Save the Persecuted Christians Leadership to Urge Congress to Support Special Envoy to Nigeria

***News Release***


Save the Persecuted Christians Leadership to Urge Congress to Support Special Envoy to Nigeria

At National Prayer Breakfast Thursday in Washington, D.C., STPC Officers Hope to Shine a Light on Christian Persecution

WASHINGTON—Christians in the U.S. are urged to pray for many things—government leaders, pastors, their children and schools, the sanctity of life. But persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ worldwide also desperately need prayer.

Therefore, Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC), which advocates on behalf of more than 300 million persecuted Christians around the globe, will have a presence at the upcoming National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Thursday, Feb. 7. There, STPC leadership, including President and CEO Frank Gaffney and Director Dede Laugesen, will urge members of Congress to take action in Nigeria.

Tomorrow, Laugesen said, on the eve of the prayer breakfast, members of Congress will receive a special action alert highlighting a recent oped about the escalating crisis in Nigeria. Two respected former members of the House of Representatives, Republican Frank Wolf and Democrat Tony Hall, authored the editorial that lays out the need for a Special Envoy to Nigeria and the Lake Chad region to help stave off further, destabilizing violence against Christians there.

“During their long and distinguished service together, these Congressmen partnered to raise alarms about, and provide constructive solutions to, the denial of fundamental religious and other freedoms around the world. They have provided extraordinary bipartisan leadership in holding accountable those responsible for crimes against humanity,” Laugesen said. “Arguably, the subject of their current warning is the most consequential of all.”

As Wolf and Hall noted in the oped, “Terrorists associated with Boko Haram and Fulani militants are slaughtering, enslaving, expelling and otherwise persecuting a growing number of Nigerian Christians. Some Muslims have also been killed. Nigeria’s government has not been successful in preventing such horrors and their traumatic effects are rippling throughout that nation and neighboring states in the Lake Chad region. Unless something is done at once, Nigeria may implode, prompting incalculable suffering for its people and the prospect of many millions of them fleeing, posing what rock star Bono has warned would be ‘an existential threat to Europe.’”

“Fortunately, Frank Wolf and Tony Hall offer a ready course of action that may help stave off such a catastrophe: the designation of a U.S. Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region,” Laugesen added. “They recall that former Sen. John Danforth’s appointment to such a post at a moment of similar crisis in Sudan was decisively constructive in forging a coordinated and effective policy approach in Washington and championing it in Kharthoum.”

Save the Persecuted Christians also raises awareness about Christian persecution through “The People of the Cross.” This traveling exhibit of heartbreaking photos and facts details the tragedy that children, women and Christians in general experience when persecuted in countries around the world, and is available for churches, public venues and special events.

Each of 24 banners feature images, facts and quotes from recent news stories about the persecution of Christians in multiple countries, such as North Korea, where Christians are tortured or worse; Syria, where Christian girls and women have been sold into sex slavery; Nigeria and East Africa, where terrorists are exterminating Christians with genocidal intent; and China, where Communists are increasingly hostile to people of faith and churches and shrines are being demolished. A majority of the countries highlighted in the banners are high on the 2019 World Watch List from Open Doors USA.

The exhibit premiered in July 2018 at the U.S. Capitol as a side event to the first-ever U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom. Since then, the exhibit has toured the United States and was featured at events in 10 states, reaching an audience of more than 20,000. To learn more about hosting “The People of the Cross” exhibit, contact Save the Persecuted Christians, or visit the website where all the panels are available to view online.

The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians 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.

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, 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.

Because most of these crimes are not covered in the media, Save the Persecuted Christians developed a dedicated news aggregator——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 to provide American policymakers with the support they need to effect real change worldwide and alleviate systemically the suffering being experienced by so many of those following Christ.