Christians are being persecuted in countries around the world but United Methodists can support them
On a worldwide basis, 322 Christians are killed each month for their faith, 214 Christian churches and properties are destroyed, and 772 acts of violence are committed against Christians according to Open Doors USA, an affiliate of the Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church. They don’t have to suffer alone, support from Christians around the world is helping many of them persevere.
The Worldwide Christian Support Task Force of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church was formed three years ago to provide support for Christians undergoing persecution worldwide. Why? As the Bible teaches, ”If one member suffers, all suffer.” Our members receive prayer alerts from Open Doors that enable them to pray for Christians in particular countries under pressure. Persecuted Christians repeatedly report how much they appreciate Christians in other countries praying for and sustaining them. Our members write letters to persecuted Christians that are delivered through Open Doors to let suffering Christians know they are not alone. Through our mission offering, we have donated to programs in Egypt to provide training for women who have lost their husbands through persecution so they can support their families. We are also supporting the Centers of Hope program in Syria which provides resources to Christian communities which are rebuilding their communities.
The United Methodist Church’s [Desert] Southwest Conference adopted an amendment to the Social Principles in 2018 declaring that the United Methodist Church stands against the persecution of Christians and stands with persecuted believers worldwide. It is up to each congregation to implement that principle and make it a reality for our Christian siblings. To find the exact legislation check out the DSC Book of Resolutions 2018.06 on page 118.
Thanks to these efforts and the efforts of other United Methodists around the world the 2020 General Conference will consider multiple pieces of legislation that will call attention to and set as a priority support for persecuted Christians around the world, and both the General Board of Global Missions and the General Board of Church and Society cite support for persecuted Christians as one of their quadrennial goals.
Find out more about persecuted Christians or the Social Principles at https://dscumc.org/justice-outreach/persecuted-christians/.