The early release was only intended to affect inmates deemed a “low risk” to society.
But something went terribly wrong.