By Dan Wooding, Founder of ASSIST News Service
WASHINGTON, DC (ANS – November 18, 2017) — Christians are gathering in the American capital this weekend to pray for the persecuted church.
According to Jennifer Wishon, CBN News White House Correspondent, Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world according to a recent study.
She said that the Center for Studies on New Religions found that 90,000 Christians were murdered in 2016. About a third of those were at the hands of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
Today, One Body and International Christian Concern are sponsoring the fourth annual “Night of Prayer” at the Chinese Community Church in Washington, D.C.
“Christians from Iran, North Korea, Egypt, Pakistan and Cuba will share the challenges they face practicing their faith in their countries before a time of prayer for the persecuted,” Wishon stated.
Panel discussions will examine religious extremism, women facing persecution and include leaders working to promote international religious freedom like former Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf.
Asif Mall traveled from Pakistan to attend the event. Islam is the official religion of his country and although the law calls for religious tolerance, he says Islamic extremists often use the country’s blasphemy law to persecute Christians who are already treated like second-class citizens. The punishment for blasphemy in Pakistan is death.
Hundreds of Christians, he says, are currently on death row for blasphemy convictions, including Asia Bibi whose case garnered international attention. Mall says oftentimes Christians convicted of committing blasphemy are given a choice to convert to Islam to escape the gallows.
“Basically, they’re saying you have two choices, either you say goodbye to your Jesus and become a Muslim and be able to live in this country and if you don’t we’ll happily see you walk to the gallows and be hung to death,” Mall tells CBN News. “And what makes me very proud as a Christian Pakistani is that in the last 20 years or so and hundreds of cases of blasphemy against Christians there’s not one Christian who has accepted this offer to become a Muslim.”
“It’s a tremendous testimony,” he says.
The “Night of Prayer” panel discussions begin at 2pm today (Saturday). For information on how to attend or to watch the event streaming on Facebook, click here.
Photo captions: 1) Persecuted African Christian holds the cross high. 2) Asia Bibi, who has been sentenced to death in Pakistan. 3) Dan Wooding with Dr. David Cho in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang. Dan is one of the few Christian journalists to ever be allowed to report from inside North Korea.
About the writer: Dan Wooding, 76, is an award-winning author, broadcaster and journalist, who was born in Nigeria, West Africa, of British missionary parents, Alfred and Anne Wooding, who then worked with the Sudan Interior Mission, now known as SIM. Dan now lives in Southern California with his wife Norma, to whom he has been married for some 54 years. They have two sons, Andrew and Peter, and six grandchildren who all live in the UK. Dan is the founder/president of the ASSIST News Service (ANS), and is also the author of numerous books. He has a radio show and two television programs, all based in Southern California. Dan has received numerous awards for his journalistic work on behalf of Persecuted Christians, the most recent was in Beverly Hills, California, where at an international film festival, he was presented with a top humanitarian award by his son, Peter Wooding, before some 500 Hollywood luminaries.
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