“America will stand by followers of Christ in this hour of need,” US Vice President Mike Pence told the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians on Thursday. “Our administration is fully committed in bringing relief and comfort to believers, not only across the Middle East but across the world.”
People from 130 countries were represented at the summit, which was organized by evangelist Franklin Graham and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
So what is happening to Christians around the world that is worrying so many people?
Clarion Project’s new film Faithkeepers uncovers the horrific reality faced by so many simply for being who they are.
“In the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, Christians and other minorities are being violently persecuted, driven out of their homes, and killed” the Faithkeepers team says. “Their places of worship are being destroyed, and their history is being erased.”
Across the world, but particularly in the Middle East, Christians and other religious minorities are persecuted for their faith. Most of this persecution is meted out at the hands of radical Islam, although by no means all of it.
In Iraq and Syria, ravaged by war, Christians, Yazidis and other minority groups are suffering grievously under the yoke of terrorist groups like the Islamic State. Christian communities that fall under their control are given a simple choice: convert to Islam, pay the jizya, a humiliating protection tax, or die.
Thousands of Yazidi women and girls were kidnapped into sex slavery and sold in the markets of Mosul and Raqqa. They have suffered unimaginably.
“Faithkeepers gives face and voice to the humanitarian crisis and genocide affecting millions in the Middle East as a result of religious and ethnic persecution,” the Faithkeepers team added. “The film is a testament to the stories of the persecuted and an inspiring portrait of the human spirit. Faithkeepers – the movie and movement – will awaken, enlighten and inspire all people of faith to stand up and take action.”
The film premieres in the United States on May 23.