Ample evidence is available concerning persecution of practicing Christians in many countries today. Christians living in hostile societies, who seek to instruct their young, share their faith, meet privately for Bible study and prayer, or reproduce Christian literature are subject to discrimination and harassment. Loss of jobs, the right to higher education, housing restrictions, separation of children from their parents and harsh prison sentences on trumped up charges are life situations for thousands of Christians. Yet amid such persecution Christianity is a growing movement, especially with the young.
For this reason, however, unless there is sufficient pressure, such oppressive treatment may increase. As, for example, in the case of improved conditions for the emigration of Soviet Jews, the greater the outcry and publicity in other parts of the world, the less there was restriction and suppression by Communist authorities. Another example is the freedom granted Alexander Solzhenitsyn who apparently was headed for certain imprisonment except for world outcry. This could also be true in the sentencing and treatment of Christians in prison for their faith, the treatment of their relatives, and the treatment of pastors. With increased awareness of these situations, evangelicals who enjoy freedom of worship and witness dare not remain silent and inactive.
THEREFORE the National Association of Evangelicals calls upon Christians worldwide to:
• Pray for all oppressed people wherever they may be and specifically for Christians, who are persecuted for Jesus sake,
• Provide financial and other assistance for persecuted Christians through appropriate channels, and
• Protest persecution of Christians through official and public channels as urgency and judgment demands