03 January 2014
Blackout weekend to give persecuted Church a voice
By Jacqueline Laing
an average of 200 million Christians are being persecuted, even martyred, for
their faith. That's why international charity Open Doors is organising a 21st
century sponsored fast from our favourite technology.
Blackout, a 48hr campaign, seeks to highlight and provide insight into the world of the persecuted and encourage people to pray and act.
Blackout, 28 to 30 March 2014 is a call to use our freedom productively by switching off from all that is freely available, particularly social media and the internet. It is a call to lend a voice to the voiceless.
Spearheading the campaign, Emma Worrall, Open Doors UK youth and student team leader, sees the weekend as an "opportunity for us to turn down the volume for a couple of days – to limit our lifestyles - and to stand with the silent heroes in the persecuted Church.
"The Church was never meant to be quiet. Yet in places around the world, followers of Jesus are being hushed up, beaten, tortured, abused. They are being silenced".
Blackout 2014 will kick into action from 5 January with a national tour of events in order to raise awareness and recruit participants in the run up to the Blackout weekend.
Although youth led, Blackout is open to any individual or church who wishes to make a 'massive noise' by being offensively silent. Recent estimates suggest that there are, on average, 100 Christians killed for their faith each month in more than 50 countries - sometimes for reasons other than the proclamation of Jesus.
Often persecution arises because of Christian ideas around ethical trade, racial assumptions and religious difference. However many cases centre on the supposed affinity Christianity has towards Western libertarian ideas, political and social values.
Korea is a prime example and one of the most prolific offenders. It is number 1 on the Open
Doors world watch list of countries where the persecution
of Christians is most severe. It
is thought that around 60,000 Christians
suffer daily in prison camps for rebelling against Korean ideology.
countries, like Afghanistan, Christians cannot meet in public and in honeymoon
destination the Maldives, all citizens must subscribe to Islam otherwise
forfeit the right to citizenship, a vote or public office.
Open Doors Eddie Lyle, talks of an opportunity to "strengthen and serve
the Church in places where following Jesus comes at a real cost..Those who take
part will be inspired and challenged by the stories
of relentless passion for Jesus, and join the ranks of give-it-all followers of
that the silenced are heard, use your freedom and join the big Blackout. Visit Blackout 2014 for info, stories and