Regular WND readers should be familiar with the name Julio Severo, the fearless and plain-spoken Brazilian Christian writer whose commitment to the defense of biblical marriage and sexuality in his home country brought the wrath of Brazil’s super-powerful LGBT bullies down upon him. But rather than compromise his faith and God’s truth, about a decade ago Julio and his wife, Sarah, fled into the jungles of a neighboring country with their young family to avoid threatened prosecution under then-pending “anti-homophobia” laws. There, literally in exile, he continued to champion the pro-family cause, becoming an international hero whose superb articles and analysis became a staple for many Christians around the world. And during this time his family grew to seven beautiful children from 18 down to 6 years old: Esther, Michael, Elijah, Joshua, David, Hannah and Peter.
Today I am sad to report that Julio Severo, 51, an exemplary husband and father died last week, apparently of a heart attack, leaving Sarah and the children in a crisis situation. This article is to appeal for prayer support and financial help for the Severo family from his “extended family” of WND readers. But first I want you to know something about the sacrificial, Christ-serving life Julio lived.
Not only did Julio suffer exile to stand firmly for the Bible, he also became a target of international LGBT persecution. As WND reported in 2018, Facebook banned him for posting a Bible verse:
“[Recently] WND reported that Christian writer and blogger Julio Severo accused Facebook of punishing him … for posting Leviticus 18:22 in Portuguese, ‘Não de deitarás com homem, como se fosse mulher; abominação é.’ (‘Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.’) Facebook sent a message to Severo that said: “… Something You Posted doesn’t follow our Community Standards … [because it] attack[s] people based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender or disability.'”
After WND publicized this outrage, Facebook backed off and reinstated him.
Julio was one of the first Christian activists to be “canceled” (and never reinstated) by a tech giant. PayPal, which closed his account under pressure from LGBT agitators, severely hampering his ability to receive the donations his family depended upon for their income. He also became a favorite target of the powerful and malicious anti-Christian group Right Wing Watch. Eventually, no platform would let him solicit support, and he was reduced to relying on wire transfers to a U.S. bank account set up by a pastor, which reduced his support to only people willing to put up with the inconvenience. But that never stopped Julio, and never changed his Christ-like attitude.
In the 2019, my wife and I wanted to send Christmas presents to his sweet and lovable children, having met the family in person a couple of years before on a missionary foray in their adopted country. The following was his email reply when we asked about the children’s interests.
Scott, thank you for your patience in awaiting. Your questions triggered interesting answers from our children, and they took some time to come. Let us see them:
Esther, our oldest daughter (15 years old) just loves to draw and paint. There is no need to ask her for her interest because she spends a lot of time drawing!! …
Michael, who is 13 years old, wants to work in computing.
Elijah, 10 years old, wants to be a policeman. He watched TJ Hooker (with some obvious parental “censorship” on inappropriate scenes) and he loves it!
Joshua, 8 years old, wants to be a singer.
David, 6 years old, wants to be a commercial jet aircraft pilot.
Hannah, 5 years old, wants to be like her mother. This was her sweet answer!
Peter, 3 years and 10 months, has no interest about his future right now. He just loves to enjoy his play time with little cars, which he loves! …
When later we learned how prohibitively expensive it would be to ship the presents, we sent cash instead for a “shopping spree.” This was his reply when it arrived: “Thank you very much, Scott! Yes, we are making a shopping spree, but please do not be disappointed with me: we are buying clothes for them.” Until then we had not realized just how poverty-stricken they were because he never used his family’s situation to solicit support.
Those of us with a calling to be missionary activists know that our path of ministry can be very hard on our families, and for that reason many give up, but Julio never did. He pressed on in his calling with everything he had in him, and I have no doubt that the Lord received him into His presence last week with the greeting “Well done, good and faithful servant.” But Julio has left behind eight dependents and no financial legacy because he spent all he had, including himself, to serve the Cause of Christ. Like Paul, he poured out his life like a drink offering.
In the third-world country where they live there is no government safety net, and the church network is as poor as the people they serve. It remains to us, his extended Christian family in the first world, to step into the gap, remembering the admonition of James 1:27: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress.”
A few of us have formed an ad hoc committee called Friends of Julio Severo to raise money for the support of Sarah and the children, and, if possible, to bring them to the U.S. through the legal immigration process – perhaps, in time, even to help his dear children achieve the dreams for their future they shared with their loving father, who now cannot do that himself.
If you would like to help in this goal, we have created an account through my website to receive whatever tax-deductible donations you feel prompted to give, 100% of which will be used for this purpose. Go here and be sure to click the option “Emergency Help for Julio Severo Family” under the “Your Donation Intent” section. We are also seeking referrals for a pro-bono or low-cost immigration attorney, which you can send by email to [email protected]. And even if you cannot help financially, please do lift up Julio’s family in your prayers.
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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.