“Conscience is the most sacred of all property.” – James Madison
Have you heard about “Deflategate”? That’s the ongoing story involving NFL quarterback Tom Brady and whether he ordered air to be let out of footballs last season. Not long ago, it was the lead story on the evening news almost every night, and it’s still regularly covered in the news cycle.
The fact that the number of pounds of air per square inch in a football is so newsworthy is shameful in my opinion based on what the national media hasn’t considered worthy of airtime.
For example, were you aware that hundreds of thousands of people throughout the Middle East are being persecuted – many even murdered – for their faith?
Here are some fast facts that may surprise you:
- There is more religious persecution taking place right now than any other time in the history of mankind.
- In the Middle East, we are literally witnessing the possible extinction of Christianity. The Christian church has gone from 1 ½ million down to roughly 300,000. It’s reported that dozens of Iraqi Christian families flee the country every day.
- Happening right now is what can only be described as genocide against the Yazidis, a religious group in Iraq. It’s the same fate faced by Iraqi Turkmen, and also several Christian groups throughout the Middle East.
In the United States, at least until very recently, we have felt largely immune to religious persecution. Truth be told, I believe our religious rights have been under attack for some time, but experts agree the dominoes may fall even faster given the Supreme Court’s recent decision to redefine marriage.
But around the world, whether we’re talking about the Middle East, or other countries throughout Asia and Africa, severe religious persecution is spreading like brush fire.
As I said, this situation is largely overlooked in the national media, which is why we want to shine a bright light on it through our program, “Religious Liberties Around the World,” today.
I admit it’s not a pleasant topic. This isn’t the kind of program you listen to with your feet propped up, relaxing with a cup of coffee or mug of tea. But it’s important for us as Christians to know the reality of what’s happening to the Church in the rest of the world.
Joining us to shed some light on this crucial issue is Frank Wolf, former U.S. congressman, who served his state of Virginia for 34 years and was a tireless champion for religious freedom.
We need to be informed, so we can understand the practical steps we can take to make a difference.
First and foremost is to pray for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ. Oswald Chambers said, “Prayer does not equip us for the greater works – prayer is the greater work.”
Second, be an advocate for the persecuted church by speaking out if you have the platform to do so or by bringing attention to their plight on social media.
Third, contact your representatives, and ask them to stand on behalf of the persecuted church. Educate your legislators about what’s happening. Don’t turn it into a Republican or Democrat issue. This is not a political battle. It’s a matter of basic human rights.
Fourth, support an organization that is actively involved in reaching out to the persecuted church. I’m pleased to say Focus on the Family is among those seeking to make a difference. As you may know, I’ve blogged about our involvement with the families of the 21 Egyptian Christians who were killed by ISIS in Libya. Most of these men had left Egypt seeking work so they could support their families and build modest homes. Focus in the United States along with our associate office in Egypt committed to helping complete the construction of the homes for these families.
Finally, churches must help create a groundswell of support. As Alexis de Tocqueville once said of America, “Her pulpits were aflame with righteousness.” The church must be the leader to speak out on these fundamental issues.
I urge you to take a few moments and join us for this important broadcast on your local radio station. It’s also available online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app.
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