International (MNN) — A flood of emotions, frustrations, and realizations swept over the United States on September 11, 2001. And when the tide subsided, much of the nation's happy naivety was washed away.
"We were in large measure–prior to September 11, 2001–blissfully ignorant of the hatred that was brewing in the extremist minds of terrorists around the world," notes Carl Moeller, president and CEO of Open Doors, USA.
Now it was more than just American war veterans who understood how ugly the world could be. All of America was suddenly aware of what it felt like to experience a direct attack, to experience something so much of the world was already privy to.
And yet, Moeller says despite that trauma, many believing Americans have tried to ignore the notion that others suffer daily, too.
"Since [9/11], we no longer have the luxury of that ignorance," reflects Moeller. "The reality is: one of the things we've stubbornly remained ignorant of is the fact that there are Christians in many of the countries that we hear about on our news every day who are facing a storm of persecution."
Just as the States were defiled by an attack ten years ago, over 100 million believers are attacked daily for their faith. Christians are jailed, beaten, even killed for their faith.
As American Christians, in particular, reflect on what they've learned since September 11, 2001, they can no longer remain silent about others who are experiencing attacks. Moeller says just as first responder firefighters and policemen stood in the gap for Americans 10 years ago, the church in America and throughout the world needs to stand in the gap for the persecuted church.
"The idea of standing in the gap is to make a difference in a place where there is no one," says Moeller. Open Doors is encouraging people to stand in the gap through their "One With Them" campaign.
Believers are invited to join in solidarity with the persecuted church by wearing a silicon, barbwire-shaped bracelet reminding Christians to encourage, advocate and pray for believers suffering across the globe. The campaign will culminate with the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on Sunday, November 13.
In volatile nations, Christians are the ones who can stand in the gap, returning the hatred of extremists with the love of Christ. We need to then stand with these believers who are boldly proclaiming the Truth. Since 9/11, American Christians in particular have been without excuse. To learn more about how you can stand with our persecuted brothers and sisters, visit www.OneWithThem.com.