Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) – a coalition of Christian leaders and organizations that launched last year in response to the persecution that is being witnessed throughout the world but is largely absent in the headlines – announced Thursday its evolution from an informal coalition into a new, national nonprofit organization and movement.
NRB’s president & CEO, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, was present for the announcement and opened up the press conference with a word of prayer, citing Proverbs 24:11-12, which in part instructs the people of God to “[r]escue those being taken off to death, and save those stumbling toward slaughter.”
“Violent and extreme persecution against Christians is an appalling reality; it’s happening and cannot be ignored,” noted Johnson prior to the press conference. “Church and ministry leaders in the United States must serve as a loud voice on behalf of our brothers and sisters in Christ.”
Since its launch last February, STPC has shipped more than 1,000 banners featuring the “nun” letter to houses of worship. The “nun” letter became an international symbol for the oppression of Christians after the Islamic State used this first letter of the Arabic word for “Nazarene” to designate homes of followers of Christ targeted for persecution. STPC has sought to encourage faith leaders and houses of worship across America to post the banners outside their facilities in order to (1) build awareness, and (2) encourage engagement by directing passers-by to www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org.
Last July, as a side event to the U.S. Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, STPC debuted a powerful exhibit at the U.S. Capitol that featured a series of more than 20 7-foot-by-32-inch vertical banners showing what millions of people experience simply because they follow Jesus Christ, including violence, rape, murder, torture, imprisonment, loss of property, and exclusion from civil society. Since the debut of “The People of the Cross” exhibit, the banners have toured the United States and were featured at 21 events in 10 states, reaching an audience of at least 14,500.
Also since the coalition’s launch, nearly 2,000 have subscribed to the Save the Persecuted Christians website to receive news and action items regarding persecution. Meanwhile, its advisory board of faith leaders and other civil society leaders has grown to more than 130 members.
During the press conference announcing its evolution into the SaveUs Movement, STPC introduced its president & CEO, Frank Gaffney; executive director, Dede Laugesen; and chairman of the board of directors, Bishop Keith Butler.
The press conference also featured STPC partners with Mission Africa International, ICON, and concerned Nigerian-Americans, who called for the appointment of a U.S. Special Envoy to Nigeria and Lake Chad Region.
The coalition’s goal is to mobilize Americans to stand in the gap for the 215 million Christians worldwide experiencing brutal violence and abuse for their faith.