Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition Summit Shines Light on Believers’ Challenges Worldwide
WASHINGTON—The Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) Coalition, in existence since Ash Wednesday 2018, hosted an important Summit last week to raise awareness about the global persecution of Christians and to mobilize those committed to stopping the violence and bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Held in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 20, the afternoon Summit included two sessions that touched upon the Coalition’s work thus far, as well as featured several speakers who are well-informed about the persecution of Christians around the world, including the Hon. Sam Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and Center for Security Policy President Frank Gaffney. Also in the first session, Rabbi Jonathan Hausman presented the history of the Save Soviet Jewry movement and why violence toward Christians matters to Jews—and should to Christians. Faith McDonnell of the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) also gave a history of the International Religious Freedom movement and why STPC’s “SaveUs” movement is needed to assist non-governmental organizations working in the field of helping those who are being persecuted.
During the second session, Bishop Keith Butler provided words of encouragement on what can be done about worldwide Christian persecution and the potential reach of the Coalition. Pastor Kevin Jessip spoke about praying for repentance for both persecutors and leaders who have been silent or even complicit regarding Christian persecution. The Hon. Frank Wolf concluded with “Action for a Time Such as This,” followed by closing remarks and action steps from Gaffney and a benediction from Pastor Bob Fu of ChinaAid.
“I am deeply moved by the caliber of the people and organizations joining the coalition and standing in the gap for Christians, many of them children, who are harmed and even murdered for loving Jesus,” said founding Coalition member and Save the Persecuted Christians Director Dede Laugesen. “We were especially honored by former Congressman Frank Wolf, who made a call to action asking us not only to seek justice for victims and the imposition of real costs for the crimes of those who persecute, but also to go after those lobbyists and corporations here in the United States who enable the persecutors for their own gain.”
In her remarks at the Summit, McDonnell noted that October marks the 20th anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act, a U.S. law that forever changed American policy on defending religious freedom.
“St. Paul said, ‘Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up,’” McDonnell said. “It isn’t always easy to not become weary in defending persecuted Christians. But it is a lot easier when there are many of us working together, encouraging each other. And although that statement, Galatians 6:9, alone can encourage and exhort us, do you know that the context is? The very next verse is the one I call the ‘Persecuted Church Verse’ or the biblical mandate for what we are doing, Galatians 6:10: ‘Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.’”
At the event, the STPC Coalition also presented “The People of the Cross” exhibit, which features a series of banners detailing Christian persecution in countries around the world. “The People of the Cross” exhibit is a traveling display that is available for other venues and events. Contact Save the Persecuted Christians for more information.
The Coalition’s work is crucial, as Christian persecution occurs so routinely it rarely makes headlines. For example, according to Open Doors, 255 Christians are killed worldwide every month. 104 Christians are abducted. 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage. 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned without trial. And 66 churches are attacked. Every month.
With such staggering statistics, and the knowledge that most of these crimes are not covered in the media, the STPC Coalition developed a special news aggregator—www.ChristianPersecutionNews.com—to capture current instances of persecution that do make the news and to provide those concerned an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.
One of the ways Americans can render support is by encouraging their pastors and faith leaders to visit www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org and to order a free banner to display in front of their houses of worship. These simple banners feature a graphic “SaveUs” plea with a cross and the coalition’s website where Americans can learn about the global persecution of Christians and find out more about what they can do to help.