05 29 Newsflashes from the Persecuted Church

May 30, 2014 by Open Doors

Open Doors USA: Kristin Wright Named Advocacy Director


Open Doors USA announced today that Kristin Wright has been named Director of Advocacy.

“Kristin Wright will do a great job in coordinating our efforts to educate and inform Americans in order to become engaged in speaking up on behalf of Christians who are being persecuted for their faith around the world,” Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry says.

Wright has a background in advocacy and development. She previously worked on Capitol Hill advocating on behalf of victims of religious persecution while at Jubilee Campaign USA. Most recently she served as Director of Development at Exodus Refugee Immigration.

 “I am very excited to take on the advocacy role at Open Doors USA,” Wright says. “It’s a great opportunity to speak out for religious freedom and raise cases of persecution with government officials.”

Wright has been active with Open Doors for several years, having traveled to Israel and the West Bank with Open Doors in 2008.

She says the initial focus for the advocacy program will be on Syria.

“We are joining with Open Doors offices around the world in a ‘Save Syria’ campaign focused on providing increased humanitarian aid, support and encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Syria,” she states.

Wright is a contributing writer at The Huffington Post, where she covers religious persecution, human rights and women’s issues. She has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and North Africa. She recently returned from a trip to Turkey’s border with Syria where she interviewed Syrian refugees fleeing the conflict.

Wright has worked with victims of forced marriage in Pakistan, and interviewed believers on both sides of the conflict in Israel and the West Bank. Her book, A Journey from Burma to Indianapolis: Perspectives from Burmese Refugees, chronicles the journey of a refugee family from Burma (Myanmar).

Wright adds: “Advocacy is so crucial. It’s an incredible opportunity to be a voice for those who are persecuted and oppressed.”

Kristin Wright is based in the Washington, D.C. area. She can be reached via email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bykristinwright.

Pray for Persecuted: Join Time of Prayer on Saturday Morning

Open Doors USA will be one of the presenters during “Together for the Persecuted Church 5/31” on Saturday from 8 to 11 a.m. EST. Over 40 ministry leaders will call prayer warriors to intercede on behalf of persecuted brothers and sisters in such countries as Afghanistan, China, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Laos, Nigeria, Pakistan, North Korea and South Sudan.

Millions of believers face imprisonment, torture and even death for their faith in Jesus Christ. More Christians are persecuted for their beliefs than any other faith group.

To pray, call 712-432-0075, access code 6149782#. For more information, go to http://nationalhighwayofprayer.blogspot.com/.

Algeria: Antidepressants Used to ‘Cure’ Christian Convert


Despite having no signs of a depressive disorder or mental illness, a young Algerian named Masun (not his real name) was forced by his parents to seek treatment with a psychiatrist. The reason was his conversion to Christ a few months ago. He now is forced to take antidepressants.

His conversion made his family believe he had gone mad. “When my parents learned that I converted to Christ, they thought I was crazy. For them, it must be totally sick and crazy to leave Islam, the religion of our ancestors, and embrace the faith of the unbelievers,” Masun tells.

Because Masun was determined to stay a Christian, despite calls from his family “to come to his senses,” his parents took him to a psychiatrist. “When I refused to give up my faith and return to Islam, my parents forced me to accompany them to a psychiatrist,” he relates.

The doctor prescribed a drug treatment to “cure” him from his conversion to Christ.

“The psychiatrist couldn’t come with something better than prescribing antidepressants,” Masun voices.

His mother puts these drugs in his food. Unfortunately, the use of the antidepressants caused several negative effects.

“The medicine weakened him. He has sleeping problems now and he suffers from headaches. We pray often for him that his family will stop persecuting him and will stop this treatment,” says Nabil (not his real name), one of the Christian brothers who follow the status of Masun. “We know that to non-believers the gospel may seem like madness. But this cannot justify such persecution or pressure on Christians. In any case, we believe the preaching of the cross is the power of God for our salvation.”

Algeria is ranked No. 32 on the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians.

(For more information or to set up interviews, call Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email [email protected]. The Open Doors USA website is www.OpenDoorsUSA.org)

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