WASHINGTON, March 31, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Christians around the world face unprecedented levels of persecution, Family Research Council is joining an effort to call upon churches across America to stand with the persecuted. The call is to devote just a small portion of their time in their weekend services to pray and act on behalf of those around the globe who have been targeted for no other reason than their faith in Jesus Christ. FRC is joining with four leading international religious liberty groups: Open Doors USA, the Institute for Religion and Democracy, Voice of the Martyrs, and In Defense of Christians in this call to American churches.
Nearly 40,000 U.S. churches have been asked to participate in Stand with the Persecuted Sunday on April 17 by showing a brief video, distributing a special bulletin insert, and spending time in prayer for our persecuted brothers and sisters internationally.
The aims of Stand with the Persecuted Sunday are to:
- Pray for the persecuted,
- Participate in practical ministries that support them, and
- Promote policies that protect persecuted Christians throughout the world.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said:
"This past Sunday, as we joyfully celebrated the resurrection of Jesus in our churches here in America, Christians elsewhere, like in Pakistan were targeted for death because of their Christian faith. As Christians here in American we have an obligation to pray for and act on behalf of our brothers and sister in Christ who are being persecuted for their faith. The persecution of Christians is at an unprecedented level and we are even seeing it here in the United States, but the hostility that Christians here in America are facing pales in comparison to the mistreatment, displacement, violence, rape, crucifixions, and beheadings experienced by followers of Jesus in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Pakistan, and other parts of the Middle East and beyond.
"We are honored to partner with ministries like Open Doors USA, Voice of the Martyrs, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, In Defense of Christians and others which are highlighting the plight of the persecuted. Please urge your pastor and church to join us on Sunday, April 17 and Stand with the Persecuted," concluded Perkins.
David Curry, CEO of Open Doors USA, commented:
''The great challenge of this generation will be to love like Jesus loved in the face of persecution, and to love both the persecuted and those who persecute. The Church in the West needs to embrace and be a conduit for this teaching."
Steve Oelenberger of Voice of the Martyrs noted:
"Go! I am sending you out like lambs surrounded by wolves. (Luke 10:3) Evil is still sweeping across the world, seeking who it can destroy. But Jesus is alive! He has overcome! Prayer is the path to victory and we have the privilege always to stand and pray for our persecuted family. On April 17, let us take this opportunity to stand with Family Research Council and others remembering in prayer those who are crying out to Jesus for the hope He has set before all those who believe."
Also, Kirsten Evans, Executive Director of In Defense of Christians (IDC), commented:
"IDC is grateful to all of the individuals and communities across the country who will 'Stand with the Persecuted' on Sunday, April 17th. Today Christians in Iraq and Syria are facing genocide at the hands of ISIS. The international community must respond not only to protect the communities victimized by these crimes and relieve their suffering, but to ensure their eventual peaceful resettlement of their rightful homelands."
Please see frc.org/stand for more information.
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SOURCE Family Research Council