Terrorists want to attack America, and Brother Thomas Bruce wants you to pray for them. His web site is ATFP.org. A-T-F-P stands for “Adopt a Terrorist For Prayer.” Those letters stand for “Anti-Terrorism Force Protection” in Defense Department terminology and on the equivalent .net and .com web sites.
Brother Thomas believes the best defense is a good offense. He asserts that the best way to overcome terrorists is to pray for them and their sponsors.
For the past year, ATFP’s web site has featured a gallery with brief biographies of the FBI’s most wanted terrorists and the State Department’s identified terrorism sponsors. It has also featured space for visitors to post prayers for those people.
Brother Thomas recently returned from a year of duty with the Army Reserves in Iraq, and he has updated the web site. Now visitors can register and create a profile so that the number of people committed to praying for each featured terrorist or terrorism sponsor can be counted and posted.
For the past year, Brother Thomas has been in harm’s way at the front line of America’s national response to terrorism. He believes that through this web site everyone can get on the front line of a Christian response.
He believes that the struggle against violence done in the name of Islam is primarily spiritual. Therefore, he believes that defeating such religiously inspired violence requires spiritual engagement. He says, “The intent of terrorists is to inspire terror.” And he says, “According to Jesus, the antidote to fear is love.”
On the home page Brother Thomas writes, “When we hate, we are reactive victims. When we love we seize the initiative. Love for country helps soldiers to risk their lives. Love for children enables parents to discipline them without being intimidated. Love for us took Jesus to the cross. Love for enemies will give courage to face, overcome, and transform them and the environment that breeds them.”
Brother Thomas asserts that the Apostle Paul was once a religiously inspired terrorist. He notes that Stephen was one of his first victims. According to the Bible, as he was dying from Paul’s orchestrated stoning, Stephen prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” Later, Paul met Jesus in a vision and repented. He became as zealous for the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ as he had been against it.
Brother Thomas asks, “Can we pray today like Stephen prayed then?” And he wonders, “Would Paul have seen Jesus if Stephen hadn’t prayed?”
So why the alias “Thomas Bruce?” Brother Thomas identifies with the Apostle Thomas who gets slandered for his skepticism about Jesus’ resurrection. He also notes that of all of Jesus’ closest followers, only Thomas and the women were brave enough to be out on the streets of Jerusalem when afraid for their lives following Jesus’ crucifixion. And what about the pseudo-surname Bruce? Brother Thomas says, “Lots of courageous famous characters have the name Bruce. Heck, Chuck Norris himself probably wishes it’d been his.”