For Immediate Release | September 19, 2019
We Pray the President Will #StandBesideUs and Speak Specifically to Genocidal Violence Against 327 Million Christians Worldwide
WASHINGTON—Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of persecuted Christians worldwide, is calling on President Donald Trump to #StandBesideUs by putting the world’s persecutors of Christians on notice that they will be held accountable and experience real costs for their crimes against humanity. The perfect venue for this urgently needed message is the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), which he will address next week in New York City.
The 74th session of the UNGA opened Sept. 17, with the first day of the high-level General Debate on Sept. 24. In the room when Mr. Trump delivers his annual address will be representatives of scores of nations whose governments either persecute Christians or tolerate those who do. With a few well-chosen words, the president may be able to affect materially the behavior of such states and the plight of the Christians who suffer at their hands.
On July 17, during an Oval Office meeting on the margins of the second U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, President Trump visited with 24 victims of religious-based persecution from 17 countries. The largest of the afflicted faith communities was evident in the presence of 11 Christians, reflecting the fact that the vast majority of those subjected to religious intolerance are followers of Jesus Christ. In his remarks, Trump promised to “stand side by side forever” with those persecuted:
“It’s really an honor to be with you, and I will stand side by side with you forever,”said President Trump to the victims. “In America, we’ve always understood that our rights come from God, not from government. In our Bill of Rights, the first liberty is religious liberty. Each of us has the right to follow the dictates of our conscience and the demands of our religious conviction. We know that if people are not free to practice their faith, then all of the freedoms are at risk and, frankly, freedoms don’t mean very much.
“That’s why Americans will never tire in our effort to defend and promote religious freedom. I don’t think any President has taken it as seriously as me. To me, it’s very important. It’s vital. It’s really vital.
“And I just want to thank everybody very much for being with us today. You’ve been through a lot. It’s really an honor to be with you, and I will stand side by side with you forever.”
Having promised to “stand side by side forever” with the persecuted, Save the Persecuted Christians and its coalition partners—numbering nearly 200 civil society leaders who lead a large and growing grassroots base of concerned Americans—ask President Trump to shine a light on the record level of anti-Christian violence experienced by an estimated 327 million Christians in an unprecedentedly large, and growing, number of countries worldwide.* A 2019 government report out of the U.K. describes the violence toward Christians worldwide as genocidal.
Frank Gaffney, president and CEO of Save the Persecuted Christians, said: “We call upon President Trump to use his UNGA address to put on notice the governments who persecute Christians, or enable those who do, by announcing that, henceforth, the United States will hold them accountable and impose real costs for their crimes against humanity. President Trump used precisely these techniques last year to free Pastor Andrew Brunson from harsh imprisonment for his missionary work in Turkey. He needs now to apply this proven ‘Brunson Treatment’ to address the persecution of millions of others who are still suffering often violent and even murderous violence, simply for believing in Jesus.”
Despite Trump’s own, obvious concern about believers’ immense suffering around the world—and that of Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and International Religious Freedom Ambassador Sam Brownback—the rest of the U.S. government usually addresses the persecution of Christians, at best, as comparable to the intolerance experienced by other religious minorities. At worst, anti-Christian persecution is ignored altogether, often in favor of a focus on other victims somehow deemed to be more worthy of—or politically safer to—support.
Consequently, Save the Persecuted Christians is urging Americans of all faiths and no faiths at all to join them in urging the president to use his UNGA speech to clarify and amplify U.S. policy with regard not just to religious freedom in general but to the plight most aggressively and viciously denied it—the world’s Christians. They should call the White House at (202) 456-1414 or email the president at www.whitehouse.gov/contact. The group and its partners are also posting to social media to this end by using #StandBesideUs, where Save the Persecuted Christians has also made available a short social media video suitable for sharing.
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.
Save the Persecuted Christians has developed a dedicated news aggregator—ChristianPersecutionNews.com—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.
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.
* According to Aid to the Church in Need’s biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World, some 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.
To interview a Save the Persecuted Christians representative, contact Media@HamiltonStrategies.com