International (MNN) — The Religious Liberty Partnership is a historic and exciting event for the persecuted church.
Last week we reported the alliance of 15 organizations that help the persecuted church. "These were some groups that have not worked intentionally together in their histories and
we're really quite excited about the possibility of a partnership that will help to coordinate joint activities, share information, and avoid duplication of work," said Glenn Penner of Voice of the Martyrs Canada who is a part of a five member leadership team for the partnership.
International Day of Prayer was the first step in this relationship. They are now working on forming the framework, such as best practices and advocacy issues. Their hope is to have these things established within a year.
Sometimes the persecuted church can get confused as many different organizations try to help in different ways. "I believe this is going to be very helpful for our brothers and sisters to see the unity that we really do say that we want to have, and then we'll be able to assist our brothers and sisters in a more wise, in a more unified, in a more strategic way than when we're all trying to do our own thing," Penner said.
The unity will benefit the persecuted church as well as evangelism. The partnership makes it possible for the organizations to combine strengths to assist them. "I'm sure its only going to help the persecuted church in order to evangelize their nations more effectively, rather than if we're trying to run two different programs side-by-side," said Penner.
The partnership will also relieve the persecuted church's worries of implications of working with more than one organization.
One of the biggest problems for helping ministry to the persecuted church and raising awareness of the persecuted church is the perceived and actual competition between helping organizations. "This partnership is a real attempt, I believe, to overcome that deliberately," said Penner.
"I think it's a movement of the Holy Spirit at a critical time in our history of religious liberty around the world," he said. It is key at this time that organizations show that they are working together through their actions.