International (ODM/MNN) — 39
days into 2010, and already there are reports of heavy persecution and other
major atrocities against Christians.
According to Compass Direct News, two
pastors and 46 other Christians were confirmed killed, 27 believers are still
missing, and 10 churches were burned to the ground as a result of
Muslim/Christian clashes in Jos, Nigeria, in mid-January.
They also reported a case last month in Somalia. Members of al Shabaab, having learned that Mohammed
Ahmed Ali had left Islam to become a Christian, murdered the 41-year-old underground
church leader and threatened to kill his wife.
Open Doors discovered the death of yet
another Christian in Eritrean detention. Hana Hagos Asgedom was allegedly beaten to death, becoming the 11th
known Christian to die while imprisoned in Eritrea.
Open Doors says these cases
demonstrate a pressing need for the Obama administration to appoint an
Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
The position was created in 1998 to
monitor religious persecution, recommend and implement policies and advise the
U.S. State Department and the administration.
Although given verbal
support, the post has been vacant for over a year. Open Doors launched a petition drive
requesting an appointment. Our Web site will give you the details.
Open Doors USA Advocacy Director
Lindsay Vessey says, "The over 8,000
signatures in only two weeks demonstrates that people are really concerned
about the delay in making this appointment and want action by the
administration." She adds, "It also
demonstrates that people have a real passion for freedom of religion around the
To sign the petition and read the
letter to Secretary of State Clinton, go to www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.