Religious Liberty Conference in Zambia

As a faith-based religious liberty legal firm, we take Scripture to heart: “be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8 ESV). As I discovered over the holiday, Samaria needs us. My family and I were privileged to travel to Zambia to work at the Breath of Heaven Orphanage with the children and their school teachers. I  participated in a  pastor’s  conference  on religious liberty and traditional  values.  About  100  pastors attended.  The purpose was to encourage pastors to stay  involved in a  cultural  tug-of-war  as the   nation is  faced   with   increased  pressure  from  the   United Nations to embrace a liberal agenda on moral issues.

The Christian nation is facing increased pressure to secularize by those who support abortion and same-sex marriage. Their struggle resembles the one we once faced in America. Beyond the social issues, there is a push to remove Christianity from its Constitution.

The new Zambian president created a new cabinet position—the Minister of National Guidance and Religious Affairs. I was invited to meet with the minister and am looking forward to the possibility of serving her office and Zambia’s parliament in the future with legislation promoting religious liberty.

In His Service,

Robert Tyler President and General Counsel

“The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Dr. Martin Luther King

 

The Most Attacked Faith Group?

Two new studies on worldwide religious persecution show that Christians continue to be the most attacked faith group around the globe. According to Fox News, a study by The Center for Studies on New Religions has revealed that 90,000 Christians across the globe were killed for their beliefs last year—with nearly one third of the murders attributed to Islamic extremists. In addition to the traditional hot spots of Iraq and Syria, there have been increased incidents in other Gulf states, including Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The study also revealed that an estimated 600 million Christians were prevented from practicing their faith last year alone. “These numbers underscore what we already know,” Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project told Fox News. “There are many places on earth

Mid adult man with flowers and candles visiting graves at the cemetery.

where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be. Those who think of Christianity as a religion of the powerful need to see that in many places it’s a religion of the powerless. And the powerless deserve to be protected.”

Particularly troubling are numbers from Open Door USA, which reveal that attacks are up in North, Central and South America. In Mexico alone, 23 Christians were killed because of their faith, David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, said to Fox News. “The spread of persecution has gotten worse, now hitting nearly every continent in the world,” he said.

Even as the increased persecution spreads ever closer to America, President Donald Trump is working to secure our southern border by constructing a new wall to control illegal immigration, while also implementing a temporary moratorium on refugees from seven select Middle East countries. The immigration freeze is an effort to limit the number of radicalized Islamic jihadists entering the U.S. while new screening procedures are developed. Trump’s moves have prompted nationwide protests by activists who allege the president is discriminating against Hispanics and Muslims. While news coverage of the protests dominated the media for days, the issue of Christian persecution has been widely unreported.

Remember to pray for our new President Trump, as well as the millions of Christians across this world facing true persecution.

Persecution of Christians Increases 50%

As we remain committed to protecting religious liberties across the country, it is important to remember that there are millions of believers around the globe who face life-threatening persecution on a daily basis. It’s not surprising then, to discover that a record amount of Christians—as many as 7,000—were executed for their faith last year, according to an annual report by Open Doors USA. The number reflects a 50 percent increase over the previous year and the highest number since statistics have been tracked.

The worst culprit on the list was North Korea, where an estimated 70,000 of the nation’s 300,000 Christians are now imprisoned in labor camps. Those still free remain so by hiding their faith, even from family members.Cross down - Monastery in Fog

While North Korea tops the list of the 10 worst countries when it comes to expression of Christianity, the remaining nine are all Muslim countries.

Second on the list was Iraq, where ISIS has systematically targeted Christian believers through genocide and forced conversions. The remaining countries on the Top 10 list are Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran and Libya.

David Curry, President and CEO of Open Doors said the United States must spearhead efforts to bring about change. “As the dominant power in the free world, (the U.S.) must lead the charge in bringing more relief and aid to those suffering.”

Fortunately, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is not waiting for the government to act. The global ministry has announced it will hold a summit on religious persecution in Moscow this October in conjunction with the Russian Orthodox Church.

“The World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians will shed a global spotlight on this crisis,” said Rev. Franklin Graham during his March 9 announcement. “We will bring delegates from around the world and will be able to join hands with people of other churches and denominations of the Christian faith to pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ and to hear firsthand reports of the suffering that is taking place.”

How Can YOU Help Christians In Iraq? Here Are Four Ways

Dear Friend,

Christians are currently facing genocide in Iraq while many of their American brothers and sisters are silent. The militant Sunni Islamist organization ISIS has taken over complete portions of Iraq and Syria, sending a clear message to the Christians who don’t escape the area. That is, convert or die. Christians who choose the latter are tortured, beheaded, hung and crucified. Thousands are fleeing the area to seek refuge in other villages. ISIS has taken over a city in Northern Iraq called Mosul, and for the first time since Christianity was brought to the area 2,000 years ago, the city is empty of Christians. Churches have been looted and destroyed and homes have been confiscated.In times like these, unity among Christians is vital. It’s time for Christians to stand together with their brothers and sisters in the Middle East. As Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA.) said, “A culture that fails to protect believers may eventually find that it lacks the self-belief to protect itself.”

We are all horrified as we read the news stories, and many people want to help but don’t know how. So what can you do?

Here are four ways you can help the Christians under attack by ISIS:

1. Pray, and Fast Jesus tells us that some demons can only be cast out by prayer and fasting (Mathew 17:21 & Mark 9:29). Pray often for our Christian brothers and sisters. Pray especially for the children, who are not excluded from the torture and executions. Fasting is a great way to offer up our many worldly comforts to help expel the evils from Iraq and Syria.

2. Spread the Word Do not be silent. Spread the word. Keep your friends and family informed on what is going on. Stay active on social media. There is currently a movement flooding the internet commonly referred to as the #WeAreN movement. This started with people on Facebook and Twitter changing their profile pictures to the Arabic letter, “ ن ” which the ISIS painted on the homes and businesses owned by Christians in Mosul, Iraq. The letter is from the Arabic alphabet and stands for “Nasara,” or “Nazarene,” a word used to “demean” the Christians. This effort has backfired and the symbol has gone from a badge of shame to a symbol of Christian unity.

3. Support the Organizations Helping Christians Here are a few that are doing great work (in alphabetical order):
4. Sign the Petition Sign the petition encouraging the government to step in and save the Christians in Iraq. The efforts made by our government are not nearly enough. Visit the following site to sign the petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/do-everything-possible-free-american-reporter-steven-sotloff-isis-syria-and-save-his-life/YvKDwNKp We at Advocates for Faith & Freedom promise to continue speaking out against the Christian genocide.We ask that you join us in praying for those living in fear because they choose to follow Christ. We also would like to thank you for all your support, as we continue to protect religious freedoms only with the help of supporters just like you.

In His Service,

Robert Tyler General Counsel