Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition’s ‘People of the Cross’ Exhibit Part of Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom This Week
WASHINGTON—The Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) Coalition, which advocates on behalf of the 215 million Christians facing heavy persecution worldwide, is hosting an official side event to the first-ever international “Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom” in Washington, D.C., July 24-26.
As part of the ministerial, the Save the Persecuted Christian Coalition’s reception is featuring The People of the Cross exhibition. Through a series of more than 20 7-foot-by-32-inch vertical banners, this powerful exhibit shows what millions of people experience simply because they follow Jesus Christ, including violence, rape, murder, torture, imprisonment, loss of property and exclusion from civil society.
The exhibit reception is scheduled for 6:30 to 9 p.m. July 24, at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center, First Street NE, East Entrance, Room HVC 201 A&B, in Washington, D.C. Light hors d’oeuvres and beverages will be served; to RSVP, click here.
Hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, this week’s international Ministerial will “put a spotlight on the Trump administration’s push to bolster religious freedom around the world,” according to the Washington Times. Pompeo has called religious freedom the “most fundamental of human rights” and declared that “the United States will not stand by as spectators” while people are persecuted over faith.
This high-level meeting, which will include faith leaders and top diplomats from “like-minded governments” around the world, “will break new ground” and “not just be a discussion group,” Pompeo told reporters in May.
This week, STPC Coalition members will also visit lawmakers on Capitol Hill, providing mini banners and STPC booklets to those Congressional members who are interested in supporting religious freedom and legislation such as H.R. 407, which condemns the persecution of Christians around the world.
Because persecutors often go unpunished and some state actors continue receiving U.S. government aid despite their complicity in this persecution of Christians, the STPC Coalition hopes that the reception, exhibit and outreach to U.S. government officials will educate policymakers and leaders, and thereby positively impact U.S. foreign policy toward alleviating the suffering of their brothers and sisters in Christ.
Raising awareness is an important first step, especially 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 those present-day stories of persecution that do make the news and to provide Coalition members an easy way to share these heartbreaking stories with others.
Since its launch earlier this year, the STPC Coalition, made up of well-known and influential faith leaders, continues to work diligently to disseminate actionable information about ways in which the American people can help those who are being persecuted for their beliefs.
One of the ways Americans can render support is by encouraging their pastors and faith leaders to visit www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org and order a free banner to display in front of their houses of worship. These simple banners feature a graphic “Save Us” 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 stop the violence.
With so much of the world’s population attacked, imprisoned or exiled for their beliefs, the time is fitting for the work of the STPC Coalition, which is a building movement like one in the 1970s that helped free another population suffering from heavy persecution—Soviet Jews—so as to impel policy changes that will hold the persecutors accountable and increase the costs for their crimes against humanity. Building such a movement is necessary to provide American policymakers the leverage needed to influence change worldwide and to alleviate the suffering of those who are being persecuted merely because of their faith in Jesus Christ.