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March for Martyrs plans DC rally with Enes Freedom to deal with non secular persecution

(RNS) — Advocates for non secular freedom, together with basketball participant Enes Kanter Freedom, are planning to assemble on the Nationwide Mall this weekend to attract consideration to the plight of persecuted Christians throughout the globe.

The March for the Martyrs is ready to be held Saturday (Sept. 24) for the third yr in row with a selected deal with China, mentioned Gia Chacón, founding father of the nonprofit For the Martyrs.

Different anticipated audio system embrace Open Doorways USA CEO David Curry and Andrew Brunson, a U.S. minister who survived two years of political imprisonment in Turkey.

Freedom, a Muslim man, has been outspoken about human rights points in his native Turkey and in different places throughout the globe.

Together with a speaker with Freedom’s non secular background sends a message about the necessity to construct bridges between Christians and Muslims, Chacón instructed Faith Information Service in an e mail.

Boston Celtics’ Enes Kanter, left, strikes in opposition to Toronto Raptors’ Isaac Bonga throughout the second half of an NBA basketball recreation, Oct. 22, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photograph/Michael Dwyer)

“Having a voice like Enes Kanter Freedom talking up for the persecuted Church additionally sends a message of peace and unity to Muslims each in america and overseas,” she mentioned.

RELATED: NBA’s Enes Kanter targets China, Nike over Uyghur genocide

Freedom, who legally added his new final identify when he turned a U.S. citizen final yr, co-wrote a Sept. 14 commentary through which he decried those that stay silent about worldwide oppression.

“From Uyghur Muslims in China who’re imprisoned and compelled into focus camps to Christian schoolgirls murdered in public in Nigeria, all folks of all faiths are entitled to the identical rights, dignity and respect,” he wrote within the Fox Information opinion piece with Tina Ramirez, a former coverage adviser for the U.S. Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom.

Gia Chacón. Photo courtesy For the Martyrs

Gia Chacón. Photograph courtesy For the Martyrs

The primary March for the Martyrs was held in California in 2020 however Chacón, a humanitarian and motivational speaker, moved the occasion to Washington final yr in hopes of drawing extra nationwide consideration.

“Our objective is to convey the difficulty of Christian Persecution to the forefront of the struggle for human rights and stand in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters,” she mentioned. “Christian Persecution is a human rights disaster — and it ought to be handled with the identical stage of urgency as some other human rights subject.”

Though the march has historically been designed to encourage Christians to rally in help of oppressed peoples, it has obtained help from the International Imams Council, an Iraq-based group of Muslim non secular leaders from a variety of Islamic denominations.

Open Doorways USA, a Christian watchdog group, has found that greater than 360 million Christians internationally — or 1 in 7 members of the Christian religion — are struggling excessive ranges of discrimination and persecution.

RELATED: Andrew Brunson tells of ‘fight for my faith’ in Turkey

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