Freedom was born in Switzerland and raised in Turkey, before coming to the United States to play basketball. He was drafted by the Utah Jazz as the third overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and debuted that same year.
The Bleacher Report recently described him as one of the most underrated players of the past 10 years citing his top ten performances in career rebounds and offensive rebounds, as well as his general awareness on the field.
Liberty has long been a critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, often calling him a dictator. Although his family still lives in Turkey, Freedom has said in previous interviews that he hasn’t spoken to them in years, which hurts him. But he says contact must be cut off due to the political climate there and his criticism of the system.
While with the New York Knicks, Freedom said in 2019 that he skipped a team trip to London because he feared getting killed, while calling the Turkish president a “terrible madman” and a “dictator”.
Other speakers at the Martyrs’ March include Shakun; David Carey, President and CEO, Open Doors USA; Esther Zhang, a survivor of Christian persecution in China and North Korea; Jacob Quinn, founder of Stay Here, an organization dedicated to ending the mental health crisis and suicide; the father. Simon Chakki, Chaldean Catholic priest; Jason Jones, filmmaker, humanitarian, and founder of the Vulnerable People Project; Shane Winnings, CEO and President of Overcomers Inc. , an evangelical organization that assists Christians in preaching and teaching the gospel; Russell Johnson, pastor of Chase Church; and Ryan Helvenbein, executive director of the Standing Up for Freedom Center.
Another major speech will be delivered by Evangelist Pastor Andrew Bronson, who worked to spread Christianity in the Middle East for years before being imprisoned in Turkey for two years.
Chacon said his experience as a priest in the Middle East, as well as his imprisonment, would be the subject of his speech.
Up to 1,000 people are expected to participate in this year’s rally, which begins at 3 p.m. with an opening crowd before moving from the National Mall to the nearby Museum of the Bible. A new addition to this year’s event includes free bus transportation for any group of 50 people located within three or four hours of the walk.
Chacon said the buses would pick up the groups and drop them off at the end of the night. Interested groups can send an email [email protected].
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In addition to the march, Chacon’s organization leads an annual missionary trip to visit persecuted Christians around the world. In 2021, Chacon and her team went to Iraq.
The organization spreads awareness of Christian persecution through online content, especially through videos. Chacon said it also sponsors various development projects abroad to help persecuted Christians such as a computer lab in Iraq for internally displaced Christians.
According to Open Doors USA, an organization dedicated to serving persecuted Christians around the world, more than 360 million Christians around the world face persecution and severe discrimination because of their faith.
The organization, which compiles a Global Watch List of the “Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hard to Follow Christ,” ranks Afghanistan as the world’s largest persecutor of Christians, citing “Muslim persecution”.
Other countries that make up the top ten in order include North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan, Iran and India. China ranks 17th on the list. Turkey ranks 42nd.