Hungary, Brazil Foreign Ministers Host Breakthrough U.N. Panel Decrying Persecution of Christians, Need to Act
Save The Persecuted Christians Urges Costs for the Persecutors
WASHINGTON, D.C. —One of the most extraordinary programs ever conducted at the United Nations took place this morning as Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjártó and his Brazilian counterpart, Foreign Affairs Minister Ernesto Araújo, convened a program with their peers from the United Kingdom (Lord Tariq Ahmad) and the Philippines (Teodoro Lopez Locsin), the Vatican’s Secretary of State (Pietro Cardinal Parolin), the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor (Robert Destro), the EU’s Special Representative for Human Rights (Eamon Gilmore), and Ambassadors from Lebanon (Ghady El Khoury) and Hungary (Katalin Annamária Bogyay).
This panel discussion titled, “Rebuilding Lives, Rebuilding Communities: Ensuring a Future for Persecuted Christians” was held in the aftermath of the historic “Global Call to Protect Religious Freedom” convened by President Donald Trump at the United Nations earlier in the week and the launch of an International Religious Freedom Alliance announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his second annual Ministerial on Protecting Religious Freedom in Washington last July.
What made the U.N. event so memorable, and so unusual these days, is that each of the speakers actually addressed, albeit it to varying degrees, the plight of Christians around the world who are being horrifically persecuted for their faith. Tragically, even though this crisis is arguably the most catastrophic, sustained assault on human beings in the history of the world—afflicting by some estimates 327 million (as it happens, a number equivalent to the current population of the United States) simply because they follow Jesus—anti-Christian persecution mostly goes unmentioned by governments, the media and among the public at large.
Several of the speakers did much more than describe and decry what is happening to Christian believers in scores of countries across the globe. Among their key points:
- Followers of Jesus suffer the preponderance of religious persecution. For example: “Four out of five of those killed for their faith are Christians.” 4,100 Christians were killed past year alone or roughly 250 every month, with such murders taking place in some 50 countries. And the problem is getting worse, not better.
- Nations must “speak up about anti-Christian persecution.” We must be silent on this topic no more.
- To paraphrase a popular metaphor concerning the Amazon, “Christianity is the spiritual lungs of the world.” And “action, not just words, is required” to defend it. “We must name names.” And “we must fight.”
- Such action must include holding anti-Christian persecutors accountable.
- Britain’s Foreign Minister, who happens to be Muslim, declared that his government has started applying a “lens” to its foreign aid disbursements to deny such funding to persecutors.
- It is not enough to “defend religious freedom as long as no religion is involved.” We must defend Christianity.
Frank J. Gaffney, President and CEO of Save the Persecuted Christians, a coalition and growing grassroots movement, was asked to make an intervention from the floor. He used the opportunity to commend the Hungarian and Brazilian governments for hosting this important event and to thank the speakers for their participation and remarks. He applauded their call for action, not just more dialog. And, building upon Lord Ahmad’s inspiring comments, he urged that the nations represented in that room and elsewhere in the U.N. headquarters hold persecutors of Christians to account and alter their calculations that they can engage in such behavior with impunity by imposing costs for their crimes against humanity—much as President Trump did last year on behalf of Pastor Andrew Brunson.
Today’s U.N. event was livestreamed and is being prepared for distribution. Once it is available, it will be posted at SavethePersecutedChristians.org.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians is to save lives and save souls by holding the persecutors accountable for their crimes against humanity. To that end, it will disseminate actionable information about the magnitude of such crimes and bring to bear a movement of concerned Americans determined to hold persecutors accountable for such crimes and create real costs for perpetrating them against those who follow Jesus.
Because most of these crimes are not covered in the media, Save the Persecuted Christians developed a dedicated news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.