Christians in many parts of the world are denying themselves and taking up their crosses to follow Jesus.
“The latest numbers show almost 79 percent of people on the planet today live under high or very high restrictions of their religious freedom,” says Brent McBurney. “Those numbers are related to both governmental restrictions and social hostility. Of course, the overall numbers are that high largely because both China and India are included.”
Brent McBurney knows about religious persecution, but he doesn’t work for Voice of the Martyrs or Open Doors ministries. McBurney is president of Advocates International, a worldwide association of attorneys. For 25 years these lawyers have been promoting human rights legislation in their own countries and defending individual Christians who’ve been targeted because of their faith.
“Freedom of religion means every aspect of a person’s life,” McBurney says. “Not just the right to attend a church, but to live out your faith in everyday life–as a business person, as a citizen.”
Click on the DOWNLOAD or LISTEN icon above to hear our conversation about ways governments—or neighbors—restrict others because of what they believe. We also talk about how ministries work together and differently to secure and defend the human right of religious freedom and minister to those who’ve been denied it.
“Each ministry doing its own small part, we feel can make a difference.”
We can support the persecuted by supporting those who defend them.
“The most important thing for us to acknowledge–the church needs to acknowledge–is what the Apostle Paul reminded us in Ephesians chapter 6: we fight not against flesh and blood. This is a spiritual battle. And the prayers of the saints are a vital weapon in this ongoing war,” McBurney says.
Learn more about Advocates International, which bills itself as “the Largest, Oldest, Most Efficient, Legal Aid Organization You’ve Never Heard of Before.”
Read the recent Christianity Today article highlighting the work of Advocates International: “The Invisible Heroes of the Persecuted Church.”