For Immediate Release | Oct. 31, 2019
Nov. 3 and 10 Mark International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church; STPC Maintains News Aggregator to Share Stories of Persecution Worldwide
WASHINGTON—The past year has been marked by devastating attacks on Christians worldwide—and the violence continues unabated. Daily, Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide.
In a special way over the next two Sundays, STPC will join with millions of others to pray for followers of Christ who are facing persecution, attacks, violence and worse, simply because of their faith in Jesus.
This Sunday and next Sunday—Nov. 3 and 10—Christians will join together for the International Days of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. The annual observation sets aside time to unite in prayer for at least 300 million Christians worldwide abused and harassed for their faith.
“Many Christians concerned for their brothers and sisters in Christ pray daily for their safety and peace,” said Save the Persecuted Christians Executive Director Dede Laugesen. “But these two Sundays dedicated to worldwide prayer of solidarity will send the strong message that we are indeed committed to these vulnerable and marginalized people. Where two or three are gathered in His name, there the Lord will be also. How powerful will it be when hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions gather in prayer for the global persecuted church?”
Save the Persecuted Christians coalition partner, Open Doors USA, is making resources available for churches and prayer groups who want to unite in prayer for this special occasion.
Laugesen pointed to several recent headlines as evidence of the grave dangers Christians face worldwide:
- American pastor detained in India:A Tennessee pastor has been arrested in India and is unable to return to the U.S. due to alleged religious persecution, according to information from his church and his attorney.
- China destroys 3,000-seat church, detains pastors: “The People’s Republic of China destroyed a church that reportedly could seat 3,000 people and detained its pastors, according to a human rights organization. China Aid, an international nonprofit Christian human rights group based in Texas (and a member of the Save the Persecuted Christians coalition) reported the incident … According to the group, Chinese authorities provided no legal papers to justify the demolition.
- Six Christian schoolgirls, others abducted by Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria: “Muslim Fulani herdsmen have kidnapped six teenage girls and two staff members at gunpoint from a Christian-run high school in north-central Nigeria amid escalating violence in the region. … (A)rmed Fulani invaded Engravers’ College in Kakau Daji village, in Chikun County Local Government Area near Kaduna city, on Oct. 2 as students and staff members fled into the bushes.”
- ‘World Take Note!’: Genocide of Christians in Nigeria: “Muhammadu Buhari, the Muslim president of Nigeria—who reached that position in part thanks to Barack H. Obama—continues to fuel the ‘genocide’ of Christians in his nation, according to Nigerian Christian leaders. Most recently, Father Valentine Obinna, a priest of the Aba diocese of Nigeria, attributed the ongoing slaughter of Christians to the planned ‘Islamization of Nigeria.’”
- Cameroon: Bible translator murdered in his home as civil war rages on: “A second Bible translator has been killed by suspected Fulani extremists in the civil war-ridden Anglophone region in southern Cameroon … Bible translator Benjamin Tem was murdered in his home in the Wum region…”
- Imprisoned Iranian pastor’s kids denied school certificates for refusing to study Islam: “Imprisoned Iranian pastor Yousef Nadarkhani has gone on a hunger strike to protest the regime’s attempt to bar his children from completing their education because they refuse to study Islam and read the Quran.”
- Turkish planes bomb Syria, causing panic among Christians, others: “Turkish warplanes have begun attacking northeastern Syria, causing widespread panic among Christian and other religious communities caught up in the aerial bombardments. ‘Christians and others are extremely worried,’ Syriac Christian political leader Bassam Ishak told Catholic News Service by phone Oct. 9. ‘The Turkish bombing seems designed to push people out of their towns, if, in fact, they manage to escape alive.’”
Many of these headlines are featured on Save the Persecuted Christians’dedicated news aggregator—ChristianPersecutionNews.com—an effort to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers with an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others. Stories are categorized and resource reports are easily accessible.
For believers around the world, Save the Persecuted Christians seeks to bring awareness about targeted Christians through the “The People of the Cross” exhibit, a series of vertical traveling banners that details Christian persecution in various countries around the world. The exhibit features images, facts and quotes about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as North Korea, where Christians are tortured or worse; Syria, where Christian girls and women have been sold into sex slavery; Nigeria and East Africa, where terrorists are exterminating Christians with genocidal intent; and China, where Communists are increasingly hostile to people of faith. A majority of the countries are high on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.
“The People of the Cross” exhibit has been joined by another, “Warfare on Women,” which reveals the specific terror-tactic used to demean and degrade female believers to instill fear into the heart of Christian communities. To learn more about hosting a traveling exhibit, contact Save the Persecuted Christians or visit the website, where panels are available to view online.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by disseminating actionable information about the magnitude of the persecution taking place globally and by mobilizing concerned Americans for the purpose of disincentivizing further attacks on those who follow Jesus.
According to Aid to the Church in Need’s biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World, 327 million Christians experience persecution. According to Open Doors USA World Watch List, 245 million Christians are victims of high to extreme levels of persecution (i.e., torture, rape, sex-slavery, expulsion, murder and genocide), an increase of 14 percent over 2018. Open Doors also estimates 1 in 9 of the world’s Christians experience persecution and that every month: 345 Christians are killed, often in public and without regard to gender or age; 219 Christians are abducted and imprisoned indefinitely without trial; and 106 churches are demolished.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being attacked, imprisoned and/or exiled for their beliefs, the need has never been greater for the sort of grassroots campaign STPC’s SaveUs Movement is working to foster. Its efforts are modeled after a miraculously successful one that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—by penalizing those in the Kremlin responsible for such repression. Through this movement, Save the Persecuted Christians endeavors to provide American policymakers with the popular support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.
To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com