Colleagues in the World Reformed Fellowship:
I am sure we have all been dismayed at the amount of violence related to religion in recent weeks. I am not only concerned about how the violence hurts people and communities immediately; I am also concerned about how tensions easily lead to more persecution and repression of Christians, especially in those regions where Christians are at greater risk. (I just received an email from a Christian in Pakistan.) And every indication is that religious repression is rising on a global level, so that only a minority of the world's population enjoys real freedom of religion.
A few years ago I began compiling a "to do" list regarding persecution, in dialogue with staff members from the International Institute for Religious Freedom and Voice of the Martyrs. This list has been maturing by means of input from well informed and thoughtful people. I would be grateful if you distribute it as widely as possible in the churches and among friends. It may be printed and posted on websites. The link below will take you to this material.
Thomas K. Johnson
IICS Professor of Theology, Philosophy, and Public Policy (www.iics.com)
Vice President, Martin Bucer Seminary and Research Institutes (www.bucer.eu);
Director, Comenius Institute (www.komenskyinstitute.com)