CSW U.K. Tour Draws Christian Concern to Global Persecution

Over 1,000 have attended the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)’s nationwide road shows in the United Kingdom that aim to raise concern for global persecution.

Over 1,000 have attended the Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW)’s nationwide road shows in the United Kingdom that aim to raise concern for global persecution.

The event proved to be successful according to Mervyn Thomas, Chief Executive of CSW.

"We were thrilled with the welcome we got from churches around the UK and trust they will take action as a result of what they have heard," commented Thomas in a statement released by the U.K.-based human rights group.

The event, themed "Don't Stand in Silence," was held on Oct. 28 - Nov. 13. The CSW team toured across the U.K. with Indonesian persecuted church leader the Rev. Rinaldy Damanik joining in two of the venues, according to CSW.

Road shows were staged in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and St Andrews in Scotland as well as Ipswich, North London, Guildford, Exeter, Cardiff, Oxford, Birmingham and Nottingham in England and Wales.

The presence of Danmaik became very significant on the road shows amid the brutal beheadings of three Christian schoolgirls on Oct. 29 in Poso, Indonesia. He was given opportunity to urge for Christian support for the persecuted ones in Indonesia and other parts of the world.

"I want people to continue to pray for those who are persecuted, not just for me and central Sulawesi, but for those all over Indonesia and the world," said Danmaik, according to CSW.

Damanik is head of the Crisis Centre of Central Sulawesi and is responsible for informing the international community of attacks and human rights violations in the area. He himself is also a church leader and peace activist, who spent two years and two months in prison after being falsely accused of illegal weapons possession.

The prominent Indonesian church leader expressed gratitude to Christians in the U.K. who had given him great support while he was in prison in the period from September 2002 to November 2004. He said that the majority of the 67,985 letters and cards he received in prison were from the United Kingdom.

"Those letters I received helped me find strength while I was in prison and I would like people to send letters to people who are in prison because of their faith," he said.

Damanik challenged all people to unite together in the effort to support persecuted Christians, “because I believe that if as Christians we speak up powerfully with one voice, we can help a lot of people who are under pressure or living in poverty,"

"It was our privilege to host Rinaldy as he brought the challenge and passion of the persecuted church to U.K. Christians," concluded CSW’s Chief Executive. "This extraordinary leader has so much to say which spurs us on in our prayers and our practical action on behalf of those who suffer for their faith."

This is the first year "Don't Stand in Silence" road shows were held to replace the annual "International Christian Human Rights Conference" hosted by CSW, Release International and Premier Christian Radio in the U.K., according to earlier statement from CSW in July.

Concerning the merits of the road shows, CSW said that it would be a fresh approach to the way they reach their supporters, and the resources they provide for them.

In addition, compared to the one-day conference CSW used to hold every year, road shows will be able to equip, encourage and motivate people in a far more effective and personalized way, according to CSW.

In November 2004, some 1,500 delegates attended the "Don’t Stand in Silence" conference in the Westminster Chapel, London, where they listened to real life testimonies from the persecuted Christians from China, Colombia, Sri Lanka and Eritrea.