21Wilberforce to Honor Pastor Bob Roberts, Jr. with the 2023 Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award

21Wilberforce is pleased to announce that Pastor Bob Roberts, Jr. is the recipient of the 2023 Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award.  We will honor this renowned bridge builder who has dedicated his life to promoting and advancing religious freedom, peacemaking and civic engagement at a dinner on Thursday, October 5th, in the Great Hall at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas.

“How did a Baptist pastor’s kid from a small town in East Texas become a trailblazer in the areas of peacemaking and international religious freedom?” asks Heather Thompson Day in her Christianity Today “Viral Jesus” podcast.  Pastor Bob Roberts, Jr. will share his story as the keynote speaker on September 19th . Read more here.

Mayflower Church: Life Greater Than They Dared Dream

Pastor Pan Yongguang prayed for his flock throughout their more than three-year ordeal, when he and members of his persecuted church feared deportation back to China.

Today, he echoes the Apostle Paul’s testimony to the Ephesian church that God is able to do “abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.”

“We never dreamed of such a beautiful place,” he said, describing his church’s new home in East Texas.

More than 60 members of the Shenzhen Holy Reformed Church—nicknamed the “Mayflower Church” for their pursuit of religious freedom—fled persecution and harassment in China. Read more here.

The Indigenous Copts: Past Denied and Future Unknown

Coptic Solidarity hosted its 11th annual conference The Indigenous Copts: Past Denied and Future Unknown in Washington, DC June 15-16. Legislators, academics, advocates and policy experts convened to share their views and recommendations to provide greater protection and equality for the Copts of Egypt.

Policy Day, hosted in the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, included a panel focused on International Advocacy Partnerships. Trent Martin, 21Wilberforce Advocacy and Training Coordinator, moderated the session with a panel comprised of Anne Buwalda, J.D., President of Jubilee Campaign and Sean Nelson, J.D. of Alliance Defending Freedom Global. Read more here.

Keep Faith Alive: A Call to Support Communities of Faith Who Are Persecuted

Randel Everett, founder and president of 21Wilberforce, shared stories of courage and engagement by people of faith who came together and assisted persecuted communities during two luncheons recently in Waco and Temple, Texas.

Julia Butler, Senior Researcher and Coordinator of 1839 Society at the Texas Baptist Historical Collection and a 21Wilberforce Timothy Fellow served as the Master of Ceremonies for both events. Pastor Pan from the Mayflower Church, his son Paul who was his interpreter and Deana Brown, President of Freedom Seekers International, spoke at the June 15th luncheon. Read more here.

Bible College Teachers Indoctrinated at Beijing’s Central Institute of Socialism

Christian professors from all over the country were summoned to the capital to attend a mandatory course on Marxism and Xi Jinping thought. The Central Institute of Socialism was founded in 1956 by Chairman Mao to educate to Marxism those who were not members of the Chinese Communist Party. It has become the main educational institution of the United Front.

Its ideological orthodoxy is guaranteed by the fact that it operates “under the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party.” The current dean is Hao Mingjin, vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress. The Institute has trained more than 100,000 students, often through short courses and seminars. Read more here.



Sixteen members of Bege Baptist Church of Masala in central Nigeria were released June 4 after being kidnapped nearly a month earlier. Read more here.

The Lebanese government officially recognizes 18 religious groups and each of these groups has its own laws on “family matters. Read more here.