Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, former President and General Secretary of the Kachin Baptist Convention. / The Irrawaddy

21W President Emeritus Everett Challenges DBU Students: Stand with the Persecuted

Eyes were opened to the plight of millions of Christian brothers and sisters across the world during a recent Dallas Baptist University convocation led by 21Wilberforce Founder and President Emeritus Randel Everett. He spoke to over 1000 students and faculty of DBU about the need to stand with the persecuted Church

Everett talked about Mariam Ibraheem, a Sudanese woman who was scheduled for execution and almost kicked to death in prison. A real hero of faith and the author of Shackled, Ibraheem is scheduled to speak at DBU this fall.

He then highlighted the case of Pastor Hkalam Samson who has been imprisoned by the Burmese government since 2022.

The prominent Kachin Baptist pastor, Rev. Dr. Hkalam Samson, was arrested at Mandalay’s Tad-U Airport on December 4, 2022, before boarding a flight to Thailand for medical treatment. He is a former President and General Secretary and current advisor of the Kachin Baptist Convention. He was reportedly arrested for his preaching during Bible classes. He also actively advocated for human rights and prominently helped the victims of brutal airstrikes by the military junta. The official charges were terrorism, unlawful association, and inciting opposition to the military regime. He was sentenced to six years imprisonment on April 7, 2023. His family is concerned about his deteriorating health and a recent appeal letter that was rejected.

“The students were very engaged as I shared why it was essential that we stand with the persecuted,” said Everett. “They were especially sensitive to the situation of Dr. Samson who represents so many others around the world who are suffering for their faith.”

At the conclusion of Everett’s message, over 80 Dallas Baptist University students wrote notes and prayers of encouragement that 21Wilberforce is passing to Dr. Samson and his family. A few of their notes are shared below:

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.“ James 1:2 NLT. We are praying for you and are so thankful for your amazing work. Take heart, and be joyful in the Lord. I have never experienced anything like you have, but I am so encouraged to hear the work that you are doing. I pray that would receive God’s peace and joy as troubles come your way.”

“May the Lord keep you through this difficult time! Even while you are suffering for Christ’s name now, I know you will be rewarded greatly in heaven. Your family will be in my prayers for comfort, peace, strength, and hopefully freedom. You have been doing the Lord’s work faithfully!”

“Hello Dr. Samson. I was made aware of your imprisonment this morning from our chapel speaker at Dallas Baptist University. I am a college student and am in complete awe of your dedication to our Lord Jesus Christ. The little bit that I have heard from your testimony convicts me and challenged me to not take advantage of the faith but be thankful and intentional with Jesus.”

If you would like to send a note of encouragement to Pastor Samson and/or help advocate for his release, contact [email protected].