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Barnabas launches Proclaim Freedom campa...

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Barnabas launches Proclaim Freedom campaign; sign our petition

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1

If you believe in the cause of freedom, then proclaim it, live it and protect it, for humanity’s future depends on it. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson (1912-1983), US Congressman and Senator

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Barnabas Fund last week launched a petition as part of our 2012 Proclaim Freedom campaign, which seeks to put pressure on governments to take resolute action on behalf of persecuted Christians around the world.

Christians are one of the largest and most persecuted groups in the world, yet they are often neglected in Western governments’ foreign policy.

The Proclaim Freedom petition, which was launched at the Christian Resources Exhibition in Exeter, England, last Wednesday (25 January), calls on governments to pursue decisive policies aimed at putting pressure on states that persecute or condone the persecution of Christians, and assist other countries to improve conditions for all minority groups – especially Christians – within their borders.

Today, we are launching the online version. It can be signed online Sign nowor downloaded and printed. DownloadPlease promote this petition within your church and community.

The Proclaim Freedom campaign will run various initiatives throughout 2012 to raise the profile of the persecuted Church around the world. It has two specific aims:

  • to press governments to be active in promoting human rights in other countries for all minorities, but especially religious freedom for the roughly 200 million Christians living under the shadow of persecution, discrimination and disadvantage
  • to press governments to work to ensure that other countries bring to justice citizens who either incite anti-Christian hatred or engage in anti-Christian violence

Western governments have significant potential influence with other countries through the direction of foreign aid, diplomatic relations, bilateral ties, security arrangements and agreed international commitments to human rights.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said:

It is time for Christians in the West to take a stand and speak out for our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith. We can no longer allow the governments that represent us to turn a blind eye to the persecution of Christians in their dealings with countries where this is a widespread problem.

Please Pray:
  • Thank God that the Proclaim Freedom petition generated a great deal of interest at the Christian Resources Exhibition last week and pray that it will attract significant further support over the coming months.
  • Pray that Western governments will be moved to use their influence with other countries for the improvement of conditions for all minority groups, especially Christians who are persecuted for their faith.
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Daily prayer

Daily prayer_icon
  • Praise God for the release of John Short, an Australian missionary who was detained in North Korea for distributing Christian leaflets. John, who is 75 and based in Hong Kong, was reported to security officials in Pyongyang after he was spotted leaving a Christian leaflet at a Buddhist temple, an act that is illegal in North Korea. Further Korean-language Christian pamphlets were subsequently found in his hotel room. John, who was released on 3 March after two weeks in custody, was required to sign a confession probably scripted by the authorities. Other foreign missionaries arrested in North Korea have been given long prison sentences. Give thanks to God that John has escaped further punishment, and pray for him as he recovers from his traumatic ordeal. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 12 hours ago

  • Pray for Barnabas Fund partners in South Sudan who have been supporting Christians forced from their homes by violence. Conflict between supporters of President Salva Kiir and his sacked deputy Riek Machar in December and January displaced around 860,000 people. Churches were burned down and a number of pastors killed, while many people lost their belongings and were left destitute. Give thanks that churches in and around the capital, Juba, were able to provide food and other essentials to many families with help from Barnabas. Pray that they may continue to be salt and light in their country at this unstable time (Matthew 5:13-16), and that it will soon be safe for displaced Christians to return home. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Pray for the residents of a mainly Christian village in Borno state, Northern Nigeria, in the aftermath of a horrific attack by Boko Haram militants on 15 February. Ask for God’s comfort for the relatives and friends of the 106 people in Izghe who were gunned down and slaughtered in their houses or in the open as they tried to flee. Pray for strength for the numerous residents who were wounded or whose properties were looted and torched. Pray too for the many Christians who fled into the neighbouring state after the attack, and ask that the Christian community in the North of Nigeria will be preserved in the face of Islamist violence. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Violent attacks by militants from the Islamist group Boko Haram continue unabated in Northern Nigeria. On one horrendous day of violence on 26 January, at least 138 people were killed. A church in Wada Chakawa village in Adamawa state was targeted; the attackers locked the congregation inside and then detonated bombs, shooting and cutting the throats of people who tried to escape. They then went on a four-hour rampage in the village. Later the same day, Kawuri village in neighbouring Borno state was burned to the ground. Boko Haram is fighting to establish an Islamic state, and Christians are among its main targets. Pray that the Nigerian authorities will succeed in containing its insurgency. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Apr 2014 00:00

  • Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we give You thanks on this Easter Day for the living hope that You have given us and all Your people through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (1 Peter 1:3). We pray that the prospect of an enduring inheritance and future salvation will encourage our persecuted brothers and sisters to persevere in their faith, whatever may happen to them. We pray that we too may be sustained by this hope in the sufferings that we experience for the sake of Christ. We ask that the joy and resurrection power of the Lord will give strength and peace to persecuted believers today and every day. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Apr 2014 00:00

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