A powerful coalition involving leading faith-based and humanitarian organizations marked Ash Wednesday by launching a major new campaign to spotlight the epidemic, unprecedented persecution of Christians around the world.
The Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition is asking concerned citizens to visit SaveThePersecutedChristians.org, where they can learn more about the campaign and get involved. They can also order a free banner to post in front of their places of worship that declares “Save the Persecuted Christians.”
The group reports that nearly 1 million Christians were slaughtered between 2005 and 2015. During that decade, the number of Christians living in Iraq — a land where the original language of Jesus is still spoken — plummeted from 1.5 million to fewer than 275,000. Most of those who remain there are refuges, hoping to one day return to bombed out neighborhoods that were overrun by ISIS.
Retired Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, the executive vice president of the Family Research Council, tells Newsmax the Coalition’s objective is “to raise awareness that Christians are being persecuted in every part of the world, and then give them ways of getting involved to reduce the persecution of Christians around the world.”
Boykin notes that while the media and international agencies have been quick to come to the aid of other religious minorities, Christians always seem to get short shrift.
“The UN has been in many cases downright anti-Christian,” he says, “Not just oblivious or unconcerned — they've been outright anti-Christian.”
The Trump administration declared in October that UN programs to assist persecuted Christians in the Middle East were “ineffective.” It announced future U.S. aid will bypass the UN, and will be channeled instead through the U.S. Agency for International Development.
“We should never accept the kind of persecution against anyone that we’re seeing against Christians today,” says Boykin. “I’d remind everybody that we went into the Balkans in 1995 primarily to protect Muslims from the persecution that they were undergoing by Serbs. So this is just a human instinct that we should be protecting people who are unable to protect themselves.”
The STPC Coalition describes itself as “an informal, multifaith group of national leaders, organizations, and accomplished individuals committed by their joint efforts to reduce dramatically — and if possible to end — the persecution of Christians around the world.”
According to Boykin, the Coalition’s members include Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy, historian David Barton, Dr. Mark Christian and the Global Faith Institute, the American Family Association, Rabbi Jonathan Hausman, Eric Stakelbeck with Christians United for Israel, and scores of others.
Boykin urges anyone concerned about the plight of Christians to explore the resources available at SaveThePersecutedChristians.org. “As Christians, we need to recognize that we have really a biblical mandate to stand with our fellow Christians against the evil that has come against them,” he says.
He encourages readers to visit the website to learn how they can get engaged.
“Also, appeal to members of Congress,” he says. “Call your representative and senator and let them know that more needs to be done.”
He adds that Christian persecution is not just a problem unique to the Middle East or Islamic countries.
“This also is happening in China, in India, in parts of South America, and Africa,” he says.
Newsmax Senior editor David A. Patten contributed to this report.