SEU Students Advocating for Persecuted Christians
Students at Southeastern University are starting an International Christian Concern (ICC) club on campus this fall. This club will partner with the ICC advocacy team to raise awareness of international religious freedom issues and the the need to influence policy-level changes, especially in countries of specific concern.
ICC acts as a bridge between Christians in free and persecuted countries and provides encouragement, prayers and aid. The Washington, D.C.-based organization also provides an avenue for concerns to be heard by the church worldwide.
“Our goal for this club is to give students a space where they can learn about the reality of religious persecution and the link between religious freedom and human prosperity,” said SEU President Dr. Kent Ingle. “Through trips into these countries of concern, our students will have the chance to bring direct relief to those persecuted for their faith. They will also be able to witness firsthand the results and the detrimental impact of religious persecution.”
Policy Day 2018
Dr. Ingle, along with Southeastern international student Joy Bishara, participated in ICC’s Policy Day on Capitol Hill on June 5. The event focused specifically on Nigeria and the persecution of Christians in the country, such as the attacks perpetrated by the Fulani militants in the Middle Belt region. Members of Congress, policy experts and experts from Nigeria were in attendance.
Bishara was one of the more than 200 girls who were kidnapped by the Boko Haram at their school in Chibok, Nigeria, in 2014. She was able to escape early on by jumping from a moving truck. Since coming to the United States, Bishara has been able to share her story with many political leaders, including President Donald Trump. In a meeting between Trump and Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, Trump mentioned his visit with Bishara and his concern for persecuted Christians in Nigeria. Bishara has also been able to share her story with the United Nations Security Council, and most recently at the United Nations Youth Dialogue on May 30.
ICC Club at SEU
As an advocacy chapter on campus, students will organize public events to raise awareness of religious freedom issues and of the persecution of Christians and other religious minority groups around the world. Students will also be given the opportunity to participate in ICC’s annual Policy Day on Capitol Hill and visit relevant congressional offices to advocate on behalf of religious freedom issues.
Dr. Ingle is encouraged by this upcoming work and student involvement. “Our hope is that SEU will become an agent of advocacy for those who are persecuted in countries of concern and serve as a model for other universities to join the fight against religious inequality.”