(Photo: Screenshot/Open Doors USA)
Seventy percent of the world's population suffers from religious persecution, according to a study by the Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life. The statistic has been highlighted by Open Doors USA, which is hoping to help the persecuted through their One With Them campaign.
"One With Them is a campaign we've launched to validate and affirm that we are one with the body of Christ worldwide, and for those of us here in America this means remaining in solidarity with our brothers and sisters suffering around the world," Carl Moeller, President/CEO of the human rights watchdog group Open Doors USA, told The Christian Post.
The campaign is selling black wristbands for $2 each in an effort to educate others on the plight of persecuted Christians around the world.
The silicon wristbands, which can be ordered online at www.onewiththem.com, are designed to look like barbed wire and are meant to be conversation-starters, according to Moeller.
"The bracelet happened when one of our staff came in our office and put a semi-barbed wire thing on my desk and said 'what if we make a bracelet like that'," Moeller said.
"It dawned on me that bracelets are used by many causes," he continued, adding that he has been asked about his barbed wire bracelet in many scenarios, including when a U.S. Army soldier, returning from Afghanistan, questioned Moeller about the significance of the bracelet on an airline flight.
Moeller was then able to speak to the soldier of the religious persecution experienced by Christians in the Middle East, especially Afghanistan.
The event will culminate with the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Sunday, Nov. 11.
Moeller has also expressed his hope that the national prayer day will facilitate the issue of persecution becoming a larger global concern.
"Prayer is both the short and the long term goal, [and] we're very interested in seeing the issues of persecution becoming a larger concern," Moeller told CP.
"We're also calling on people to have a lifestyle of communicating with those around the world. That awareness alone will generate a lot more prayer and more concern and raise action for many people around the world," Moeller added.
According to a study by the Pew Research Forum on Religion & Public Life, there are 100 million Christians facing persecution in more than 60 countries around the world simply because of their faith in Jesus Christ.
Victims suffering from persecution include Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who has remained imprisoned in Iran since Oct. 2009 for his Christian faith, and Aasiya Noreen, also known as Aasiya Bibi, currently awaiting execution in Pakistan. Bibi is the first woman ever to be given the death penalty under Pakistan's blasphemy law.
Proceeds from the bracelets will go to global Open Doors efforts to provide aid in countries where Christians receive the most persecution, including Egypt, Pakistan, Nigeria, and parts of Asia.