PERSECUTIONHow you can help defend suffering Christians around the world

Jesus made it very clear that the Gospel was meant for all people and all nations.

He commanded His followers to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” And He told them that “you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

But forces are at work to hinder people from hearing the Gospel. All around the world, there are those who would shut the door against it. Christians in India, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Pakistan — just to name a few — are enduring severe persecution beyond anything we can imagine here in America. Meanwhile, Christians in Europe are experiencing growing pressure on their ability to freely live out their faith.

The good news is that you are in a unique position to help these Christians who are suffering for the sake of the Gospel.

Thanks to a $1 million challenge grant from a generous Christian family, your gift to fund the defense of religious freedom and win justice for persecuted Christians will have even more impact.

Rise to the challenge of the challenge grant!

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Destruction of churches, like this one in Hyderabad, is just one example of the increasing persecution Christians face in India and other Asian nations.

Our brothers and sisters are in danger

Consider the situation in India where Christians make up less than 3% of the population. Although the right to religious freedom is explicitly protected in India’s constitution, Christians there face rising persecution.

Several states in India have enacted anti-conversion laws that are used to discourage people from changing religions. Not only do these laws violate religious freedom, they are often used as a pretext for serious human rights violations against religious minorities.

In these states, everyone desiring to change their religion is listed in a public registry. This makes them vulnerable to violent extremist mobs who oppose religious conversions.

Across the globe, battles are being waged to silence, punish, or force Christians to renounce their faith.

These anti-conversion laws are designed to close the door to the Gospel and restrict all people from freely exercising their faith. There is a tremendous struggle occurring right now in India, a struggle with eternal consequences.

But these laws are not limited to India. Anti-conversion laws have also been enacted in the south Asian nations of Bhutan, Myanmar, and Nepal. In Nepal, conviction brings a potential sentence of six years in prison! Meanwhile, in Pakistan, blasphemy laws have been used to a similar effect to keep people from converting from Islam.

Our allies in India have actively challenged the anti-conversion laws, which clearly violate India’s constitution. We have successfully litigated more than 200 cases, including challenging anti-conversion laws, rules preventing sharing the Gospel in tribal villages, and deportations of missionaries.

You can help defend your suffering brothers and sisters.

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IN INDIA: When priests came looking for seminarians who had been detained by police, the priests’ car was burned by a mob in front of the police station.

Seminary students arrested while singing Christmas carols

In a recent case of persecution, 32 young Catholic seminarians were arrested in the Madhya Pradesh state as they were going door to door in a rural village singing Christmas carols.

When priests came to inquire about the allegations, a mob approached and torched their car in front of the police station.

Allied Lawyers of ADF International have stepped in to defend the students. While the young men were released, one priest is still facing prosecution for “forcible conversion.”

Will you help make sure that justice prevails?

“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith,” said Paul Coleman, ADF International Executive Director. “In India, we see an increasingly hostile climate towards religious minorities. Anti-conversion laws fuel this sentiment and pave the way for the so-called Hindutva ideology that seeks to purge India of all non-Hindus."

“Sadly this is not an isolated incident. The international community needs to wake up to what is happening in India.”

Violent persecution is not the only threat

Violent persecution is not the only threat to Christians around the world. ADF International has open legal matters in almost one-third of the world’s countries, including 30 cases currently before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

With the help of your gracious support, our dedicated team of lawyers and allied lawyers have supported these important cases before the ECHR:

  • Defending religious freedom— In Russia, American missionary Donald Ossewaarde was convicted and fined under the nation’s new “anti-terrorism” laws, simply for holding a Bible study in his home!

  • Defending the sanctity of life — In Belgium, Tom Mortier received a call from the hospital asking him to retrieve his mother’s body from the mortuary. Because she had depression, a doctor had administered life-ending drugs without her son even being informed.

  • Defending parents’ rights — In Germany, police officers entered a home and forcibly removed the family’s four children. Their “crime”? Homeschooling!
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The threat may seem distant because it comes from other countries. But please do not overlook the challenges our fellow believers face in Europe and beyond. Secularists in Europe, the United States, and elsewhere use many of the same tactics to attack religious freedom and prevent Christians from freely living out their faith. We must not underestimate the impact foreign law can have on the United States.

The international institutions where we work, like the European Court of Human Rights, hold enormous power over citizens of other countries. Their decisions have also had major influence with America’s allies, with our own government, and — because U.S. judges increasingly consult foreign legal precedents — in America’s courtrooms.

If left unopposed, anti-life and anti-family policies like we see in Belgium and Germany could easily create harmful legal trends. These precedents then could be used to impose great pressure on the United States to conform to the new international “norm.”

Alliance Defending Freedom will continue its efforts to protect American sovereignty and prevent foreign legal precedents from being imposed on Americans. But it is also clear that we must now stand with those who are standing for faith and freedom beyond our own borders. Quite simply, defending our suffering brothers and sisters is the right thing to do.

Your gift today will help provide a strong defense for religious freedom … around the world, and here in America, too.

Don’t let the challenge grant go to waste!

Your support helps keep the doors open for the Gospel

Until 2010, no Christian legal organization had the capacity or manpower to systematically stand up to opponents of the Gospel that exist across the international legal system. But that all changed when ADF International joined the battle.

God’s people have been generous in their support, and we’ve shown that we can effectively defend religious freedom at the highest international levels.

There is still much work to do, but the results speak for themselves — 452 international legal victories for religious freedom, including 17 at the highly influential European Court of Human Rights.

Please give generously today. With the $1 million challenge, together we can provide a solid foundation to fight critical legal battles. Thank you!