Call for Action
More than 350 Christians gathered in Belfast to declare that they would stand with the persecuted church – which may increasingly include the UK.
Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali, keynote speaker at the Call for Action conference held at St Anne’s Cathedral, said there were many reasons for Christians being persecuted in many parts of the world, but that the UK was also being affected by the spread of ‘aggressive secularism’.
He told delegates about persecution in China, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan and Eritrea. The congregation were invited to kneel and pray for Christians in Nigeria, who have suffered recent attacks on their communities. A film was shown of an Iranian woman, who tearfully told how she had been forced to leave her family and her country after she had converted from Islam.
The event was hosted by Open Doors, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) and Release International. Mervyn Thomas of CSW reminded Christians to obey Christ’s command to pray for their persecutors.
Andy Dipper, chief executive of Release, said, ‘We must engage with our persecuted brothers and sisters. We are one family, and we must bear their burdens. What can we do? We can pray, we can give and we can support them in their work and witness’.