Two of our team members just returned from Iraq, where they traveled to Mosul and Mount Sinjar in Iraq to document what is needed for Christians, Yezidis and other religious minorities to return to their homes. Wherever we go we are asked, “Why doesn’t the Church in America help us?”
It is time the Church and all people of goodwill in the West awaken to the cries of those who are suffering and stand up for them. We must learn their stories, pray for them faithfully, share our many resources with them and fight for them both nationally and internationally.
One way we at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative are working to move people to action is through an event called Speak Freedom Texas. On Sunday, November 5, the Texas Baptists are joining forces with 21CWI to encourage their 5,500 churches to stand with the persecuted. 21CWI has created a web site – www.SpeakFreedomTexas.org -- with a myriad of resources for churches or any faith group and individuals to use.
On the site, you can find sermon starters, Sunday School lessons, fact sheets, videos, prayer guides and personal stories from the persecuted that have come from our own interviews. We also have specific ways churches and individuals can be involved, including templates for writing letters to members of Congress and even simple instructions for building an Internally Displaced Person (IDP) shelter just like the ones where so many families are forced to live in crowded and dangerous conditions.
This web site and event are open to all churches, college campus chapters or other faith groups or individuals regardless of geography or faith. It is named for Texas because of the partnership with Texas Baptists.
Our 21CWI team has traveled to more than a dozen countries of concern during the past three years and has witnessed the devastating results of religious intolerance. We have interviewed hundreds of individuals who have suffered imprisonment, displacement, bodily harm and loss of family members. We have seen villages that were burned to the ground, churches that were vandalized or destroyed and seen families living on the edge of extinction in places once known by the vitality of their faith.
Challenge your church leaders to stand with the persecuted on Sunday, November 5 for Speak Freedom Texas. Use the resources we have provided to become engaged in the fight for the voiceless.
Randel Everett President and Founder
(c) 2017 Wilberforce Initiative