WASHINGTON – One We Stand, the newest brand in the Christian Media Corporation portfolio, has partnered with Vancouver-based Pitch Live, a crowdfunding and marketing company, to launch CMC's first website solely-dedicated to frontline persecution and religious discrimination.
While CMC has always paid particular attention to reporting stories of religious freedom and persecution – with the flagship publication The Christian Post winning the Open Doors USA "Passion for the Persecuted" Award in 2011 – One We Stand will take CMC's commitment to the next level by producing regular stories and videos of frontline persecution using professional journalists who are embedded in the communities they report on to ensure accuracy and understanding of social context.
"This is a marriage between my two great passions – religious persecution and media. With the support of CMC and its millions of readers, world-renown religious freedom scholars and organizations, and the marketing and crowdfunding expertise of Pitch Live, we can really raise this issue to a new level," says Geoff Tunnicliffe, CMC chairman of the advisory board and Pitch Live media advisor. "I'm also pleased to say that One We Stand is acting as an agent to unify the body of Christ worldwide. People and groups that don't normally come into contact or work together are now united behind One We Stand."
Through Tunnicliffe's connection to both organizations, CMC and Pitch Live have partnered to create a sustainable model for One We Stand, whose slogan is "Change Starts Here." CMC will direct the editorial content and provide the distribution channels while Pitch Live will assists with marketing and crowdfunding strategies.
"It is an honor to be partnered with One We Stand, an organization focused on creating impactful stories that inspire positive change in our world. Our goal is to help design and distribute the editorial content through crowdfunding, innovative marketing and technology. We are excited that the success of this global movement has been put in the hands of the reader/donor," says Allan Klassen, Pitch Live Founder and CEO.
Tunnicliffe, who was the former World Evangelical Alliance Secretary General (2005-2014), came into contact with many victims of religious persecution during his extensive travels around the world with WEA, creating a deep sense of responsibility to wake up the Church worldwide to protect the oppressed. But it was not until 2015 – after he retired from WEA – that Tunnicliffe and William Anderson, CMC board chairman, discovered the vision for One We stand while attending the Global Kingdom Partnership Network (GKPN) where the theme was religious persecution. Hearing the stories and seeing the often times gruesome photos of persecuted Christians gave them the idea that they could use the existing network of CMC's tens of millions of readers to launch a new fusion website offering both news and call to actions.
"From the founding of Christian Media Corporation, our vision has always been to use our platform to protect the Church and Christians suffering for their faith. I was immediately drawn to the idea of One We Stand and making a more direct site under CMC dedicated to this issue," explains Anderson. "It is my hope and prayer that God can use One We Stand to protect and help those who are persecuted and oppressed for their faith."
In addition to its unique quality of being a news-activist site for Christian persecution, OWS is different in that it will pursue reporting on persecution through a nonfiction storytelling format where readers will be able to get to know the victims more intimately as individuals. While OWS will mostly focus on Christian persecution and is operated by Christians, it intends to also report on religious persecution suffered by other minorities as well as on refugees and poverty. As the OWS website explains, it is a "compassionate, global community taking action for the persecuted, dispossessed and marginalized."
"Violent attacks on Christians and other minorities because of their religion are often linked to mass movement of people (refugees), trafficking, or wars and conflicts," explains Gordon Showell-Rogers, OWS director. "One We Stand aims to tell first-person stories of hope from dark places to inspire change. Change starts here."
Senior advisors who will help OWS maintain accuracy and integrity in its stories include Tom Albinson, founder/president International Association for Refugees; Dr. Brian J. Grim, founder/president Religious Freedom & Business Foundation; Johnnie Moore, humanitarian and founder of PR firm The KAIROS Company; Dr. Christof Sauer, leading world expert and researcher on religious freedom and co-executive director of the International Institute for Religious Freedom; Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, world renowned human rights expert and founder of International Institute for Religious Freedom; Jim Olang, communications director of Association of Evangelicals in Africa; and Godfrey Yogarajah, executive director of Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance.
OWS and Pitch Live will launch their first crowdfunding on November 20, 2017. For more information, visit https://www.pitchlive.com/building-forward-campaign and One We Stand.