On July 7-9, International Christian Concern (ICC) will host what they are calling their first annual conference on the persecuted church. The goal of The Bridge Conference, taking place in Silver Spring, Maryland, is to gather and mobilize church members and pastors from around the nation to connect in a very real way with their persecuted brothers and sisters, expanding on ICC’s mission to be a bridge to the persecuted church.
ICC, like IRD’s Religious Liberty Program, and every other group that does advocacy for the persecuted church, knows how difficult it is to motivate American churches and Christians on the issue of global Christian persecution. When something is an issue, we realize that it is important, that we should be concerned, that we should pray. We may even remember that it is a Scriptural MANDATE! And when we hear stories about real people, people we can relate to, the issue becomes more real and more of us get involved — and we may even encourage our pastors to take up the cause.
But when the issue and the stories are incarnate before our eyes, when we in the part of the Church that worships in freedom have the opportunity to see, and hear from, and look into the eyes of Christians who have suffered for the sake of the Gospel, and to hear from those who have been called to walk alongside the suffering ones, it is a transforming moment. Suddenly an issue becomes a relationship. That is ICC’s dream for The Bridge Conference.
In the words of ICC President Jeff King:
From members of Congress, to nonprofits, to churches, missions pastors, missionaries, and the persecuted themselves, we are gathering the Free and Persecuted Church together to learn from each other and to learn how to connect and fight for the Persecuted Church.
This is a conference about Persecution where the speakers and leaders we gather will give you the inside scoop on ISIS, persecution, how to get your church engaged, as well as how to connect and assist Christians in persecuted countries.
Finally, in the persecuted Church, you find real devotion, sacrifice, and great love for the Lord in spite of the terrible cost Christians pay for their faith. It is our hope and desire for the Lord to touch our hearts at this conference and call us to revival.
It’s that spirit that we love and hope to spread, starting with you!
You can find out all about the conference — speakers, schedule, and the registration information — here. Those who register for the conference will be given the location for the Friday and Saturday events. Thursday’s program, for NGO’s and other religious freedom advocates, will take place on Capitol Hill.
Also on the conference website you can find additional resources and downloadable materials such as videos and posters and flyers for churches.
Please consider joining us at The Bridge Conference and learning how better to serve your persecuted brothers and sisters.