Evangelical Christians are a growing movement in the United States and around the world. When recent research reported an overall decline in religious affiliation in the United States, it also noted that the number of evangelicals has increased by millions. And, there is greater growth of evangelicals in China, across Africa and around the globe.

This magazine has been launched to catch up with the growth of evangelicals and the growth of the National Association of Evangelicals. It follows NAE publications of the past including United Evangelical Action, Washington Insight and the 2014 award-winning NAE Insight.

Unlike many publications that are primarily accountable to their editorial staff, this magazine is accountable to NAE’s nearly 40 member denominations and a long list of member organizations, churches and individuals. Our denominations’ CEOs sit on the NAE board along with the leaders of many of America’s best-known colleges, seminaries, churches, missions and other evangelical organizations.

Religious freedom ranks as a top concern among evangelical Christians today. We have been shocked and heartbroken over the slaughter of our brothers and sisters in Christ who have died as modern martyrs in Libya, Kenya and Iraq. Where Christians have lived out their faith for 2,000 years in lands seized by ISIS, their numbers have nearly disappeared.

Many fellow believers are worried about coming restrictions on religious liberty in our own nation — and not just religious freedom for evangelicals but for all Americans. While we know that a few articles in one publication cannot address every question, we raise the issue to increase awareness, gather consensus and encourage prayers.

We asked notable leaders whom we should recruit to write the cover article on our first topic. The number one choice was Richard Mouw, president emeritus of Fuller Theological Seminary. As a veteran theologian and popular communicator, he opens this first issue with his take and advice to evangelicals on religious freedom.