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'From Ashes to Glory': How You Can Join the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church

11-04-2017
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Watch the video of the testimony of Voice of the Martyrs founder Richard Wurmbrand and see how, even while suffering, he witnessed the incredible power of Christ's love. 

The International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church is a two-Sunday event that started Sunday, Nov. 5 and ends on Sunday, Nov. 12.  The theme of this year's annual day of prayer is "From Ashes to Glory."

Religious organizations are encouraging Christians across the U.S. to pray on Sunday for persecuted Christians around the world and then to call your representatives on Monday to tell them to pass legislation to help fellow believers. 

The bill, H.R. 390, the Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017, passed the House in June, and is now ready for Senate action after being reviewed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The bill would make it U.S. policy "to ensure that assistance for humanitarian, stabilization, and recovery needs of individuals who are or were nationals and residents of Iraq or Syria, and of communities from those countries, is directed toward those individuals and communities with the greatest need, including those individuals from communities of religious and ethnic minorities." It would also seek to bring the perpetrators of genocide to justice.

"Christians, along with Yazidis and other minorities, have received little aid and protection, in spite of the fact that it is because of their religious affiliation that they are victims of genocide," Faith J.H. McDonnell, director of Religious Liberty at Institute on Religion & Democracy, said in a press release.

"Minority communities brutalized by ISIS need help as they try to rebuild their lives instead of just trying to survive from day to day," she continued, noting the lack of assistance from the United Nations and USAID while praising the life-saving efforts of small, faith-based organizations and the local religious communities.

"H.R. 390 is needed because it includes provisions on security and on bringing perpetrators to justice, not just on humanitarian aid," McDonnell explained.

Last month, Vice President Mike Pence announced at the In Defense of Christians (IDC) conference that the U.S. would send more aid directly through USAID for Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities targeted by ISIS.

Also earlier this year at Proclaim 17, the NRB International Christian Media Convention in Orlando, the National Religious Broadcasters board of directions issued a resolution in support of Christians in the Middle East. The board affirmed its solidarity with the persecuted and called on "NRB members and their constituents to urge the United States to take decisive action in defense of Christians threatened by genocide."

In 2016, then-Secretary of State John Kerry designated ISIS crimes as genocide, identifying by name Yazidis, Christians, and other minority groups targeted for extermination by extremists.

Watch the video below for the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church.

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