The people of Burma have faced a brutal campaign by the military junta that has taken thousands of lives, forced millions to flee, and destroyed many church buildings in their campaign to control and suppress the people’s democratic rights and religious freedoms in the country. Attacks by the Burmese military on villages and towns have forced 1.3 million people to flee to neighboring countries and 1.9 million to hide in the jungles of Myanmar.
Congress passed the Burma bill last year and now needs to appropriate funds to implement the provisions of the bill. Randel Everett, founder and President of 21Wilberforce recently urged Texas church leaders to sign a letter calling on Congress and specifically Rep. Kay Granger to provide support for persecuted people in Burma. Read more here.
GLOBAL FREEDOM NETWORK(AFRICA) Promoted AT Youth CONGRESS
The Global Freedom Network (Africa) held a promotion in early September during the Arise Congress organized by the Nigerian Baptist Convention held at the Baptist International Convention Centre. The Congress brought together 25,000 young people from across Nigeria, including places with high levels of religious violence. Registrations included church workers and pastors within the age group from all Conferences across Nigeria.
The Global Freedom Network, represented by Dn Dapo Ipadeola, was granted the opportunity to present on religious freedom, social injustice and the GFN during the Congress. Read more here.
International Day of Prayer Sunday, November 5, 2023
IDOP 2023 is on November 5, 2023 and the theme is: “Courage to Rise Above” Joshua 1:9 with a focus on India, Nigeria and Nicaragua. IDOP stands for International Day of Prayer: for the Persecuted Church. Every year, Christians around the world set a day aside for prayer for our sisters and brothers who are persecuted for their faith. Numerous denominations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) prepare materials and campaigns to highlight this annual event. IDOP Canada has created a free resource kit that is print ready, can be downloaded and it consists of the items listed below. Learn more here.
1. Leader’s Checklist
2. 2023 IDOP video (3-minute)
3. Sermon Themes, Scripture and Outlines
4. Bulletin Insert
5. Countries of Focus: India, Nigeria and Nicaragua (country profiles, a story and prayer points)
6. Children’s Activity Sheets
7. Suggested Songs and Hymns List
8. Creative Ideas (A list that may help you come up with new ways in which you and your congregation can recognize this important day.)
9. Additional Resources (PowerPoint slides with prayer points, social media posts and a theme poster)
FBC MIDLAND: Nov. 5 DAY OF PRAYER FOR THE PERSECUTED CHURCH
Please join us and others from the Midland, Texas community on the Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Free banquet in the First Baptist Midland Fellowship Hall at 5PM, followed by a time of worship at 6PM in the First Baptist Midland Worship Center. Registration is not required. Learn more here.
VIETNAMESE RELIGIOUS PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE RELEASED
The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) welcomed the release of Nguyen Bac Truyen, a Hoa Hao Buddhist, religious freedom advocate, and human rights defender. Vietnamese authorities had detained him since July 30, 2017 on spurious charges. He was released on September 8, 2023.
Just two days before US President Joe Biden and his entourage arrived in Hanoi, human rights activist Nguyen Bac Truyen was released from Vietnamese prison five years earlier than his sentence, and along with his wife, Ms. Kim Phuong flew to the Federal Republic of Germany, where they are forced to live in exile. Read more here.
21Wilberforce will honor Pastor Bob Roberts, Jr., the 2023 Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award recipient, on Thursday, October 5th at a dinner in the Great Hall at Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, Texas. Roberts will share his story as our keynote speaker. Special music provided by Sarah Marantz, Stephen Carrell and Keron Jackson. REGISTER HERE
The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) invites you to join us in commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 (IRFA). Monday, October 23, 2023, 3:00-5:00 pm ET, Kennedy Caucus Room, 325 Russell Senate Office Building, Washington, DC Register Here