MAY 25, 2020
As of today, Brother Dennis Christensen has endured three years of unjust imprisonment in Russia. Since his arrest on May 25, 2017, some friends have asked Brother Christensen how this tribulation has affected his faith. His answer has remained the same: “My faith has become only stronger.”
Brother Christensen relates: “I have experienced what is written in the Bible book of James chapter 1, verses 2 to 3: ‘Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you meet with various trials, knowing as you do that this tested quality of your faith produces endurance.’”
Remarkably, Brother Christensen’s faith, and even his joy, has grown amidst increasing hardships and disappointments.
Immediately after his arrest, Brother Christensen was placed in a pretrial detention facility not far from his home in Oryol. In time, his wife, Irina, was granted permission to visit. Brother Christensen remained in pretrial detention for just over two years. In February 2019, Brother Christensen was sentenced to six years in prison. Three months later, his appeal was denied. He was subsequently transferred to a prison some 200 kilometers (124 mi) away from Oryol, further distancing him from Irina.
For almost a year now, Brother Christensen has qualified to apply for early release. Three of his four applications have been denied. Despite these reasons for disappointment, Brother Christensen remains steadfast.
Brother Christensen humbly admits: “Irina and I are far from perfect, but we have learned to endure and to stay joyful under trial. And what is most important is that we have drawn even closer to our God and Father, Jehovah.”
We pray in full confidence that Jehovah will continue to help all of our dear brothers and sisters in Russia to keep enduring persecution with joy.—Matthew 5:11, 12.