(Geneva, Switzerland) - Bridges co-sponsors a UN event at the Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue, making a presentation on how interfaith leaders can best work together to address radicalism and conflict. Bridges president Mark Siljander and board member Dr. Safi Kaskas made presentations including new ideas, research and exciting tools of reconciliation. Videos of each presentation can be found below:
(USA) - Board members David Hungerford, Safi Kaskas and Frank Kaufmann launch the beta version of the “Bible Qur’an App.” This App will be revolutionary as a tool for interfaith reconciliation, compiling the entire Qur’an and the entire Bible with over 3000 cross-references linking similar verses. Find out more at: http://biblequranapp.com
(USA) - Memorializing the work of Bridges, the "Toolkit" curriculum is launched - empowering others with the tools and templates to equip Muslims and Christians to do the same and bring the work to scale. Together we can inspire true “peace” through reconciliation with God and neighbor.
(Sudan) - Working with two U.S. Congressmen and others to release two Christian pastors Rev. Hassan Abduraheem Kodi Taour and Abdulmonem Abdumawla, imprisoned for life in Sudan. It was made possible by our long-standing spiritual and relationship-based diplomacy that resulted in pardons given directly from President Omar al-Bashir. Our Crisis Response Team was deployed to Sudan, partnering with Congressman Trent Franks, Congressman Tom Garrett and Hardwired to continue a nearly 100% success rate of releasing persecuted believers around the world.
(See also the related pardon of Pastor Petr Jasek earlier in 2017).
(Sudan) - While deployed to Sudan, our Crisis Response Team, in partnership with Hardwired (another NGO) achieved the release of a Christian prisoner Petr Jasek, a Czech citizen and humanitarian worker who was given 20 years to life in prison. Petr was pardoned and released largely because of a long-standing record of "friendship diplomacy" established by Bridges and our partners. See Hardwired's press release and the video press conference below
Former Congressman Mark Siljander has been in Sudan for the past week to make a personal appeal for Mr. Jasek on Hardwired’s behalf, which led to his release.
Tina Ramirez,Hardwired (NGO)
This is an organization that is spiritually based, person-to-person and it’s approach was hugely successful at encouraging the release of Mr. Petr Jasek.
Congressman Trent Franks,(R), AZ (NGO)
(Geneva, Switzerland) - Bridges president Mark Siljander addresses world leaders at the UN on a panel at the UN, on how to defeat radicalism and hatred. At the invitation of Ambassador Idriss Jazairy, Bridges - presenting unique ideas and new-found religious common ground that encourages peaceful paradigms. Videos of our presentation can be found below:
(Brussels, Belgium) - Days after the Brussels airport terror attacks, and still on semi-lockdown, Bridges president Mark Siljander is asked to address the European Parliament about how best to respond to this growing threat during the European Prayer Breakfast. Bridges made a presentation on how to undermine the ideology of terrorism, in its place encouraging more accurate interpretations of the Abrahamic Holy Books. The video of this presentation can be found below:
Bridges publishes an updated 2nd edition of A Deadly Misunderstanding. 10's of thousands of Muslims and Christians have been using this book. Messianic leaders in Africa, Missionaries and leaders around the world have shared their powerful testimonies about how this book has impacted them and their ministry. Originally published by HarperCollins, Bridges now owns and publishes this book.
(USA) - A New Translation of the Qur’an: Two Bridges board members, one Muslim, and one Christian work together to translate and publish a unique Qur'an with over 3000 Bible verses referenced in the footnotes. Gaining the endorsements of Muslim, Christian and secular leaders alike.
(Central African Republic) - The Bridges team made two trips in response to the Muslim/Christian war. As a direct result of the 1st trip, 2 hostages, both French citizens, Claudia Priest, Father Gustave were released in 24-hours and days later, C.A.R. Minister of Youth and Sports Armel Sayo were set free as a result of the powerful message of reconciliation. (See link below to the milita’s testimony). Moreover, factions returned to the “peace table.” On the 2nd trip to CAR, a peace treaty signed by 10 factions and several powerful encounters of reconciliation and common ground between Muslim and Christian militia leaders. Our quantifiable impact was also measured by the release of child-soldiers and sex-slaves held by these militia groups. Bridges also helped to provide 6000 meals to feed refugees in an internal displacement camp. See video testimonies:
(Sudan) - Bridges team members responded to the case of Meriam Ibrahim, hand delivering a note to the top government officials which directly contributed to the release of this Christian prisoner. Our Crisis Response Team member and seasoned peacemaker Dr. Jeff Burns was deployed twice as part of a larger team, resulting in the release of Meriam Ibrahim. Meriam was imprisoned while birthing a baby in the chains of her Sudanese prison cell; she was sentenced to death for refusing to renounce her faith and is now free, living in America.
(Iran) - Worked with Iranian leadership to free the 2 Christian women sentenced for apostasy (Marzieh Amirizadeh & Maryam Rostampour). Iranian leadership was presented an alternate spiritual path to the court system that resulted in the release of two Iranians, Marzieh Amirizadeh & Maryam Rostampour, imprisoned for 255 days as “converts to Christianity”. They were charged with apostasy and blasphemy. If convicted they would have been executed.
(USA) - Engaged Pastor Terry Jones resulting in his decision to cancel the Qur'an burning ceremony in memory of 9/11. Pastor Terry Jones’ who gained international attention threatening to burn Qur’ans to memorialize 9/11 was offered an alternative he used to avert global riots and what President Obama said would "endanger our young men and women in uniform . .."
(Sudan) - Prayer with the Sudanese President who then decided to stop the flogging of a UN employee, Lubna al-Hussein, for dressing in pants.
A Deadly Misunderstanding - A Congressman' Quest To Bridge The Muslim/Christian Divide is published by HarperCollins. Many top political and religious leaders endorsed this book, including Muslims, Christians, Democrats, Republicans, Ayatollahs, Homeland Security Directors and even heads of state.
In 2009, it received the Nautilus Silver Award: recognizing books that Promote Spiritual Growth, Conscious Living, and Positive Social Change and Stimulate the "Imagination" and Inspire the Reader of "New Possibilities" for a Better World.
(Afghanistan) - The South Korean government requested our Crisis Response Team to come to the aid of the 21 Christian missionaries kidnapped by the Taliban. Two were sadly murdered during their captivity. Our team initiated our model, a process of engagement and was making final preparation to pray with the Taliban captors in Afghanistan when we were ordered by the US government to “stand down”. As a consequence, we passed this important project along to our like-minded friends at the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy (ICRD), who under the leadership of Dr. Doug Johnston, ultimately succeeded in securing the release of the 21 remaining captives.
(Sudan) - Our Crisis Response Team was deployed nearly a dozen times to Sudan over 18+ months praying with President Omar al-Bashir, working directly with the U.N. secretary-general and the U.S. envoy to Sudan, helping to reverse President Bashir ’s reluctance to deploy U.N. Peacekeeping Forces, contributing to the mitigation of the genocide, mass rapes and 2.2 million humans that were displaced.
Recent UN reports on the transformation state: "The situation in Darfur has changed radically for the better since the height of the conflict.." Jean-Pierre Lacroix - UN Under-Secretary, Peacekeeping Operations. Finally, in 2017, the Ali Karti, the Sudan Foreign Minister during the Darfur war, openly attributed Bridges with the success of ending the Darfur debacle. See video testimony of Sudan Foreign Minister, Ali Karti:
(Sudan) - Prayer meetings with the President & government leaders - contributing to an end in the civil war (over 2 million people killed). Multiple prayer meetings with Sudanese leaders and the president leading to a successful peace treaty in a Muslim/Christian civil war.
(Congo, Brazzaville) - Worked with the President & the rebellion funder to end the guerrilla warfare conflict with Pastor Ntumi.
(Libya) - A Crisis Response Team engaged in private meetings with the Gaddafi regime starting in 1999 and contributed days later to the long-sought release of the Libyan 1988 Lockerbie Bombing suspects. 270 men, women and children (189 Americans) were murdered on Pan AM flight 103. Gaddafi accepted responsibility for the bombing and paid compensation to the families. Our follow-up efforts over 1.5 years in spiritual diplomacy with Libya contributed to breaking down decades of resistance with the West and in 2003 Libya also denounced WMDs and their radical/militant agenda.
(Congo, Kinshasa) - Prayer meetings with the Presidents: Joseph Kabila and Paul Kagame leading to the 2002 cease-fire and the Pretoria Accord. Part of a team facilitating private prayer meetings of competing presidents, Joseph Kabila & Paul Kagame of Rwanda in Washington, DC leading to 2002 ceasefire and the Pretoria Accord establishing a Transitional Government of National Unity
(Iraq) - Our Crisis Response Team had two private meetings with the Saddam Hussein regime and was instrumental in his decision to allow the return of UN Weapons inspectors in an attempt to avoid war. However, we were ordered to “stand down” in early 2002 because the "decision had been made".
(Ghana) - Assisting President Kufuor in a peaceful transition and a positive transformation of his country - becoming a beacon of hope in the region. Assisting a successful & peaceful presidential candidate’s transition of power & positive transformation of the country.
(Pakistan) Prayer meetings with President Musharraf which led to the release of over 20 Christian men imprisoned under "Sharia Law" charges.
Prayer meeting with President Musharraf led to release of over 20 Christian men imprisoned for "blasphemy" to care for their starving families left behind unable to work under “Sharia Law”.
(Benin) Established a prayer partnership with President Matthew Kereku, a former communist dictator - resulting in the tribal conflict ending. Established prayer partnership with President Matthew Kereku, a former communist dictator who later won in a free election. He was active in a Jesus-centric national transformation and unity process. He became a friend of the West and led a youth peace movement that help resolve tribal conflict in over 20 villages using a spiritual approach.
(Liberia) - Part of the Muslim/Christian team that encouraged the successful Abuja Peace Accords - ending a conflict that killed 200,000 people. Facilitated a Muslim/Christian team that encouraged the successful Abuja Peace Accords
(Western Sahara) - Prayer meetings with President Mohamed Abdelziz - resulting in the Western Sahara Cease-Fire Agreement - ending a conflict that killed 10's of thousands. Visiting the Sahara a team broke bread with President Mohamed Abdelziz. After prayer and scripture study the president committed to reinstate the 1991 Ceasefire with Morocco