The Prime Minister issued two challenges to church leaders at an Easter reception in 10 Downing Street.
The first was to encourage churches to take advantage of the Big Society Bank – “It gives the biggest possible opportunity for churches up and down the country to have a real social mission as well as having a moral, religious and a spiritual mission. I think it’s a great opportunity for faith to show its power to move mankind, to move mountains, to get things done.” (If you do contact the Big Society Bank, please let Fresh Streams know how you get on.)
Stephen Rand was invited to the reception – but he has no idea whether this was linked to his involvement with Fresh Streams or Open Doors.
But he was encouraged to discover that the second challenge was for churches and Christian organisations to work with the government to ensure the Arab Spring didn’t lead to greater persecution of Christians and other religious minorities. The Prime Minister said this was “a really important moment to work together on agendas to persuade these newly democratising countries not to persecute minorities and to respect Christians’ right to practise their religion.”
Stephen recently visited the Algerian Ambassador on this topic and delivered a letter signed by those who came to his option at the Fresh Streams Conference. He has written a report for Open Doors on Religious Liberty in the Arab World and been spending some time discussing this with politicians and civil servants.
This is part of Open Doors new campaign Right to Believe Arab World, stemming from the conviction that this is a kairos moment for Christians here to join the prayers and cries for freedom of Arab Christians. Please explore this further and encourage your church members to add their voice.