We rejoice for his life and homecoming, but our hearts are heavy here at CBN News over the loss of another champion of religious freedom.
Rev. Keith Roderick passed into glory Monday night at his home in Springfield, Ill. Please pray for his family.
An Episcopal priest, Roderick was secretary general of the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights. He was a committed encourager of the oppressed who called for church unity, and rallied Christians of all denominations to support their persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ.
I first met Roderick in Washington, D.C., as he stumped Capitol Hill defending the Christians of South Sudan. He tirelessly lobbied members of Congress, insisting that they enact legislation that would help the South Sudanese overcome sharia law imposed on them by the Islamic regime in Khartoum. Prior to his Sudan work, Roderick served as an advocate for Soviet Jews and prisoners of conscience.
Father Keith often urged Christians to rise from their church pews, put their faith into action by organizing demonstrations, contacting legislators, and writing letters. Why allow oppressors of religious freedom in the Middle East to define the terms of the global religious freedom debate?
Not only should Christians go on the offensive in the debate, Roderick said, but they should also take their protests to the doorsteps and homes of the supporters and defenders of the oppressors.
Speaking before the Faith Under Fire conference in Chicago in March 2012, Rev. Roderick urged Christians to get involved:
Rev. Roderick was an occasional guest on our Christian World News program. We'll miss his insights and advocacy, and Christians around the world will miss their friend who gave a voice to the voiceless.
Father Ketih was like a tenacious bugler calling a Christian army to advance. Now that the bugler has fallen, who will be the next advocate to stir the troops? Who will sound the trumpet and lead the charge?
Watch as he describes what is at stake: