Speaking out in Advocacy

Thanks to all who've been joining together to speak up for persecuted Christians, the governments in the UK and Ireland are waking up to the voice of our persecuted family. But more can and must be done.

Advocacy is speaking to the powerful on behalf of the powerless. In the UK and Ireland we have the incredible opportunity to make a difference by raising our concerns with country leaders, representatives and our own governments – and we can back this up with prayer so that our voices will resonate with those in power, leading to real change.

TAKE ACTION NOW

To be the first to find out about Open Doors' petitions and actions to support persecuted Christians, sign up today to receive our Open Doors advocacy alerts. Below are three current ways you can speak out for believers.

Are you a parliamentarian or policy maker? Contact the Open Doors advocacy team for up-to-date briefings and to sign on to our termly parliamentary emails: email advocacy@opendoorsuk.org

 
"You have a role: to be advocates to your governments"
- Pastor B, Syria

OUR VOICES TOGETHER: MAKING A DIFFERENCE

The UK advocacy team seeks to use every opportunity to highlight the persecution of Christians in over 50 countries worldwide – and on almost every continent.

  • January 2017 World Watch List Report Launch - Thanks to thousands of supporters inviting them, at least 88 parliamentarians attended the parliamentary launch of the World Watch List report: The Persecution of Christians and Global Displacementpdf
  • WWL 2017: Rt Hon Dame Caroline Spelman MP
    WWL 2017: Fiona Bruce MP
    WWL 2017: Lisa Pearce, CEO, Open Doors UK and Ireland
    Pastor Aminu, Northern Nigeria, addresses UK Parliament

  • October 2016 Hope for the Middle East campaign and report launch - Dozens of MPs attended the parliamentary launch of the global Hope for the Middle East campaign and its foundational reportpdf which discusses the contribution of Christians in Iraq and Syria in the past, present and future.

  • April 2016 northern Nigeria report launch - Thanks to thousands of invitations from Open Doors supporters, 51 MPs and six Peers attended the launch of Crushed but not defeated, a unique reportpdf highlighting the variety of persecution faced by Christians in northern Nigeria.

  • January 2016 Open Doors 2016 World Watch List launch - An unprecedented 108 MPs and ten Peers attended the List’s parliamentary launch, hearing first-hand the latest research into the global persecution of Christians. Those attending also heard the three key recommendations presented to the Prime Minister on his visit to the Open Doors office in November 2015.

  • December 2015 Middle East petition - Over 16,485 supporters signed our petition on behalf of Christians in Syria and Iraq, including the Department for International Development (DflD) Minister for the Middle East, Desmond Swayne. Open Doors presented the petition to the Foreign Office, DfID and the Irish government.

  • March 2014 parliamentary meeting with North Korean refugee - Open Doors introduced North Korean refugee, Hea Woo, to Parliament where she told 39 MPs about her experience of being tortured by the North Korean regime for her faith.

  • 2013 Save Syria petition and campaign - Over 300,000 people from 99 countries signed a petition in support of Syrian Christians, bringing global attention to their plight.

BUT HOW DO WE BRING ABOUT POSITIVE CHANGE THROUGH ADVOCACY?

"Advocacy is about taking God's heart for justice and seeing what we can do to bring about positive change" – Stephen Rand, Open Doors Advocacy Consultant.

Quiet diplomacy: We speak with Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials, UK politicians, and officials at the European Union and the United Nations. We seek opportunities to be involved in important conversations, aiming to influence opinion, present the reality of the persecuted church, and suggesting steps forward.

Public campaigning: In this country we have the freedom to campaign and write to politicians. We firmly believe that one voice makes a difference, but many voices joined together can create a movement for change. That's why the a dvocacy team facilitates opportunities for meaningful public action, enabling Open Doors supporters to write to their MPs, to Ambassadors, sign petitions and attend meetings in order to amplify the messages from our persecuted family.

Uniting: Wherever possible, we seek to work alongside other organisations in order to create the largest impact. That’s why Open Doors is a stakeholder of the All Party Parliamentary Group on International Freedom of Religion or Belief. This enables us to work together with parliamentarians and other charities passionate about Article 18 – the right to freedom of religion or belief – allowing us more opportunities to affect change for our persecuted family. We are also part of the Religious Liberty Commission New Window of the Evangelical Alliance, where Open Doors has joined with Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Release International to provide a united voice for the persecuted church.

Please pray for the work of the UK advocacy team as we seek to present the needs of persecuted Christians to influential figures around the world. You can donate to the global advocacy work of Open Doors by selecting 'Advocacy Services' after clicking the button below.

Donate now

Further Reading:

 
"That quiet, creeping removals of freedom that create a climate of fear and animosity is why we must speak out. We must speak out in solidarity. Silence is not an option. Treasuring the dignity of each and every human must mean that we treasure their right to religious belief – even when we profoundly disagree with them"
- Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury