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Christians Urged to Stand with Those Persecuted for Their Faith

Pesecuted ChurchThe American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is calling on “all persons of goodwill interested in defending the freedoms of religion and conscience” to join together during the weekend of September 22-23, 2012, on behalf Christians suffering from religious persecution.

“We must stand against discrimination and persecution wherever they occur,” says Tiffany N. Barrans, ACLJ’S International Legal Director and the coordinator of “48 Hours For Religious Freedom.” “It is our hope that this will be just the first step in standing for freedom of religion and conscience and against religious discrimination and persecution around the globe.”

According to ACLJ, it is estimated that more than 159,900 Christians are martyred each year for their faith. And even more are harassed for it. In Iran, for example, Christians daily face persecution.  It is illegal in Iran for Christians to even worship or own a Bible in their native tongue. 

Earlier this month, Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released from prison and acquitted of his apostasy charge after languishing in prison for almost three years under the threat of execution for his faith.

The “48 Hours For Religious Freedom” is an expansion of ACLJ’s viral campaign for Pastor Nadarkhani's freedom and aims to raise international awareness of religious discrimination and persecution.

To assist those who want to participate, 48HoursforFreedom.org will house multi-lingual resources, including an informational video, a prayer sheet, a sample church bulletin, suggested activities, and other resources. Churches, organizations, and individuals can request additional information by emailing 4RelFreedom@gmail.com.

PHOTO ABOVE: A cross and furniture from a Russian evangelical church in Moscow lay outside after the government demolished the once-standing church building. Photograph courtesy of Holy Trinity Pentecostal Church.

Published: September 20, 2012