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Proclaim freedom

The Australian House of Representatives does not accept online signatures yet. If you wish to sign the Petition please download a copy or call the Australian Office 1300 365 799.

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Christians are one of the largest and most persecuted groups in the world. Yet they often appear to be the most neglected group in Western governments’ foreign policy. There is little concrete engagement with the issue of anti-Christian persecution, even though governments may recognise that respect for minorities and human rights is a foundation stone for national and international peace and security.

Universal Declaration on Human Rights, Article 18
“Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance”

Barnabas Fund’s Proclaim Freedom campaign will run to the end of 2012 and will seek to raise the profile of the persecuted Church around the world. It will have two specific aims:

  • to press governments to be active in promoting human rights in other countries for all minorities, but especially religious freedom for the roughly 200 million Christians living under the shadow of persecution, discrimination and disadvantage
  • to press governments to work to ensure that other countries bring to justice citizens who either incite anti-Christian hatred or engage in anti-Christian violence
“If you believe in the cause of freedom, then proclaim it, live it and protect it, for humanity’s future depends on it.”
Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson (1912 – 1983) US Congressman and Senator

The Proclaim Freedom petition provides us all with an opportunity to call our governments to pursue decisive policies aimed at putting pressure on states that persecute or condone the persecution of Christians and assisting other countries to improve the lot of minority groups within their borders.

Please sign this petition and promote it within your church and community. You can help us influence government policy, which in turn could bring greater hope and freedom to our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

The Australian House of Representatives does not accept online signatures yet. If you wish to sign the Petition please download a copy or call the Australian Office 1300 365 799.

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    • Cry out to the Lord for Alexis Prem Kumar, a 47-year-old Christian minister from India who was abducted in Afghanistan on 2 June. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping, but three Taliban militants have been arrested in connection with it. Alexis had worked for an NGO in Afghanistan since 2011, helping returning refugees. He was leaving a school near Herat for Afghan children who have recently returned from Iran or Pakistan when he was seized. Give thanks for Alexis’ willingness to serve the Lord in what remains one of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians, and pray for his safe return. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 23 hours ago

    • The case of an Egyptian Christian man arrested following complaints by Muslim neighbours that he had been using his home as a church without a permit highlights the need of the Christian community for more places of worship. The 55-year-old man from Minya in Upper Egypt, where Christians are particularly vulnerable to persecution, was arrested once before, in 2011, for the same offence. Every church building in Egypt requires a permit, but these are notoriously difficult to obtain. Pray that the authorities will show leniency to the Christian man and that a provision in the new constitution addressing the issue of church buildings will be enacted. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Kidnapping for ransom has been a persistent problem for the Christian community in Egypt amid the political upheaval and instability following the “Arab Spring” revolution of 2011. On 14 June, Wadie Ramses, a well-known surgeon, was seized in El-Arish. The assailants opened fire on his vehicle and took him away wounded. They later demanded a ransom of ten million Egyptian Pounds (£800,000; US$1.4 million) for his release. Two days later, Christian merchant Gemal Shenouda was captured near his home in the same city. It is thought that Islamic militants with links to al-Qaeda, who have been behind escalating violence in the Sinai region, are responsible for the kidnappings. Pray for the safe return of our two Christian brothers and that they and their families will know the Lord’s peace. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Mon, Sep 2014 00:00

    • On 18 June, Bishoy Armia Boulous (31) was sentenced to five years in prison and given a fi ne of 500 Egyptian Pounds (US£70; £40) for “disturbing the peace by broadcasting false information” in connection with reports he produced relating to anti-Christian violence in Minya for a Christian TV channel. His lawyer believes that Bishoy has been targeted because of his conversion from Islam. The Christian gained notoriety in Egypt in 2007 as the first person to try to change his religion on his ID card, a case that is still unresolved owing to the political tumult in the country over the last three years. Pray that the Lord will be Bishoy’s strength and shield (Psalm 28:7), and that he will soon be released. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sun, Sep 2014 00:00

    • Saudi Arabia remains unique in the extent to which it restricts the public expression of any religion other than Islam.” In its annual report for 2014, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom highlighted the extraordinary restrictions faced by Christians and other non-Muslims in one of the most rigid and hardline Islamic states in the world. No churches exist in Saudi Arabia because of an Islamic tradition that Muhammad said there should be only one religion in the Arabian peninsula. Pray for peace and perseverance for the small number of Saudi converts and the many expatriate Christians practising their faith in this repressive context, and ask that the authorities will yield to international pressure to introduce greater religious freedom. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Sat, Sep 2014 00:00

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