Pictured: Sri Lankan church bombed on Easter Sunday.
“It is a sad fact that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in modern times.”
– British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt
This week the U.S. State Department held the largest summit on religious freedom in history.
Over 100 countries were invited, and 1,000 advocates. Why would the U.S. make religious freedom a priority?
Because religious persecution against all faiths is rising. And the most persecuted faith is Christianity.
Christians in the Middle East face genocide. Christians in Asia are tortured and imprisoned. Christians in Africa are massacred. Christians face discrimination, bombings, kidnappings and forced conversions.
Finally, governments are taking notice.
One speaker from Sri Lanka talked of a child who lost her eyesight and her parents in the Easter Sunday bombings of churches. Others are afraid to go back to church.
Last week I was in Sri Lanka. We went to the bombed churches, talked with pastors and Christian leaders, met injured children and families who lost loved ones.
Their stories are tragic. And their hope is vibrant.
They are also realistic. Those horrific attacks, or smaller-scale assaults, could happen again.
Christian Freedom International’s team is ministering to the survivors. Some need food and other aid, all need on-going compassion and prayer.
One item came up again and again. Churches need security. They need cameras. They even need walls.
One church I visited was an open-air stage with drapes for three walls. The roof was in the process of being eaten by rats.
Sri Lankan churches are not alone. House churches and Christians’ meeting places in hostile countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh are vulnerable.
Christian Freedom International is working with local leaders to assess the security needs.
Initial estimates range from $650 to $15,000 to help secure church buildings and Christians’ meeting places.
Can you help?
Would you like to help prevent future attacks on vulnerable Christians and churches in hostile regions?
Thank you for your prayers and gifts for persecuted Christians.