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World News

'Our society has a responsibility to protect': Christians urged to remember the persecuted on International Migrants Day

by Heather Preston

Christians have been encouraged to remember persecuted believers who've fled their homes in the past 12 months.

Wednesday marked International Migrant Day, which was established in 1997 to raise awareness about the challenges and difficulties of those who've been forced to flee their homeland.

An independent review by the Bishop of Truro was published in July, revealing Christians to be the most persecuted religious group in the world.

Religious freedom charity ADF International says many continue to face hardships and re-settlement issues because of their faith. 

Johanna Hohenberg from the organisation told Premier: "They need to flee their homes and their countries in search of a safer life, so it is very frequent that Christians are displaced because of their religion."

Hohenberg cited a case in which an Afghani citizen seeking asylum in Switzerland faced being deported back to Afghanistan where he could face the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity.

In November, the European Court of Human Rights ruled it was illegal to deport the individual, according to Hohenberg "because they were facing such persecution, it would have been a threat to their life.

"The case sets a court precedent for all the other countries which are party to this court", she added.

ADF are calling Christians to support their persecuted brothers and sisters in prayer and to help raise awareness of their plight to bring about change.

Executive Director Paul Coleman said: "Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith. On International Migrants Day, we should remember those who are forced to flee their homes and leave everything behind in search of a safer life.

"Our society has a responsibility to protect those who are fleeing from torture, imprisonment, or death due to their religious beliefs. In this case, we welcome the important judgement by the European Court of Human Rights and hope it will act as a signal to all states to give safety to those who face persecution for their faith."

 

Dear Lord, 

Thank you that you say 'blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'

Father, please comfort those who live in extremely difficult situations because they believe in you. 

Thank you that you understand what it is like to be mocked and tortured, and that you even endured the punishment for all the sins of the world. 

Please change the hearts of the persecutors so they come to know you. 

Please give those suffering endurance until the final day. 

Amen. 

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