The United States must make the fight against persecution a priority, religious liberty advocates said recently.
"As the Apostle Paul taught the early church to respond to the needs of fellow believers who were being persecuted in Jerusalem, we here in America today have a responsibility to use our influence and our resources to help fellow Christians in need," said Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC).
Perkins joined five other religious freedom advocates in a webcast on persecution cosponsored by FRC and Voice of the Martyrs (VOM). As host of the webcast, he discussed the persecution of Christians in countries throughout the Middle East, as well as in North Korea, Eretria, China, Nigeria and more than 20 other countries.
The other spokesmen emphasized the need for action from the United States government to help the persecuted.
"I find it difficult to describe it as merely persecution. This is almost extinction," said Emmanuel Ogebe, a Nigerian Christian attorney.
During the past year, Nigerian churches have suffered 24 suicide bombings, making it the worst year of the past 30 years of persecution, Ogebe said. Christians in Nigeria are not accustomed to such persecution, he said during the Nov. 14 webcast.
"Christians wear their Sunday best to go to church, and it turns out to be their funeral clothing," he said.
Nigeria has seen little support from the United States government, Ogebe said.
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SOURCE: Baptist Press