by Julia Pierce, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – This past Saturday, September 25th, hundreds gathered in Washington, D.C. to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians across the globe in the first large-scale march of its kind in US history.
A group of nearly 1,000 met on the National Mall to pray together, and then to march to the White House for the “Night for the Martyrs” with guest speakers and worship leaders such as Sean Feucht, Dr. Michelle Corral, David Curry, Gia Chacon, and more.
Founder of For the Martyrs, and march organizer, Gia Chacon, first held the march in Long Beach, CA last year, but with Christian persecution having risen by 30% in the last year, she felt it was time to take it directly to our nation’s capital. Chacon says, “We’re marching for the over 340 million Christians around the world who suffer for the name of Jesus. We’re marching for the people who lay down their lives every single day to go to church, to own a Bible. To even say that they believe in Jesus, in some countries, is illegal.”
With the US’ widely criticized withdrawal from Afghanistan, the world is witness to what amounts to genocide of Afghan Christians. They are being hunted down and killed. In fact, regarding Afghanistan, Chacon states, “We’ve heard reports of Christians who have been killed just for having a Bible on their phone and pastors being sent messages, warnings from the Taliban to cease operations from their home churches. Christians who are already under threat in the country are now facing an increase of violence and will continue to face this increase of violence in the country.”
Through the March for the Martyrs, Chacon, and other advocates, are hoping to draw more attention and to unite believers in the US to pray, advocate and bring a united voice to the rising, devastating issue of Christian persecution.
While speaking at the Night of the Martyrs, Chacon asked the crowd, “If Christians continue to be persecuted for their faith, why does this issue have so much silence around it?… Why does the world remain silent as Christians are targeted and executed for their faith in Christ? We’re going to remember every single Christian who laid down their life for the sake of the Gospel and we’re going to bring attention to every Christian who is suffering under radical governments, under extremist groups.”
The march organizers plan to host the March of the Martyrs annually in Washington, D.C. They will keep prodding the body of believers to prayer and action; to be a voice for the voiceless, and to call others to do the same.
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