Congressman Frank Wolf is one who never minces words. This time his words are to the Church, reminding the Church that nearly 300 million Christians live under daily religious persecution with an average of 16 being martyred for their faith daily.
“I am disappointed in the Church, and I am concerned about the silence as hundreds of millions of fellow Christians suffer for their faith and are martyred daily. Waiting for the right time to act is not an option, and as we look at all the persecution taking place, are we being more cautious than courageous?” he asked. “Are we willing to risk imprisonments for what we believe?”
Now a former Congressman, Wolf does not speak in a vacuum. He worked to pass the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, which created the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom to monitor religious freedom worldwide as official policy of the United States government.
Congressman Frank Wolf
Congressman Wolf quotes scripture to show the biblical mandate for standing for the persecuted:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” Luke 4:18
“Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.” Hebrews 13:3
“So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.” Ecclesiastes 4:1
According to a 2009 report from the International Society for Human Rights, approximately 80% of acts of religious persecution around the world were aimed at Christians. Nearly 300 million Christians worldwide are living under persecution according to a 2018 Pew Report which found Christians suffering persecution in 144 countries worldwide.
In 2016, the Center for the Study of Global Christianity published a report that between 2005 and 2015, there were approximately 900,000 Christian martyrs worldwide. That equates to nearly 90,000 Christians per year, around one every eight minutes.
The “80/80/57/2 rule” is used by many to characterize the state of religious persecution in the world with nearly 80% of all persecutions aimed at Christians. Approximately 80% of that persecution happens in Mohammedan countries, with 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, who are legally charged with protecting Mohammedans worldwide from persecution. Only two nations – Hungary and Poland – are legally required to protect the 80% of the persecuted who are Christians.
Many in the Mohammedan world decry various efforts by well-meaning Christians to help “persecuted” Mohammedans, pointing out that it hinders the work of the OIC, which is charged with those efforts from its 57-member body. Christians should concentrate on helping their fellow Christians who form the vast majority of the persecuted with extraordinarily little official support.
One Mohammedan who did not want his name used said, “We have a problem within our own institutions and need to be taking care of the various divisions within our own religion by ourselves. Such efforts, of course, are well meaning, and take our leaders off the hook in taking care of these problems.”
“While we appreciate the efforts of well-meaning Christians to appear to be broad-minded and helpful to all faiths,” he continued, “ it is a fact that the vast majority of the persecution is towards Christians. Therefore, more focus must be placed on their fellow believers and on encouraging the OIC and other such groups within the Mohammedan community to care for our own”.
Wolf has some strong words of admonition for the Church, saying “The Church is not a social club, and if we do not get back to the days when the Church had a once a year ‘persecuted Church November’, and other such efforts, we share the burden for their suffering. I encourage all fellow believers to ‘pray, speak, educate and act’, on behalf of the 300 million fellow Christians who live under persecution and die daily for their faith”.
From July 13-15, the International Religious Freedom Summit is being held in Washington DC to gather world leaders to discuss, organize and push forward efforts worldwide for religious freedom at with organization sponsors and individual attendance being recruited to contribute and participate.