America’s ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Sam Brownback, said this week that hostility toward Christians in the world has reached an all-time high.
“There is more persecution of Christians now, arguably than any time in the history of the world, and the Christian faith is the most persecuted faith in the world, by far,” Brownback said in his keynote address at the sixth annual Solidarity Dinner hosted by In Defense of Christians (IDC) in Washington, DC.
“And there are people being killed today because of their faith and they are simple, good people who want to just honestly and peacefully practice their faith. And they’re being killed for it,” said the former Kansas governor in receiving the organization’s Charles Malik Human Rights Award for his leadership in the Middle East.
Brownback said moreover that the situation for Christians in the Middle East has reached a critical point.
“If we’re not successful, there will not be a multireligious Middle East; it will no longer exist,” Mr. Brownback said. “Most of the Christians have been driven out of the Middle East already, and we’re trying to work to fight to keep them there, but you’ve got to push now, and now is the season we can get it done.”
Despite the gravity of the situation, Brownback said that with a concerted effort, there is still hope for the future of Christianity in the region.
“The season is important; the time is short,” he said. “I believe we have the opportunity in the next nine months to do more for religious freedom than has happened in the last 20 years.”
The final result of these efforts is ultimately not in human hands alone, Brownback said, urging continued prayer as well as action on behalf of persecuted Christians.
“There are millions of people, right now, praying in quiet corners, in little houses or huts, that are persecuted throughout the world,” Brownback said. “They’re praying to God saying, ‘Help us, we need some help here.’ … And that is why you are here; it is those prayers.”
IDC is a non-profit and non-partisan human rights organization based in Washington, DC, that advocates for a Middle East in which the rights of every person are protected and respected regardless of religious creed, and in which “the ancient and diverse Christian and other religious minority communities of the Middle East thrive peacefully in their native lands.”
The group holds an annual Solidarity Dinner at the beginning of a two-day National Leadership Conference, which includes a Capitol Hill advocacy day.