In an effort to raise awareness of persecuted Christians around the world, Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit that's provided practical and spiritual help for persecuted believers since the 1960s, launched a special promotion of its I Am N campaign Tuesday.
The promotion kicked off with 24 hours of prayer for persecuted Christians, and a social media blitz that shared images of those who are suffering around the globe — all in an effort to help citizens of the world realize that Christian persecution isn't simply something that happens "over there," and to give the suffering a face by associating the names and faces of real people.
"When Christians learn about their brothers and sisters around the world, they're inspired by that to stand with them … " said Jason Peters, associate vice president of connection for VOM, to The Christian Post Tuesday. "We are their voice."
Peters practices what he preaches, traveling the world to see and hear the stories of persecuted Christians and to provide assistance however he and VOM can. He knows firsthand that seeing the faces of those who are suffering only deepens a sense of connection and compassion for them, and raises an awareness that followers of Christ are one body. Peters illustrates that point with the analogy that an injury to a finger doesn't affect the finger alone, but the body as a whole shares in the suffering.
"If you're a follower of Christ, you're my brother. It doesn't matter if we know each other or not because we're in the same family," he told CP.
The I Am N campaign not only raises awareness of Christian persecution via social media, but VOM's ministry partners Integrity Music and David C. Cook also offer an I Am N album, which acts as a soundtrack for the movement and features artists like Sons & Daughters, The Brilliance, Israel and New Breed, Lincoln Brewster, New Life Worship, WorshipMob, Rend Collective, and new artist Greg Sykes, to name a few. There's also an I Am N book and curriculum available.
The movement has already raised $5 million and all net proceeds from the sale of I Am N resources go directly to help Christians facing Islamic extremists, according to the campaign's website.
In addition to helping to raise awareness about Christian persecution by retweeting @VOM_USA or @VOMC's evocative images, interested individuals can support the cause by visiting VOM's website and purchasing an Action Pack to be distributed to Pakistan, Iraq or Sudan, purchasing a Family Med Pack, or making a monetary donation.
Individuals can also make a contribution that requires no money at all through Adopt a Frontline Worker. "There's no money [involved]. ... We tell you their story and we give you their picture ... and you pray for them. It's that simple."
The name I Am N thumbs its nose in the face of the so-called Islamic State. In the terror group's efforts to gain recruits and eradicate Christians, IS militants travel throughout villages on a witch hunt for followers of Christ. Homes and businesses identified as Christian are marked with the Arabic letter "N," which is short for Nazarene — a follower of Jesus of "Nazareth." The Christians are forced to leave the village, convert to Islam, or die. Therefore, I Am N is a bold proclamation of one's unwavering stand for Christ.
Founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who himself was imprisoned for 14 years in Communist Romania for his belief in Christ, Voice of the Martyrs wants persecuted Christians worldwide to know that their brothers and sisters in Christ stand with them.
The organization operates based on Hebrews 13:3: "Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body."