It is hard to believe that so much could happen in the space of that one swift year!
This was Year 2 for me as Katartismos Global Advocacy Director. My goal? To equip (katartismos) the Body of Christ for the work of ministry. In my case, to equip you for ministry as a faithful, passionate advocate for your persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, and for standing for our religious freedom at home.
I recently learned further meanings of this rich Greek word! An entry in BiblePortal.com on reveals:
Basically katartismos refers to that which has been restored to its original condition, is being made fit or being made complete. The root word was used as a medical term used for setting bones! Secular Greek also used it to refer to the furnishing a house.Greek Word Studies: Equipping (2677) katartismos
Isn’t that great!? When we are advocates for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world we are “setting the broken bones” in the Body of Christ!
As days grow darker, persecution of Christians around the world increases. Open Doors reported that some 360 million Christians worldwide suffer from severe levels of persecution, including torture, imprisonment, and death. And in 2021 alone almost 6000 Christians were killed for their faith.
In addition, the scourge of anti-Semitism has continued to grow. At the same time, our ability in the West to stand up for them has become more difficult because of that same growing darkness in our own nation. This makes it even more necessary for us to fight for our own freedom, if we are to stand up for our persecuted brothers and sisters and others when our own government fails them.
Katartismos Global is small, but we can be mighty. Thanks to Bishop Julian and Brenda Dobbs, we have powerful connections with the global church and with Christians here in America who are mandated by the Lord to “do good to all, but especially to those of the household of faith.” And I have 29 years’ worth of connections on religious freedom issues, as well!
February: Freedom Award for Human Rights Defender Enes Kanter Freedom
I’m a founding member of the Committee on the Present Danger: China (CPDC) national coalition of individuals and organizations working to protect the nation and world from dangerous threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Our Captive Nations Coalition task force sponsored a reception honoring former NBA star Enes Kanter Freedom for his commitment to those being oppressed and imprisoned by the CCP and for his love for his adopted nation, demonstrated when he changed his last name officially to “Freedom.”
Captive nations include such places and people groups as Tibetans, Southern Mongolians, Hong Kongers, Taiwanese, Uyghur, Falun Gong, etc. More recently, we’re also focusing on African and Latin American nations becoming entrapped by the CCP’s Belt and Road Initiative.
I spoke for Katartismos Global at that event and to fight against the CCP takeover of economic systems the world over, including the United States. One of the worst parts of it to me is the collaboration of our Federal Retirement Thrift Savings Board in America. They are planning to transfer billions in pension funds of federal employees and, more shockingly, of our armed forces — both active and retired — into CCP owned and affiliated companies. This includes companies building the weapon systems that could be used against our own soldiers! But you can be equipped to fight against the travesty!
May: Anglican Diocese of the Living Word Diocesan Synod
I traveled to Souderton, Pennsylvania for the Anglican Diocese of the Living Word’s annual synod. I love being with the wonderful people of ADLW, representing churches from Maine to Miami and across the nation. I was able to share resources and information about our persecuted brothers and sisters. Through my membership in CPDC, mentioned above, I also provided critical information for military veterans and active members on the dangerous plan of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
June: Religious Freedom Meetings in Washington, DC
Once again, I represented not only Katartismos Global, but the entire ACNA at the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Summit in Washington, DC.
The Summit was held June 28-30, but the day before the Summit began, I also attended the inaugural meeting of a new organization created by Ambassador Sam Brownback, the National Committee for Religious Freedom. It was a good beginning, enforcing the message that we need to hold on to our own religious freedom in America to continue defending persecuted religious believers around the world.
The IRF Summit began early on June 28 with about 50 of us marching to dozens of embassies of nations where people of faith have been imprisoned for their faith. It was one of the most significant moments in the Summit experience, with people of different faiths — Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, and even no faith (such as the group including former Muslims who now identify as Atheists!) marching together and defending each other’s victimized people of faith.
The Summit continued with dozens of international guest speakers in person and livestreamed, including courageous people of faith such as Finnish Parliamentarian, Päivi Räsänen, who was arrested for quoting the Bible concerning human sexuality.
September: New Wineskins Missions Conference
One of my other hats is as the co-leader of the Anglican Persecuted Church Network in the New Wineskins Missionary Network. In that regard, I was privileged to put on a Persecuted Church conference with my co-leader, Patricia Streeter, prior to the 2022 New Wineskins Missions Conference at Ridgecrest Conference Center in the mountains of western North Carolina – it was one of dozens of “pre-conference conferences.”
At both New Wineskin conferences of 2019 and 2022 we integrated passion for the persecuted church deeply into New Wineskins. Katartismos Global provided a powerful “People of the Cross” photo exhibit–20 banners depicting persecuted brothers and sisters. New Wineskins attendees expressed new commitment to the persecuted. (If you’re interested in borrowing the banners for your church, please contact me! Churches that borrow the banners have been very blessed and their people have become advocates for the persecuted.) In addition, I offered a Mission Awareness Presentation (MAP talk) about Katartismos Global’s many forms of advocacy to call attention to persecuted Christians around the world.
October: Connections for a South Sudan Ministry
When friends from ACROSS Ministry in South Sudan came to the US, I helped coordinate the Washington, DC leg of their trip. I found a host family for the four-member team to stay with and arranged meetings for them on important issues like agriculture and business investment, as well as a trip to the Museum of the Bible. The team included the National Director, Dr. Elisama Wani Daniel and his wife, Eva, and American missionaries Dan and Teresa Janzen.
December: CCP Embassy Pray-In/Protest Against Nigeria’s Genocidal President
What better way to observe Advent than standing in prayer for the people of China and China’s captive nations in front of the Embassy? We only had a quintet of prayer warriors (which made it very funny when the officer from the Secret Service, Uniformed Division inquired if we thought there would be more than 120 people). But for about two hours we prayed and sang in full view of CCP security cameras. And at one point we noticed that a man was standing at a third story window watching us. We waved at him, and to our amazement, he waved back! . . . and smiled! Trust me, that has never happened before in all the years I have demonstrated outside the Chinese Embassy!
The next week was the Africa Summit in Washington, DC. In conjunction with that, the United States Institute of Peace held a “conversation” on “democracy” with Muhammadu Buhari, the President of Nigeria. If you’ve been following issues of Christian persecution for any time you will know that Nigeria is probably the most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian. In the first six months of 2022 alone, over 4000 Christians were killed by Boko Haram and Fulani jihadists. Buhari has done nothing to defend Christians or to bring the perpetrators to justice in his entire time in office (which was helped to happen by President Barack Obama who preferred the genocidal Islamist to the former Christian president, Goodluck Jonathan).
So along with the Save The Persecuted Christians coalition, of which I am a founding member, I organized a demonstration outside of USIP to protest their providing credibility for Buhari. And sure enough, while we were protesting outside, and also speaking out about the U.S. State Department failing to place Nigeria on the list of Countries of Particular Concern for the second year in a row, our folks on the inside reported that the USIP was fawning all over Buhari! We will continue to fight to expose the truth about the slaughter of Christians in Nigeria.
And there was much more activity by Katartismos Global throughout the year! I was a panelist in many webinars this year, including on Iran, Nigeria, and the WHO and globalism. I also wrote for our Katartismos Global blog and for The Stream. I’m acting as a consultant/Washington, DC representative for Katartismos Global to the American Association of Evangelicals (AAE). AAE is an important new gathering of believers promoting the Christ-centered gospel and biblical worldview for human flourishing, and with a passion to see America return to its Biblical heritage.
And one of my biggest blessings is being an advisor/resource person for Aglow International. This Spirit-filled organization sends teams from across the nation to DC on a regular basis. I have the privilege of briefing them, equipping these wonderful saints for the work of ministry. And for a good reason, I call them “my prayer posse.” Their prayers and support for me buoys me up and helps me stay rooted and grounded!
I also made some great new connections. In July I was honored to meet the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, former Chief Chaplain of the U.S. Navy and Chaplain of the Marine Corps, Rear Admiral Margaret Kibben. Chaplain Kibben is a great woman of God who wants to hear more about our work with persecuted Christians. Another connection led to a terrific partnership between a ministry for persecuted South Asian Christians with a wonderful American ministry. Then we connected that partnership with the House of Lords and House of Commons in the U.K. God demonstrated His sense of humor in this – but you must ask me about it in person because it’s a very sensitive international matter!
If you’d like to help support the ministry of Katartismos Global doing advocacy like this, please go to the KGI website and choose “Staff Salary Support” to make a tax-deductible donation. With your help I can continue to equip the saints to minister to the global Persecuted Church and others as advocates, and to fight for our religious freedom in America.