Friday, September 21, 2012

48 Hours for Religious Freedom: September 22-23

48 Hours for Religious Freedom  is a worldwide gathering of people of faith to raise international awareness about religious discrimination and persecution so that, together, we can stand against discrimination and persecution wherever they occur.

This initiative seeks to encourage men and women of goodwill around the globe to stand with the persecuted Church.

On September 8, 2012, Iran released Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, an Iranian pastor who had been imprisoned for his Christian faith for nearly three years under the threat of execution for his faith. His release demonstrates how the prayer and mobilization can set captives free.

We call on all persons of good will interested in defending the freedoms of religion and conscience to join together during the weekend of September 22-23, 2012, by publicizing Christian persecution stories through various activities consistent with your respective tradition and liturgy, such as holding a night of adoration, a candlelight vigil, engaging in a period of prayer, encouraging members of your congregation to write letters of encouragement to imprisoned Christians, organizing a special worship service, organizing a program to educate people about the dangers and prevalence of religious discrimination, calling on members of all faiths to write respectful letters calling for religious freedom. Together we can make a difference.

This year, the initiative “48 Hours for Religious Freedom” is dedicated in particular to the situation of the persecuted Church in Iran. Iranian Christians daily face persecution for their faith. It is illegal in Iran for Christians to worship or own a Bible in their native tongue. Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was recently released after three years of imprisonment, faced possible execution in Iran because he chose to follow Christ.

Through this website , you will find information about Christians persecuted in Iran, as well as other materials to assist you in participating in this event. It is our hope that this will be just the first step in standing for freedom of religion and conscience and against religious discrimination and persecution around the globe.

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