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    Summits Discuss Efforts in Support of Persecuted Christians

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    Christian advocacy group, In Defense of Christians (IDC), sponsored a digital summit on September 23 which discussed initiatives to support persecuted Christians.

    The 2020 summit highlighted IDC’s efforts to support historic Christian communities in the Middle East and discussed efforts in advancing religious liberty in several countries. Speakers at the summit examined various programs to fight religious persecution.

    We are facing a very, very critical time, and the West needs to step up—particularly the church in the West needs to step up. —Frank Wolf, Former US Representative

    Rep. French Hill, R-Arkansas, introduced a House resolution last year that called on Egypt to abolish its “culture of impunity” and to hold local officials accountable for the violence endured by Coptic Christians, reports Crux Now.

    Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, a former Navy SEAL, and this year’s Congressional Champion for promoting the preservation of religious rights of Christians in the Middle East was one of the participants. “I saw this lack of freedom in my first three deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. Calling the Islamic State “evil incarnate,” he stressed that America has to help in “advancing the ideology of freedom.”

    Other religious and political leaders shared Crenshaw’s sentiments as they called on Western countries to acknowledge the current situation of persecuted Christians in the East.

    Toufic Baaklini, president of IDC, called on the U.S. government to appoint a special envoy at the State Department to deal with the crisis in Nigeria.

    Meanwhile, New York Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan shared that on his travels, persecuted Christians tell him, ‘We feel forgotten. We don’t hear anyone speaking up for us. We feel like we’re orphans. And we need your love, we need your support.’ “And I tell them, you got it.”

    Former congressman Frank Wolf, a long-time advocate for international religious freedom, warned that, “We are facing a very, very critical time, and the West needs to step up—particularly the church in the West needs to step up.

    “The cries of the persecuted are met by the sound of silence by many in the faith community and many in the West,” he said. During the online summit, he talked about the massacre of Christians in Nigeria by a terror group, Boko Haram.

    International Christian Concern (ICC) said Nigeria is becoming the “biggest killing ground of Christians in the world” as 50,000 to 70,000 Christians have been murdered in the last decade.

    Another online summit, “Christian Persecution Is Real” was held on Sept 11-12 in Virginia, reports Catholic Standard. Speakers from around the world talked about the same issue: persecution of Christians in their countries.

    The killing of Christians in Nigeria was brought up by Oluwasayo Ajiboye, a Nigerian and the president of Mission Africa International. “This genocide is a jihadist ideation. It’s an attempt to rub out every group that says, ‘We are not going to be Muslim,'” he said. “These (Christian) people are voiceless. They need your help to be their voice.”

    John Prabhudos, executive director of the Federation of Indian American Christian Organizations of North America, revealed that, “India has become the largest violator of religious freedom in terms of the sheer number of attacks on Christians and other religious faiths.”

    Former Congressman Wolf stressed the vital role America has to play in the plight of Christians in other parts of the world. “With all the persecution going on all over the world, what remains to be seen is whether the people of God will rise to the occasion for such a time like this,” he said. “Let us commit not just to each other but to God that we will pray, we will speak and then we will act regardless of where it leads us.”

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