130,000 Stand With Persecuted Christians

This summer, Open Doors USA (a Clapham Group client) launched an effort to connect the American church with Christians suffering for their faith around the world. According to a recent Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study, 70% of the global population experiences high or very high restrictions on religion. Even more shocking, according to a report out by Pew in August, "one-third of the world's population experiences an increase" in religious restriction. For religious minorities, things are getting worse.Open Doors USA sought to bridge the gap between the American church and Christians who share our faith but not our freedom. The campaign, "One With Them" was centered on 1 Corinthians 12:26 which says “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it”.The campaign led up to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 13th, 2011. Part of this campaign effort was the creation of a unique plastic barbed-wire bracelet that participants could wear to demonstrate their solidarity with the persecuted church. The use of a small trinket to publicly demonstrate commitment to a cause came right from the playbook of William Wilberforce and the abolition movement of the 18th century. Wilberforce and the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade worked with a fellow abolitionist and English potter, Josiah Wedgwood, to create a medallion with a kneeling slave that read "Am I Not A Man And A Brother?". The medallion became such a hit, Thomas Clarkson wrote; "ladies wore them in bracelets, and others had them fitted up in an ornamental manner as pins for their hair. At length the taste for wearing them became general, and thus fashion, which usually confines itself to worthless things, was seen for once in the honourable office of promoting the cause of justice, humanity and freedom".Similarly, the bracelets created by Open Doors USA to demonstrate connection with the persecuted church became a huge hit. Over 130,000 bracelets were ordered as Americans committed to being "One With Them". Similar to the effect of the Wedgwood medallion, it became fashionable and was seen "in the honourable office of promoting the cause of justice, humanity and freedom". It particularly hit home for us when we saw new visitors to the Clapham office wearing the bracelets.The Clapham Group is incredibly blessed to serve an organization like Open Doors USA that is passionately working to protect religious freedom for our brothers and sisters around the world. We're grateful for people like Brother Andrew who remind us that when one part suffers, the entire body suffers:

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