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Faith McDonnell August 30, 2012
It is hard to believe that the summer is almost over. As usual, summer has been an especially busy and active time for the IRD’s Religious Liberty Program. Thanks to the generous support from friends like you, we have had the resources to carry us through a jam-packed summer schedule.
My participation in the Trinitarian International Solidarity (S.I.T.) conference on May 30 was a warm-up for the rest of the summer. I spoke about the growing epidemic of persecution around the world to about 40 clergy and lay members of S.I.T. in the Roman Catholic Order of the Most Holy Trinity. S.I.T. was created during the Order’s 800th anniversary “to bring mercy and redemption to those who suffer persecution because of their faith in Jesus Christ.”
In June I addressed the annual Coptic Solidarity Conference on the status of religious freedom in the Middle East. You will know that the Arab “Spring” has turned out to be disastrous for Egypt’s Christians, as well as for almost everybody except the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda affiliates. The video of my talk, as well as those of other great speakers, is on the Coptic Solidarity website under “Third Annual Conference.”
Highlights of July included speaking at the annual rally for freedom in China held by the Falun Gong at the U.S. Capitol. This is always an amazing experience because of the hundreds and hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners who attend. My speech is available on YouTube. Also in July I was privileged to meet the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayodele “Ayo” Joseph Oritsejafor when he came to Washington to testify before Congress. Before the hearing IRD co-hosted a luncheon for him and his delegation, as well as Nigeria advocates in Washington, DC. My article about this is in the latest issue of Faith & Freedom.
While vacationing in Maine in August, I took a busman’s holiday to speak about the persecuted church at Trinity Charismatic
Episcopal Church in Kingston, NH. The Rev. Canon Dr. Mark Pearson runs both Trinity Church and the Institute for Christian Renewal, a center for spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. Last week I was privileged to spend some time with the Anglican Primate of All Nigeria, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh. Archbishop Okoh spoke at The Heritage Foundation about the critical situation for Nigeria’s Christians under the continuing assaults of the Islamist terrorist group Boko Haram. I have written about this frequently.
You may also be interested in a cover story on the ongoing genocide in the Nuba Mountains that I have written for the September/October issue of Prism, the magazine of Evangelicals for Social Action. The entire contents of the magazine are posted on their website after publication, so you can read it here.
Last weekend I spoke at a conference on Sudan in Des Moines, where a report will soon follow. Summer may be coming to an end, but IRD’s Religious Liberty Program advocacy goes on!
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