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15 March 2016

Conference issues call to action for Christian women suffering double persecution

Conference issues call to action for Christian women suffering double persecution

An international conference has called for solutions to end double persecution endured by Christian women.

The Marcham Conference has called for the Church to acknowledge the epidemic of violence against Christian women.

Organised by Alliance member Release International, the conference is seeking to identify strategies for change around the world.

In a statement Release said: "Increasing numbers of women face a double blow today: violent attacks against them because of their Christian faith, and because they are women.

"The rejection of their communities and their husbands extends the pain and suffering for women."

Delegates from around the world heard that Christian women are particularly vulnerable in countries where both their faith and their gender are marginalised, and face many forms of discrimination and violence, including rape, kidnapping, forced marriage, reprisals for conversion, and employment discrimination.

The wives and daughters of Christian pastors are also targeted as a method of intimidation, and displacement by war has massively increased the risk for Christian women.

The conference heard that the problem of violent abuse against women also exists within the Church and that many women face abuse and violence within their homes, families and churches.

Participants heard that women are being increasingly targeted as a deliberate tactic of persecution and that growing Islamic radicalisation is encouraging atrocities against women as a deliberate tactic of jihad.

Release International was joined by other agencies including Open Doors, Restored, World Vision, Turkic Belt Ministries, ADF International, and All Nations Christian College.

Release serves persecuted Christians in 30 countries around the world, by supporting pastors and Christian prisoners and their families, supplying Christian literature and Bibles, and working for justice.

To find out more about Release International and the work that it does with persecuted Christians please visit their website.

Release, Open Doors and Christian Solidarity Worldwide have joined with the Evangelical Alliance to form the Religious Liberty Commission (RLC) which exists to speak up for Christians who are persecuted because of their faith. The RLC believes in the rights of all people, of any faith or none, to have freedom of religion or belief, including the freedom to convert.