Christian Persecution – How to Petition Officials Who Have the Ability to Influence Public Policy 

Christian Persecution – How to Petition Officials Who Have the Ability to Influence Public Policy 

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Like many Orthodox Christians, you may be wondering about how to understand Christian Persecution and how to get involved.

“The public is oblivious to what is going on in the birthplace of Christianity. It is horrifying; Martyrs are being made by the hundreds every day”, said one concerned Orthodox Christian.

The Christians Right and Freedom Ministry of St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church (Naples, Florida) has created sample petitions that you can use to contact government officials.  We urge you to get involved by using the petitions below.

Sample Petitions

Petition 1

“WE PETITION TO (insert name (for example Senators, Representatives, The Obama Administration)):

Support Religious Freedom for the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey)

Policies of Turkish government pose a grave threat to the future of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the spiritual home of 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide and the 269th direct successor of the Apostle Andrew. Only stronger American and European Union support for the religious freedom of the Ecumenical Patriarchate can prevent a religious tragedy of historic magnitude.

Turkey must understand America’s close ties to the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the importance we attach to its welfare. In doing so, we hope you can help Turkey realize our strong desire that the Ecumenical Patriarchate be accorded the religious freedom it deserves and persuade Turkey to abandon policies that will lead to the disappearance of this Sacred See.

Signed,

(Insert Your Name)

Sustain Christianity in the Middle East

Petition 2

The brutal murders of twenty-one Coptic Christians by the so-called Islamic State in Libya are grim reminders of the reality of religious persecution in the Middle East.

In a Joint Declaration, His Holiness Pope Francis and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew expressed their common concern.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians and Iraqis, including Christians, Yezidis and Muslims, have fled the terror of the “Islamic State” and their homes. They arrive often with only the clothes on their backs.  We urge our government to provide both protection and more humanitarian assistance.  Attacks on religious and ethnic minorities are attacks on the health of an entire society. Violence may begin against minorities, but it often does not end there. The rights of all Syrians, Iraqis, Libyans and others in the region are at risk from the current situation. Our nation must do more.

Sincerely yours,

(Insert Your Name)

List of Actions and Government Contacts

Petition the White House; Start a Petition: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

Contacting the Congress: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

Find Your Representative: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/

Senator Marco Rubio: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-senator-rubio?p=Contact

Senator Bill Nelson: http://www.billnelson.senate.gov/contact-bill

Hon. Rep. Curt Clawson: http://clawson.house.gov/

Hon. Rep. Gus Bilirakis: http://bilirakis.house.gov/contact/email-me

The Order of St. Andrew the Apostle – the Archons: http://www.archons.org/ssi/emailpage.asp?pageURL=http://www.archons.org/takeaction/

7 Steps:  How You Can Help in Defense of Persecuted Christians

The co-chairs of the Christian Rights and Freedom Ministry (Dr. Harry Dimopoulos, Archon Harry Demas and Richard Pappas) and Father Philemon Patitsas of St. Katherine Greek orthodox Church (Naples, FL) invite your questions and involvement.  The following 7 steps can assist you in ‘Uplifting Christ and Witnessing for Our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism.

1.  Preserve Our Christian Identity

  • Align our minds and hearts with God’s calling. See Christ in others.
  • Glorify God daily; PRAY, fast & give alms.
  • Identify empathetically with the plight of persecuted Christians of the world.

2. Organize Ourselves for Success

  • Establish Christian Rights and Freedom ministries in communities throughout America.  Do you belong to one?
  • Organize local events & initiatives to educate, advocate, defend & counteract the antagonists of our faith.

3. Educate Ourselves and Others

  • ’Know Ourselves’ – Study our history, faith & culture
  • Develop clear policy positions so the public knows where we stand.
  • Expose misinformation to the light of truth.

4. Dialogue with the Public

  • Network with people concerned about the rise of Islamofascism.
  • Boycott producers of products that may be underwriting radical extremism & terrorism, such as oil produced by certain member states.
  • Advocate for energy self-sufficiency for America, and alternative energy sourcing options.
  • Advocate withholding foreign aid and military assistance to countries that are not aligned with our national interests.

5. Stand Up for Ourselves

  • Establish “Anti-Defamation Teams’ to challenge offensive remarks.
  • Petition officials who have the ability to influence public policy.
  • Advocate for economic sanctions; exercise our freedom of assembly.

6. Invest in the Cause

  • Donate to organizations that help the oppressed and promote the preservation of Western culture and values.
  • Fund infrastructure & activities that advance the cause of  Christian Rights & Freedom

7.  Purchase a ‘I Too Am a Nazarene’ pin 

Purchase a ‘I Too Am a Nazarene’ pin to benefit persecuted Christians and refugees in the Middle East Conflict.  The Arabic letter “N” has been painted by ISIS/ISIL to target the homes of Christians for expulsion and obliteration. The symbol “N” stands for ‘Nazarene’ signifying that its residents are followers of Jesus of Nazareth. Pins are on sale through the St. Katherine Greek Orthodox church’s website. Pins are one inch square, and sell for $5 each, plus shipping and handling, shipping is waived for orders over 50 pins.

To order pins, please contact ChristianRelief7100@gmail.com or visit http://stkatherine.net

All proceeds from pin sales will be directed to the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) Middle East Fund to aid these suffering people. IOCC has had a continual presence in that part of the world almost since its inception in 1992, and was chosen as the recipient because its effectiveness in providing relief to the suffering people of the Middle East.

All churches and concerned organizations are encouraged to participate. For further information please contact ChristianRelief7100@gmail.com.

About First Annual National Christian Rights & Freedom Symposium 

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, St. Katherine Greek Orthodox Church in Naples Florida and the South Florida Archons hosted its first annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium – ‘Uplifting Christ and Witnessing for our Faith in the Face of Radical Extremism.

The First Annual National Christian Rights & Freedom Symposium featured several prominent speakers including Dr. Anthony Limberakis, National Commander and Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Rev. Father Fouad Saba, Dean of the St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral (Coral Gables, FL), Father Philemon Patitsas, Presiding Priest of the St. Katherine Greek orthodox Church (Naples, FL), John Scurtis, Regional Commander and Archon, Harry Demas, Archon, and Dr. Harry Dimopoulos, Chairman of the Christian Rights and Freedom Ministry

To watch video highlights of the First Annual National Christian Rights and Freedom Symposium, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnDiwtAs52o.

To learn more about the First Annual National Christian Rights & Freedom Symposium visit http://stkatherine.net.

By Nick Mavrick

You can find Nick Mavrick on Google+

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Nick Mavrick

Nick Mavrick served on the OCN Board of Directors. The OCN Board consists of volunteers, who are also donors, and are passionate about giving back to the Orthodox Church. We welcome other volunteers to join us.