The countries of Iran, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Yemen, Iraq, Uzbekistan and Pakistan are among the top 11 persecutors of Christians, according to the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List.
And countries such as Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya have drawn worldwide attention the last few weeks as their citizens have taken to the streets to protest lack of basic human rights, along with other issues. On February 11th, the demand for reforms by protesters led to the resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
In addition, there have been numerous attacks against Christians since Christmas. On New Year's Day a suicide bomber killed 22 Christians in Alexandria, Egypt. Also, according to Open Doors, over 120 Iranian Christians have been arrested since December. Open Doors supports and strengthens believers in the world's most difficult areas.
To address some of the abuses of religious freedom, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) has introduced H.R. 440, a House bill which would create the post of "Special Envoy." According to the bill, its main focus is to have the special envoy promote religious freedom of minorities in countries of the Near East and South Central Asia. The Special Envoy would be appointed by the President and report to the President and Secretary of State.
"Open Doors USA supports this bill for a special envoy because these are mostly the same countries in which some of the worst persecution against Christians exists," says Open Doors USA Advocacy Director Lindsay Vessey. "Hopefully, if this bill is passed, the special envoy would increase the profile of religious freedom within the foreign policy establishment. The bottom line is this bill has the potential to significantly benefit suffering Christians worldwide." Open Doors USA is urging people to let their U.S. Representative know that they support the bill and is asking them to co-sponsor it. Full Story
Pray that the citizens of Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Libya will continue to protest against human rights abuses with discernment and unity.
Pray that the bill titled H.R. 440 will be enacted in short order so that the post of Special Envoy will be created whereby it will promote religious freedom of minorities and expose human rights atrocities.
Pray that the Lord will surround all of the traumatized Christians, especially those that have been personally victimized and those that have suffered the murder of a loved one, with His everlasting love and peace.
Pray that the believers will grow closer to the Lord and that they will share the Good News of salvation that is only through Christ.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon