Tortured Missionary Granted Religious Asylum
San Francisco, CA–A Christian missionary who was jailed and tortured by authorities in two Middle Eastern countries has been granted religious asylum by the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service.
Nabil Abbar (whose name has been change to protect him and his family) wept tears of joy when he received the news. Abbar endured horrendous physical abuse at the hands of the police in his own country and elsewhere due to his commitment to spreading the Gospel. The objective of government security forces was to obtain information on the identities of other Christians, Muslims with whom he shared his faith, and foreign missionaries.
Abbar was temporarily released by his interrogators and ordered to come back on a given date with a list of names. He skipped the appointment. Instead, a door opened up at that moment and Abbar was able to enter the United States on a temporary visa and began serving in a ministry on the west coast. While in the United States he learned that the police in his native country were searching for him. Because returning to his homeland placed him and others in imminent peril, he sought religious asylum. Attorneys for the Pacific Justice Institute (PJI) took the case and filed his 84-page petition with federal authorities.
“You might have heard the biblical story of the three men who were thrown into a furnace by their government for being faithful to God,” said Brad Dacus, president of PJI, which represented Abbar for more than two years on his asylum petition. “That story could serve as an apt metaphor for what Christians like Abbar experience in the Middle East every day. Just as God protected Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, he protected Abbar.”
In addition to the in-house attorneys, PJI would like to acknowledge the work of affiliate attorney Brian Barner on this case.