Global Christian Persecution

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October 30, 2019

Anglicans Moved for the Persecuted Church

Part One: An Anglican Movement for Persecuted Christians around the World

The Anglican Persecuted Church Network Banner

The new Anglican Persecuted Church Network was launched last month at New Wineskins 2019. The New Wineskins Missionary Network’s triennial gathering for mission-minded Anglicans and others with a heart for reaching the world with the Good News of Jesus highlighted the persecuted church at the September event.

The evening prior to New Wineskins 2019, we screened Christians in the Mirror, a new film about global persecution. The film, focusing on Egypt, India, Iraq, Syria, and Sudan, was produced by Joshuacord and filmmaker Jordan Allott’s InAltum productions. Among the powerful encounters are the testimonies of a wife, a daughter, and a mother of Coptic Christians martyred on the Libyan seashore by ISIS.

In addition, Patricia Streeter, who leads ministry for persecuted Christians at St. James Anglican Church, Costa Mesa, CA, and I led a pre-conference on The Persecuted Church before New Wineskins 2019 began. At that pre-conference we made the plans for the Anglican Persecuted Church Network.

Since the Anglican Church in North America’s 2009 birth, global mission partners have exhorted American Anglicans to ensure that “global mission is in the DNA of the province.” But it’s just as important that Western Christians – Anglican and otherwise! – ensure that obedience to the Biblical mandate to support our persecuted brothers and sisters is part of our DNA.

Thus, the New Wineskins Missionary Network welcomed sponsoring a network mobilizing Anglicans to pray and advocate for the global persecuted church. The new Anglican Persecuted Church Network’s (APCN) vision is to live in the reality that we are one Body in Christ. We will encourage fellow Anglicans to solidarity, making a unified stand for all persecuted Christians around the world.

The APCN is a great step in itself, but compelling people to join such a network amidst other activities and concerns is not easy. The APCN provides a page on the New Wineskins website, a Facebook group, and other resources to inform people about the persecuted church around the world through such means as  . . . well, the Institute on Religion and Democracy’s International Religious Liberty Program, for one!

But what can move people so much that they say to themselves, “I must do this! I must care about my persecuted brothers and sisters! I must find a way to pray for them, advocate for them, and support them!”?

We had the movement in place with the APCN’s creation, but for the movement to catch fire, it needed a moment ­– a moment in which the Holy Spirit could touch people’s hearts, convict them, and give them passion for the persecuted.

(Frankly, it needs a succession of moments like that because the enemy does everything he can to stop us from focusing on our persecuted brothers and sisters.) But we entered the first such moment in New Wineskins’ Saturday night session.

More about that experience in “Anglicans Moved for The Persecuted Church, Part Two: An Anglican Moment for Persecuted Christians around the World” coming soon!


3 Responses to Anglicans Moved for the Persecuted Church

  1. Lisa D Tobias says:

    We really needed to shine a light on the persecution happening on the African Continent…

  2. Jana Alexander says:

    I’ve also been moved to pray for the Palestinian Christians living in Israel and the West Bank. They are unsupported by both the Jewish government and the Palestinian Muslims.

  3. Margaret Rouhani says:

    I agree with Jana Alexander, it is important to pray for Arab Palestinian Christians. I would contest Jana’s view that Arab Israeli Christians are not supported by the Israel Government – The Knesset has many sitting Arab members & Arabs are able to participate in all levels of life in Israeli Society. However, unlike Israel Jews & Druze, military service is not mandatory for them. They only join if they want to.
    It is in Muslim-controlled areas that Christians have traditionally endured the most severe persecution, & so many areas in the territories, which were historically Christian communities, have seen a change in demographics as Muslims move in forcing out the Christian population. It is in Israel that the Christian population is growing.

    Arab Christians in the region are in the complex position of being Dhimmi. (Non-Muslims subjugated by Islam in their own lands.) If you are not familiar with the term I would refer you to Bat Ye’or’s seminal work on Dhimmitude, a field of study she established, having direct personal experience of the status.

    Anglican priest/scholar Mark Durie has also written work on the subject of Dhimmitude in his books, The Third Choice, & one dealing with the psychologoical & spiritual impact of Dhimmitude for both the Dhimmi individual/community as well as the oppressor (Islam), in Liberty to the Captive (I believe that is the correct title).

    Arab Christians in the Middle East have traditionally held to the position of Supersessionism (Replacement Theology) which is innately hostile to Jews/Judaism. Muslims over the centuries have effectively capitalized on the millenia-old hostility between Jews & Christians as both were/are subjugated people (Dhimmi/Dhimma) under Islam and it has used this hostility to promote its own agenda in the region.

    Light for all Nations is a Christian organization established by
    a Palestinian Christian from Nazareth, Nizaar Shaheen. He once exhibited such hostility to Jews but had a powerful conversion experience and now ministers to all people in the region, although the primary focus is on Arabs. The organization also does much work with the persecuted Church
    & is based in Canada with offices in Israel I believe.

    I hope this response moves other concerned, caring Christians to find out more about the complexities of this matter, and that a more accurate historical as well as spiritual understanding of the issues will result.

    In Christ’s Peace,

    Margaret Rouhani

    This is something the Christian Community in the Middle East as a whole, has to learn to let go of.

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