STPC | Newsletter | Sept. 2019
Sharia-supremacists, Communist tyrants and radical religious nationalists are targeting Christians in a record number of countries around the world. By some estimates, 300 million people are being persecuted globally, with 245 million of them being heavily so – meaning, they are tortured, raped, banished and murdered – sometimes genocidally – simply because they follow Jesus Christ.
There are many organizations and countless individuals seeking to relieve the symptoms of suffering Christian communities. In January 2018, a number of them came together to launch a new and complementary effort aimed at treating this catastrophe in our time systemically.
The mission of Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC)—a coalition and grassroots organization—is to affect the calculations of persecutors by holding them accountable and creating real costs for their crimes against humanity. In short, we are bringing to bear the skills and network of our growing coalition in waging political warfare, together with the human, intellectual and other resources of the Coalition to save lives and save souls.
The support of the our grassroots has been indispensable in helping the coalition achieve the following over the past year:
Building Capacity: We have begun transforming the coalition into a proper grassroots organization capable of informing and arousing our countrymen and women about the true magnitude of the horror being inflicted on the world’s Christians. Today, we have a national advisory board of roughly 150 faith leaders, human rights, religious freedom and civil society practitioners, national security professionals, media specialists and other experts who volunteer their time and talents to help devise and execute STPC’s projects.
In addition, we have nearly 3000 activists engaged in various aspects of our work including: displaying “Save Us” banners; showing our exhibits; arranging showings of films like “Christians in the Mirror” and “In the Cauldron of Conflict: Women and Children in the Pathway of the Islamist”; and performing educational outreach with executive branch officials and legislators at every level of government, the press, houses of worship, and ordinary citizens.
Engaging on Nigeria: STPC has been moved by the unfolding disaster in Nigeria to make averting it if at all possible a top priority. Were 100 million Christians – half the people of Africa’s most populous nation – to be killed or forced to flee their homeland, it would be devastating to the Lake Chad region, West Africa and the rest of the continent, Europe and, in due course, the wider world beyond.
Consequently, in June 2019, STPC partnered with several coalition members to bring to the United States the mother of an iconic victim of anti-Christian persecution, Leah Sharibu – who refused to renounce her faith to secure her release from captivity at the hands of Boko Haram – and other witnesses to the violence now wracking Nigeria. Working with the International Committee on Nigeria, the Jubilee Campaign, Mission Africa International, the Prayer News Network and the Nazarene Fund, we engineered opportunities for our Nigeria Crisis Delegation to challenge the false official narrative and expose the unfolding genocide of already tens of thousands of Christians. Specifically, our team debunked the shared party line of the Nigerian government and the U.S. State Department that what is happening is nothing more than farmer-herdsmen clashes caused by global warming.
In the wake of our intervention several promising actions have been taken by the U.S. government: As a direct consequence of our meeting with the Chief of Staff to Vice President Mike Pence, the Veep summoned his Nigerian counterpart, Yemi Osinbajo, to the White House for a “come to Jesus” meeting. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is publicly engaging on the jihad that is ramping up in the Sahel. The State Department sent investigators to look into recent attacks on the Adara Chiefdom in Kaduna State. State has also imposed a visa ban on the Fulani Muslim governor of Kaduna State. USAID Administrator Mark Green is conducting a fact-finding mission in Nigeria. And, Rep. Gus Billirakis, co-Chair of the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Caucus, and IRF Commission Chairman Tony Perkins adopted Leah Sharibu as a prisoner of conscience.
We are continuing to press for the appointment of a Special Envoy for Nigeria and the Lake Chad region as the Islamic State, Boko Haram and the Fulani militants are working to establish a new Caliphate in the Sahel. Thankfully, STPC has become a trusted source of information for Ambassador-at-large Sam Brownback, members of Congress, and the Trump administration.
Holding the Enablers Accountable: In addition to holding accountable those persecuting Christians in Nigeria and elsewhere, the Coalition launched this spring an effort also to hold to account those who enable the persecutors. In May, STPC organized an open letter signed by 45 faith and civil society leaders calling on a prominent American law firm, Squire Patton Boggs (SPB), to stop lobbying on behalf of clients who are egregious state-sponsors of persecution. Their roster currently includes such unsavory regimes as: Communist China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Cameroon and the Palestinian Authority.
On July 10, we coordinated national religious freedom rallies in front of 15 of SPB’s offices. Our rallies engaged the firm’s partners and staff across the country and received positive media attention in a number of markets.
The following week, STPC was well-represented at the U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom sponsored by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. STPC circulated there a petition calling on President Trump and his Cabinet and lawmakers to refuse to meet with this firm and other lobbyists promoting the cause of known persecutors. The petition has been signed to date by 65 influential U.S. and international leaders and hundreds of grassroots supporters. We will deliver it to the White House and other executive and legislative branch offices when Congress returns to Washington after Labor Day. Please add your name to the petition by COB Thursday, 12 Sept.
Other Accomplishments: In July, we launched a second exhibit, “Warfare on Women” in conjunction with our three STPC-sponsored side events on the margins of the Ministerial. This exhibit is now joining our first, the “People of the Cross” exhibit, in raising awareness across the nation. More than 50,000 Americans have seen them to date. In addition, with our educational support, a model state-level resolution condemning the persecution of Christians globally has been passed in Oklahoma. And STPC has been active in traditional and social media, garnering over 300 million impressions in the first six months of 2019.
Looking Forward: This Fall, we plan to help organize and/or participate in several events designed to raise awareness about and catalyze action on behalf of persecuted Christians. These include:
- In September, we will be exhibiting our “People of the Cross” exhibit in one of the largest mega-churches in Dallas, First Baptist. This 2-week showing will add greatly to the numbers of Americans exposed to this powerful documentation of the persecution of Christians in over two-score nations.
- We expect to be represented at programs on international religious freedom in connection with the U.N. General Assembly meetings in September.
- On Oct. 26, STPC will assist with a Prayer Rally for Leah Sharibu at the U.S. Capitol.
- In November, Save the Persecuted Christians has been invited by the Government of Hungary (to which STPC awarded its first annual [“Save Us”] award in 2018) to the 2nd International Consultation on Christian Persecution in Budapest.
Finally we are excited to announce that the Christian Television Network is partnering with STPC and the Center for Security Policy to produce and air for free weekly, half-hour programs to an estimated 55 million homes in this country and over 100 nations around the world. This platform should enormously increase the impact of our work and the build-out of our grassroots organization.
All of us involved in working to save the persecuted Christians are grateful for the generous support of our grassroots. Please consider making a one-time or monthly recurring contribution to further enable our efforts. We look forward to continuing this record of achievement in the year ahead and hope to do so with your further assistance.