Save the Persecuted Christians Launches New Organization and Calls for Special Envoy to Nigeria
New ‘SaveUs’ Movement Launched Yesterday at National Press Club; News Conference and Interviews Available Online
WASHINGTON—Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) unveiled its evolution from an informal coalition into a new, national non-profit organization and movement at a special event yesterday in Washington, D.C.
“The goal of mobilizing Americans to stand in the gap for Christians experiencing persecution—including, according to a new report by Open Doors USA, 245 million being subjected to brutal violence and abuse for their faith—remains the same,” said Dede Laugesen, executive director of Save the Persecuted Christians. “The capacity to help accomplish this vital mission will, however, be considerably greater.”
Save the Persecuted Christians hosted two coordinated news conferences Thursday afternoon at the National Press Club, first to announce the new non-profit, and second, to highlight the need for a Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region to help stave off further, destabilizing violence against Christians there.
The launch of Save the Persecuted Christians featured remarks by: Bishop Keith Butler, Chairman of STPC’s Board of Directors and founder of Word of Faith International Christian Center; STPC’s President and CEO Frank Gaffney; and Kevin Jessip, member of the STPC Board of Directors and President of Global Strategic Alliance.
During the news conference, Butler said awareness about growing Christian persecution is key.
“The problem here in America where we don’t see that much Christian persecution is we don’t realize how bad it is in many places around the world, nor do we know what to do about it,” Butler said. “Public awareness is very important. Remember when Bill Clinton was president of the United States, awareness was so big about Muslims being murdered in Bosnia and the United Nations got involved.”
Butler told the Christian Broadcasting Network that the 1,000 free banners STPC has shipped to places of worship around the country are aimed at helping to raise awareness.
“Hopefully,” he said, “they will pressure their legislators [and] whoever’s in the White House. It’s not going to matter, because they’re going to be involved with this. The United Nations will be involved with this.”
View videos from the news conference and accompanying interviews below:
Save the Persecuted Christians’ news conference video: Watch here.
- Dede Laugesen’s interview with Fox News’ Lauren Green: Watch here.
- National Religious Broadcasters covers the launch: Read here.
The mission of the new Save the Persecuted Christians organization is to save lives and save souls by holding the persecutors accountable and creating costs 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.
In 2018, the Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition shipped more than 1,000 “SaveUs” banners to houses of worship around the country. Nearly 2,000 also now subscribe to the STPC website to receive news and action items regarding persecution. Its advisory board of faith leaders, human rights and religious freedom activists and charitable relief organizations has grown to over 130 members.
Additionally, since the debut of the “People of the Cross” exhibit at the U.S. Capitol as a side event to the U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in July, a separate series of vertical, traveling banners have toured the country exposing tens of thousands to their powerful messages concerning the horrific character and widespread nature of anti-Christian persecution. Learn more about the exhibit here.
According to Aid to the Church in Need, which released its biannual report on Religious Freedom in the World in November, over 500 million Christians experience persecution. Of those, according to Open Doors USA’s 2019 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 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.
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.
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 intends, in our time, 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.