Imprisoned South Sudan Pastors Unafraid
Yat Michael and David Yein say they are unafraid even though they face possible execution in Sudan.
The two Presbyterian pastors are accused of spying in Khartoum, and have been jailed since last December (Yein) and January (Michael).
On trial since May 19, they've been officially charged with "inciting organized groups" and "offending Islamic beliefs." Sudanese law (sharia) requires them to be executed if they are convicted.
Both Christians--who are from South Sudan--say they had no hidden agenda while visiting Khartoum; they were only answering God's call to share the Word with the people of Sudan.
In an exclusive CBN News interview, Senior International Correspondent George Thomas talked to the two pastors via telephone from their Khartoum prison cell.
Yat Michael told Thomas while he has not suffered physical beating during his imprisonment, he has experienced psychological intimidation. Also, he said it has been two months since he's been allowed to talk with his family.
Speaking mostly in Arabic, David Yein told Thomas he is "not afraid of anything" because "God chose me to suffer."
He asks that Christians pray that his suffering will "be for the glory of God" in the prison.
You may watch and listen to each interview here. I've also provided a transcript of both interviews and a translation of Yein's comments which were spoken in Arabic:
Reverend Yat Michael: We are fine thanks be to God. We were being here for five to six months since we were arrested. David Yein Was arrested 14th of December up to today. And I was arrested on 11 January up to today.
George Thomas: Have they done anything to you, have they beaten you, have they tried to intimidate you?
Yat Michael: No. They were…it was just only a psychologically incitement because we were being separated from our families for two months without hearing them. That was a tough problem to us.
We came from South Sudan and because of the war in South Sudan we came here in Sudan and we just go to go do our ministry training in our church and then they came to me-especially myself-- they arrest me in my house. I don’t know why they do that. When they interviewed me, they asked me why I’m preaching here. I say I am preaching because this is my call. I am a pastor. I must speak the Word of God. They say no, you don’t need to preach the Word of God with a hidden agenda. I said no, I don’t have any hidden agenda. They accused me because I’m a spy here. They say like that.
George Thomas: How are you doing inside the prison, how is your faith?
Yat Michael: Yeah, it is my destination. My faith, I don’t, I don’t even I don’t have a sense of patience 15:28 I must call on my faith. It is not a new thing to me. They just keep us for nothing. They just keep us in the prison for nothing. And they are terrible to us. We are staying in, for confinement without any crime that we commit.
Reverend David Yein:
George: Are you afraid that you could be killed for this?
David Yein: No, I am not afraid of anything….I am never afraid of anything because it is my love, it is my being, because I believe. God chose me to suffer.
(Arabic translated to English)
I’m not afraid from doing my ministry and my message I’m chosen by God. I serve him in any circumstances, be instant in season, out of season.
George Thomas: I’m sure you miss your wives a lot…
David Yein: I missed her. We can’t be together because there is a legal restriction, but she sees me from the window, and she is sure that I’m here. I’m really here with a good condition, but I’m waiting to be outside.
George Thomas: Will you still continue to preach The Gospel?
David Yein: I preach and serve and I’m sending the message of the gospel to the whole world as the lord said: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
George Thomas: Have you had a chance to preach The Gospel in prison to other people?
David Yein: We have a church in the prison and we pray with the prisoners and the sentenced and the accused people.
George Thomas: Pastor, how can we pray for you, how can we pray for you and the other brother?
David Yein: We want you to pray that this test be for the glory of God in this place… and for us to be in peace with our people and the ones who are against us.