We are facing an epidemic of religious persecution worldwide, unlike anything seen in modern history. A recent report prepared for the British government found that an estimated 80% of this persecution is being perpetrated on followers of Christ. Indeed, this report found that religious oppression was “arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide.”
- 255 Christians are killed
- 104 are abducted
- 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage
- 66 churches are attacked
- 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned
These statistics represent individual followers of Christ. Have you heard their stories? Do you pray for the families of martyrs who die for their faith? Their plight is desperate!
But there is hope.
In September, President Donald Trump delivered a historic address at the United Nations on the issue of religious freedom. Because his message was largely ignored by the media, I am posting an excerpt below. What you will read here is administration policy.
The United States is founded on the principle that our rights do not come from government; they come from God. This immortal truth is proclaimed in our Declaration of Independence and enshrined in the First Amendment to our Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Our founders understood that no right is more fundamental to a peaceful, prosperous, and virtuous society than the right to follow one’s religious convictions.
Regrettably, the religious freedom enjoyed by American citizens is rare in the world. Approximately 80% of the world’s population lives in countries where religious liberty is threatened, restricted or even banned…
Today, with one clear voice, the United States of America calls upon the nations of the world to end religious persecution.
To stop the crimes against people of faith, release prisoners of conscience, repeal laws restricting freedom of religion and belief, protect the vulnerable, the defenseless and the oppressed, America stands with believers in every country who ask only for the freedom to live according to the faith that is within their own hearts…
We ask the governments of the world to honor the eternal right of every person to follow their conscience, live by their faith, and give glory to God …
The president clearly recognizes the importance of religious freedom and the increasing magnitude of religious persecution around the world.
In the United States, people with religious convictions are being told to keep their beliefs to themselves and out of the public square. The faith of their children is being undermined in the classrooms, and predictably, young adults who are raised in that hostile environment are walking away from God in record numbers. Hopelessness is pervasive. Yet, we continue to pray that our nation will regain its moral compass and that people of faith will speak for truth in their communities. We have a voice, and we must use it.
Many victimized Christians abroad have no such voice.
Over the last 18 months, America has taken an active role in promoting religious freedom and demanding an end to persecution around the world. The president’s address given at the United Nations last month was part of a broad effort to advance this cause. In July 2017, he nominated former Senator Sam Brownback to serve as the State Department’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. His mission is to lead the charge to “monitor religious persecution and discrimination worldwide, recommend and implement policies in respective regions or countries, and develop programs to promote religious freedom.” Here is what Ambassador Brownback said about the “core objective” of U.S. foreign policy:
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