Date:                             February 29, 2024


A Christian prays in the ruins of a church

In a recent article for titled "Remembering the persecuted during Lent", Knox Thames, writes that Lent is a time of reflection about what the ultimate sacrifice Christ made on the cross. The piece also encourages us to remember and to pray for modern day martyrs who are hurting for their faith.

To support Christians in that effort, Knox has launched Christians Against All Persecution (CAAP), a new network of believers committed to prayer and action in support of anyone facing persecution for their beliefs (or non-beliefs). Read more here.


Midland Responds to Persecution of Christians

Mayflower members worshipping
Given their decades long commitment to defending and advancing religious freedom around the world, it is not surprising that the faith community in Midland, Texas has once again stepped forward to support Christians previously persecuted for their faith. Citizens of Midland were active in advocating for the Sudan Peace Act which passed in the US Congress in 2002 and they have prayed and provided support for churches and projects in Korea, Nigeria and China among other countries. 21Wilberforce recognized the city of Midland with the first Frank Wolf International Religious Freedom Award in 2018. Read more here.

The Next Generation and Freedom of Religion or Belief

Young Advocates

"Religious freedom for everyone, everywhere, all the time" was the motto for the fourth annual International Religious Freedom Summit 2024 held January 29-30 in Washington, DC.  This two-day event drew religious freedom advocates — faith groups, civil society, and governments — to listen and learn and to build bridges and new alliances to defend those who are denied the right to practice their faith, to follow the dictates of their conscience, or to practice no faith at all.

In addition to three Plenary Sessions on the main stage and four breakout tracks titled Vulnerable, Violations, Voices and Victories, IRF Summit 2024 presented an opportunity to equip and encourage young advocates with a Young Champions TrackRead more here.


The Future of Freedom in Nigeria

Nigeria March

Nigerian government officials have generally failed to reform or change policies that address the factors affecting religious freedom in their country. NGOs, including 21Wilberforce, International Committee on Nigeria, and Alliance Defending Freedom, among many others, have conducted fact-finding trips, collected data and testimonies for Congress, written reports, raised awareness through story-telling, conducted advocacy trainings within Nigeria and advocated on Nigeria’s behalf with the U.S. government. Open Doors in the United Kingdom recently asked, “Why are more Christians killed in Nigeria than anywhere else in the world?” Read more about a hearing on this with U.S. Congress here.


How did the U.S. Become a Global Leader
for Freedom of Religion or Belief?

Religions for Peace

The 25th Anniversary of the International Religious Freedom Act: A Retrospective publication, co-authored by Lou Sabatier, 21Wilberforce Director of Communications, and freelance writer Erin Rodewald, captures the historical context and the collaborative efforts needed to pass the law that has driven considerable religious freedom/human rights initiatives over the past 25 years.

It is a historical perspective of the process of creating a U.S. law whose aim was to promote and protect religious freedom for all people, in all nations, of all faiths, or no faith at all. The Retrospective includes candid conversations and observations about the effectiveness of the IRF Act, the mistakes and the milestones. Read more here.


Useful Links

  • Before the world forgets the corpse of Alexei Navalny in the subzero environs of an Arctic penal colony, we ought to look at him—especially those of us who follow Jesus Christ—to see what moral courage actually is. Here is a compelling article from Christianity Today on Navalny's faith titled "What a Murdered Russian Dissident Can Teach Us About Moral Courage"
  • David Eubanks and Free Burma Rangers have set aside March 10th as the Global Day of Prayer for Burma. Learn more here.