Little children, we must not love with word or speech, but with truth and action.I John 3:18
Action is a pivotal part of our faith. Caring for the Middle Eastern church cannot stop with interest and compassion.
James instructs us to match our faith with action – to be doers of the word, not hearers only. The Apostle Paul tells us that the man who does the law will be declared righteous, not the one who hears it. From Genesis to Revelation, God blesses people who do things. Thinking things or feeling things is no substitute.
This candlelight vigil must be the beginning of a church’s involvement with the persecuted Church, not the end. True compassion always leads to action, and the best action is sustained action.
Too often we get excited about an issue but fail to make it a real part of our lives. We pray for a few days, sign a petition, and move on to something new. It is a mark of spiritual immaturity that plagues the Western Church.
The Assyrian Christians of Iraq and Syria, along with their diaspora communities around the world, are counting on you to remain engaged.
Learn more about our giving portal for persecuted Christians on the Awaken tab.
Educate yourself and each other.
If you plan to leave any impact on the persecuted Church, you must first understand what is going on.
The next step is to educate your church: it will be through the church that real action is possible. We recommend holding a brief information session for your church leadership or your whole church to clarify the scope of what’s happening to Christians in the Middle East.
Next, hold a Candlelight Vigil. Everything you need is available on this website.
You can also host educational events in your community, inviting experts to talk about the genocide of our fellow Christians. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for other materials about the current situation in the Middle East that will help you reach those in your local area with the urgency of the message.
Weave the issue into the fabric of your church.
The best way to ensure your advocacy goes beyond a vigil is to use the vigil as a platform to announce other initiatives or events that will keep your church community involved in an ongoing way. This could be a monthly news update from the pulpit, recurring prayer time, a dedicated ministry team, a speaker series, or a church-wide giving plan through our Awaken project.
Different ideas will work for different churches. The best approach is to sit down with your leadership team and determine what makes the most sense within the context of your unique environment. The bottom line is to make the persecuted church a central focus of your church’s overall ministry, and to keep their faces prominent in the minds of your members.
The simplest way to help Assyrian Christians, apart from praying for them, is to divert the resources of your church to meet their pressing needs.
The Philos Project serves as a giving portal for Western Christians looking to meet the needs of Eastern Christians who need help. Our staff diligently vets organizations to ensure that donated money gets to Christians on the ground, and provides detailed reports about how the money is spent. We offer opportunities to sponsor a church, sponsor a family, and sponsor a student who needs an education.
Write your political representative.
Your church has a voice in your community and your political representatives will listen to that voice for fear of losing your vote in the next election. Write an individual letter to your senators and congressmen, or write one on behalf of your entire church with all of the members’ signatures displayed at the bottom.