Save the Persecuted Christians Advances ‘Stop Persecuting Believers’ Petition
Group Calls on President and Congress to Hold Persecutors Accountable and on Law Firm to Stop Representation of Nations That Violate Religious Liberties; Efforts to Spread the Word Have Been Suspended on Twitter
WASHINGTON—Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of hundreds of millions of persecuted Christians worldwide, is spreading the word about believers under attack for their faith through a new petition.
The “Stop Persecuting Believers” petition is 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.
“By some estimates, 300 million Christians are being persecuted around the world today, as are many of other faiths,” noted Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians, in the introduction of the petition page. “Worse yet, these crimes against humanity are continuing to increase. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is to be commended for convening a Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom to raise awareness about this global crisis and to rally other nations to address it. If we are serious about advancing religious liberty, though, tangible actions are required. For example, the United States must take the lead in holding the persecutors accountable and creating real costs for their crimes against people of faith. Those who enable such persecutors—notably, by lobbying in America on their behalf or otherwise legitimating them—must also be held accountable.”
The petition also calls upon firms like Squire Patton Boggs, which lobbies on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Cameroon and the Palestinian Authority—all regimes or entities that are state-sponsors of persecution—to cease such representation. The 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 has been able to be promoted on STPC’s Facebook page with the hashtags #SaveUs and #Free2Pray. But Save the Persecuted Christians’ Twitter account has been suspended since June 13 as the organization was sponsoring public and official meetings in Washington, D.C., for a delegation of persecuted Nigerian Christians. The social media censorship is plaguing other organizations as well, and to address the issue, President Trump convened a meeting at the White House last month on abuses by the Big Tech companies. A formal letter detailing the shutdown of the STPC Twitter account was submitted to Sen. Ted Cruz for a hearing on the subject held in July.
“The First Amendment, free speech and freedom of religion is supposed to apply to all Americans,” Laugesen added. “Unfortunately, Twitter is not only targeting Americans with political views opposed to theirs, they are now also targeting Christians. Our Twitter account, @SavePersecuted, was permanently disabled with no reason given and no good avenue for appeal. Without our Twitter platform, we are seriously hampered in sharing news of the global crisis of increasing anti-Christian violence.”
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 and East Africa, 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 tens of thousands, 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, 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, which released its biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World in November, 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.