Petition 81248

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Affirming Solidarity (81248-C2-R9999)

Add new resolution as follows:
Solidarity with Persecuted Brothers and Sisters in Christ
WHEREAS, the bond of repentant sinners at the foot of the Cross transcends national and cultural divisions; and
WHEREAS, when one part of the body of Christ suffers, we all suffer with it (1 Corinthians 12:26); and
WHEREAS, according to the U.S. State Department’s 2007 Report on International Religious Freedom, there is widespread persecution of Christians around the world, which includes:

  Government authorities in the People’s Republic of China interfering in the internal affairs of the state-sanctioned churches, enforcing criminal prohibitions on evangelism, restricting ties between Chinese and foreign Christians, harassing and arresting worshippers in unregistered house churches, subjecting house church leaders to imprisonment and “reeducation,” and repressing Roman Catholicism, forcing Catholic bishops in China to go “underground”;

  • The government North Korea, a country that some estimate to have “up to several hundred thousand underground Christians,” denying religious freedom to its citizens, forcibly imposing idolatrous reverence of dictator Kim Jong-il and his late father, exploiting official religious organizations for international propaganda purposes, severely restricting citizens’ contact with foreigners, and subjecting Christians to harsh prison conditions and torture;
  • Significant violence and harassment against Christians and other religious minorities by Hindu extremist factions in India, at times with inadequate responses by law enforcement  officials;
  • The practice in many Islamic societies of systematically discriminating against non-Muslims, banning proselytizing by non-Muslims, and outlawing conversion from Islam to any other faith;
  • Saudi Arabia’s providing “no legal recognition of, or protection under the law for, freedom of religion” and essentially outlawing all non-Islamic religion;
  • Government authorities in Laos arresting individuals for religious reasons with “little protection under the law” and particularly targeting Protestants for mistreatment;
  • The government requiring Islam to be taught to every student, “even non-Muslims enrolled in private, Christian schools” in northern Sudan, imposing burdensome regulations on churches, and subjecting Christians to other serious forms of discrimination while the largely Christian and animist South still struggles to recover from its long civil war with the North;
        WHEREAS, as Christians, we are called to “work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith” (Galatians 6:10); and
    Be it therefore resolved, that we re-affirm the 2000 General Conference’s endorsement of the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church; and
    Be it further resolved, that we strongly affirm our solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are persecuted for their faith, particularly those facing life-threatening persecution; and
    Be it further resolved, that we celebrate the growth of Christianity in many parts of the world even in the face of such persecution; and
    Be it further resolved, that we encourage our local churches to educate their congregations about the plight of persecuted Christians around the world; and
    Be it further resolved, that we encourage the General Board of Church and Society to make religious freedom for all people around the world a top priority of their public witness.  

      U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, “2007 Report on International Religious Freedom”; available from <> ; accessed 22 October 2007