How many conversations have you had recently about how Christians can fulfill their responsibility to be engaged in voting when neither candidate seems like the right choice? For me, this has been a common refrain in conversations with friends and colleagues for months now.
Many are feeling helpless and hopeless about casting their votes next week. Negative news about both candidates is plentiful. Each day we learn more troubling information as we impatiently count the days until Nov. 8. As we approach Election Day, I can't help but look with anticipation toward the end of this long roller coaster ride we have all been on since before primary season began.
But now is not the time to put our heads in the sand.
Despite the voting conundrum, there is still much we can do. Christians must be a voice for the voiceless. We should be urging both presidential candidates to create a plan for responding to the ever-increasing persecution of Christians around the world.
I recently had the opportunity (along with other key religious freedom leaders) to brief both the Clinton and Trump campaigns on the current international persecution landscape. We recommended a list of action steps we believe the next president must take. Both campaigns agreed that work should be done to help persecuted Christians worldwide, one glimmer of hope during this time fraught with disappointment.
But it will take more than one meeting to make this issue a priority for politicians — to move their concern beyond platitudes and into action. They need to be hearing from thousands upon thousands of Christians in the U.S. who affirm this is a vital issue — that we can no longer stand by as our brothers and sisters face an unprecedented increase in persecution in countries such as North Korea, Iran and Nigeria.
Open Doors created a petition appealing to both candidates to put forth their plan to help persecuted Christians throughout the world. You can read and sign the petition here.
Earlier this year we learned more than 76 percent of Americans believe this issue should be addressed by the next president — yet the tragic reality is that both candidates have remained virtually silent about it. Soon, they will no longer be candidates and we will have a new president-elect. Even after the American people have voted, we will still have a responsibility to urge our leaders to do something to help those who are persecuted around the world.
In all likelihood, either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next person to occupy the oval office. Will you join us in urging them both to remember and act on behalf of those who are persecuted worldwide because of their Christian faith?