New Congressional Scorecard Grades Elected Officials on Their Stance on Religious Freedom
Save the Persecuted Christians Works with 21Wilberforce to Educate Americans on How Congress Stands for Religious Liberties Worldwide
WASHINGTON—Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of persecuted Christians worldwide, is helping to inform Americans about how well their elected officials are advancing religious freedom.
Through a new project from 21Wilberforce, a member of the Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition, concerned believers can now see how all 535 members of the 115th Congress “score” with regard to the bipartisan issue of international religious freedom.
The 2019 International Religious Freedom Congressional Scorecard, found at www.irfscorecard.org, seeks to increase congressional and public awareness of international religious freedom issues, celebrate positive measures taken by members of Congress regarding international religious freedom and encourage legislators to take bold action in support of this cause.
“This reference tool is an effective means by which human rights organizations can identify and track members of Congress who support and advance policies that promote and defend internationally the principle of freedom of religion and belief,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. “This valuable tool provided by our coalition partner, 21Wilberforce, is recommended by Save the Persecuted Christians for all those endeavoring to advocate for victims of religious persecution worldwide.”
The International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA) and the amplified Frank R. Wolf International Religious Freedom Act of 2016 provide the framework for advancing religious freedom as a U.S. foreign policy imperative. It is in this same spirit presented in the Congressional Scorecard as a measure of progress made toward that end.
21Wilberforce also recognizes members of the 115th Congress who worked diligently to protect and advance international religious freedom. Those with the top scores in the Senate and House are listed on the home page of the scorecard website.
“We are grateful to 21Wilberforce for publishing the IRF Congressional Scorecard,” said Bob Fu, founder and president of China Aid, and a member of the Board of Directors for Save the Persecuted Christians. “As the international religious freedom situation worsens, the Scorecard is a credible, timely mechanism to encourage and inspire U.S. lawmakers to advance religious freedom for all.”
Additionally, STPC is advancing the “Stop Persecuting Believers” petition, aimed to give voice to the faithful here in the U.S. who want to send a strong message to President Donald Trump, his administration, members of Congress and to the influential law firm Squire Patton Boggs, which is representing and lobbying for several nations that are committing atrocious human rights and religious freedom violations. Petition signers also urge members of the executive and legislative branches to decline to meet or do business with those who engage in such lobbying on behalf of persecutors. The petition is housed on Change.org and is available on STPC’s Facebook page with the hashtags #SaveUs and #Free2Pray..
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 works to educate about persecution around the world through its exhibit titled “The People of the Cross,” a series of vertical traveling banners that feature images, facts and quotes from recent news stories about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as China, where Communists are increasingly hostile to people of faith and churches are demolished; Saudi Arabia, where Christianity is prohibited and Christian communities and sacred sites have been cleansed; Pakistan, where blasphemy is enforced and is a capital offense under Sharia law; and Nigeria, where terrorists are exterminating Christians with genocidal intent. A majority of the countries highlighted in the banners are high on Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List.
“The People of the Cross” exhibit has toured the United States, reaching an audience of at least 50,000, and is available for churches, public venues and special events. A new traveling exhibit, “Warfare on Women,” detailing the stories of women targeted for terror because they believe in Jesus, also premiered as a side-event to this year’s U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. To learn more about hosting a traveling exhibit contact Save the Persecuted Christians or visit the website, where panels are available to view online.
According to Aid to the Church in Need and its biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World, over 300 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. Women and children are most vulnerable and represent at least 60 percent of those persecuted.
Because most of these crimes are not covered in the media, Save the Persecuted Christians has developed a dedicated news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution and to provide readers with an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.
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.