For Immediate Release | Save the Persecuted Christians | February 21, 2020
Letters Delivered Today, as Trump Prepares for Trip to India Next Week
WASHINGTON—Save the Persecuted Christians, which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, sent a letter to President Donald Trump this morning, outlining the many ways the nation of India is mistreating Christians.
“Save the Persecuted Christians is privileged to help facilitate a multi-faceted NGO and faith leaders effort to inform the president and his administration on anti-Christian violence and discrimination in India,” said STPC Executive Director Dede Laugesen. “Through our united effort, we believe we can have greater impact and influence even as we, each in our own way, continue the important work to which we have been called.”
Trump is scheduled to travel to India Monday and Tuesday.
“We write to you in connection with your impending trip to India, a nation in which Christians are being subjected to a rising tide of violence and discrimination,” a letter from STPC President and CEO Frank Gaffney stated. “During the premiership of Narendra Modi, his country has moved inexorably up the Open Doors World Watch List of the 50 countries in which it is most dangerous to be a Christian. Believers are routinely subjected to mob violence, lynchings, church closings, discrimination. And those responsible usually go unpunished. As a result, India is ranked today as the 10th worst nation in the world to be a Christian. To cite but one example, India continues to detain and mistreat U.S. Pastor Bryan Nerren, a native of Tennessee. Thank you for expressing your concern for him. We pray that you will bring him home on Air Force One.
“Save the Persecuted Christians urges you to take two other actions, one symbolic, the other practical: First, we request that you accept an invitation we understand you have received to meet during your trip with Indian Christian clerics. By so doing, you will help protect those courageous faith leaders long after you leave their country. Secondly, we respectfully ask that you impress an important point upon Prime Minister Modi—it will be impossible to enjoy the necessary and enduring public support in America that you both seek if Christians continue to be subjected to intense, often violent and unindicted, persecution in India.”
Gaffney’s letter was accompanied by several other documents:
- A second letter from members of the International Religious Freedom Roundtable, which highlighted the plight of Pastor Nerren, mob violence and the incidence of states in India enforcing anti-conversion legislation. This letter was signed by more than 20 organizations, such as Council on Minority Rights in India, Family Research Council, Jubilee Campaign, Open Doors USA, Persecution Relief, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, Concerned Methodists, Save the Persecuted Christians and the William Wilberforce Center, along with many individuals.
- An STPC-compiled fact sheet on India, which details Hindu nationalism, how Christians are suffering, and examples of and headlines about persecution.
- A “Commentary on Religious Persecution In India,” by Don Shenk, director of the Gospel Tide Broadcasting Association, and an STPC Coalition partner, which has worked in India for 40 years. In the document, Shenk noted:
“It is a well-known and accepted fact that the overwhelming majority of people in India identify as Hindu. However, throughout most of India’s history since independence the country has demonstrated great tolerance of other religions and today officially presents itself as a secular country that allows religious freedom.
“Unfortunately, under the current administration, the government of India has been increasingly expressing the intent of transiting the country into a Hindu nation. It may be debated whether this is motivated by Hinduism or Hindutva; whether the current BJP dominated government is driven by a desire to preserve cultural identity or by religious zeal, but it cannot be denied that this movement is contributing to an intensification in persecution of those who identify themselves with any other religion beside Hinduism and related animistic tribal belief systems.”
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.
With so much of the world’s Christian population being imprisoned and/or harassed for their beliefs, such as believers in India, 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