When Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic, spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., last week, she prayed for the persecuted, listing religious persecution around the world, but did not specifically mention Christians.
“Oh, Lord, we thank all gathered at this prayer breakfast for lifting our voices for the poor and the persecuted, the millions who are missing or murdered because of their faith,” Pelosi prayed at the event Thursday, according to The Daily Signal. “Let us pray for the Panchen Lama and all the Tibetan Buddhists imprisoned in China or missing for following their faith,” she continued.
The House speaker also prayed for the “1 to 3 million Uighurs in China forced from their homes and incarcerated in camps,” as well as for “Raif Badawi in Saudi Arabia and for all the writers and religious free thinkers imprisoned for speaking their minds.”
Pelosi then prayed for “priests, rabbis, pastors, and religious leaders around the world whose freedoms have been stolen because of what they believe … countless Muslims and other religious minorities, often unseen and unnamed, who have been abducted, oppressed, and abused because of who they are and what they believe, their faith.”
In its 2020 World Watch List, leading Christian persecution watchdog Open Doors USA released its annual data report, saying this year highlights a drastic increase in attacks against Christian buildings and the imprisonment of Christians.
At least 2,983 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons during the last reporting period (Nov. 1, 2018 to Oct. 31, 2019). That is an average of eight Christians killed per day. The data also showed that about 260 million Christians experience “high levels of persecution” in the top 50 countries on the list.
The report stated that 9,488 “churches or Christian buildings” — or an average of 25 per day — were attacked during the 2019 reporting period. The number of Christians detained without trial, arrested and imprisoned increased from 2,625 in the 2019 report to 3,711 in the 2020 report.
Also at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday, the day after the United States Senate voted to acquit him of two articles of impeachment brought by Democrats in the lower chamber, President Donald Trump apparently criticized Pelosi, who months back had said that she prays for the president’s well-being. Without specifically naming Pelosi, who led the impeachment charge against the president, Trump said, “Nor do I like people who say ‘I pray for you’ when they know that that’s not so. So many people have been hurt and we can’t let that go on.”
At the event, conservative author Arthur Brooks encouraged biblical love amid a nationwide “crisis of contempt and polarization.”
Brooks, a professor of public leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and senior fellow at the Harvard Business School, described himself as a “follower of Jesus,” explaining, “[The same Jesus] who taught us to love God and taught us to love each other. Today, I’m here to talk to you about the biggest crisis facing our nation and many other nations today: It’s the crisis of contempt and polarization that’s tearing our societies apart.”