During the closing session of the World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians, a final declaration called on all Christians to pledge solidarity in spirit and action with fellow believers worldwide who suffer for their faith. The declaration, during a historic and diverse gathering, was meant to be a catalyst for private, church and governmental action during a decade when persecution of Christians globally has reached unprecedented levels.
Following a reminder from 1 Peter 4:12-14 that the “fiery trial” of Christian practice should not be seen as strange, the declaration includes a series of acknowledgments from Scripture, from Christian history and from recent events that testify to the reality of persecution and the responsibility of believers to act.
The final portion of the declaration is a call to action. It reads:
“Let us declare our allegiance with all who suffer for Christ’s Name and pledge to make the following commitments:
We pledge to promote awareness of persecuted Christians worldwide and work to help in their hour of need.
We pledge to pray unceasingly, urging other believers throughout the world to pray for those being persecuted, that the whole spirit, soul and body be preserved blameless (1 Thessalonians 5:17, 23-24).
We pledge to provide practical assistance, whenever possible, to the persecuted church (Philippians 2:4).
We pledge to work with individuals, organizations and government agencies, encouraging them to act as advocates on behalf of the persecuted because of their faith in Christ Jesus (Proverbs 31:8-9).
We pledge to follow the Biblical mandate to comfort and edify one another so that we exemplify Christ’s love and transforming power, even in the midst of hardship (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
We pledge to strengthen the worldwide witness of the church around the world through Biblical proclamation—evangelism—and to do so boldly, unapologetically and without compromise (Mark 16:15; Romans 1:16).”
Persecution is increasing, but the church’s witness to the saving Gospel of Jesus Christ will never be extinguished. We pray for our fellow Christian believers, wherever they may be found. We claim the Lordship of Christ and watch for that day when He will return and reign as King of kings forever, and we pray for that promised day when, as that cherished hymn of the faith declares, “the great church victorious shall be the church at rest.”
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day …” (Ephesians 6:12-13).
The Scripture Quotation is taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version.