Post By: Katrina Sumner
I am currently serving at Jubilee Campaign, USA which works to promote the human rights and religious liberty of ethnic and religious minorities around the world. The organization responds to international calls for help from those who are persecuted, imprisoned, or facing capital punishment simply for exercising their faith. I have been truly amazed and disheartened at the level of persecution happening in our world right now. There are nations where slavery is still practiced, where people are arrested for making a comment that the government does not like, or where they can receive the death penalty for changing their religion. Jubilee Campaign works to secure the release of these individuals and to help them seek asylum in other nations as necessary.
Jubilee Campaign interacts with human rights organizations around the world, as well as, with the United States government. Each week, I have the opportunity to participate in conference calls with governmental leaders, human rights organizations, and advocates in the field where so many are hurting and losing their lives. Hearing the direct testimony of advocates in other nations has been eye-opening.
I first became aware of the reality of religious persecution many years ago on my first trip outside America when I traveled to Nigeria. I was at a church conference where the archbishop read the names of pastors who had recently been killed for their faith. Each time he shared about a pastor who had been killed, he asked if there was another pastor who would volunteer to take his place. I was so amazed as other pastors readily volunteered to fill the posts of each of the victims. I came face-to-face with the reality that there are places in the world where people pay for their faith with their lives.
I am currently participating with a project documenting attacks on homes and churches and an escalation in violence, kidnappings, and the killing of Christian men, women, and children in areas of Nigeria that may be rising to the level of genocide. Jubilee Campaign is preparing data to submit to the United States government and other international organizations in hopes of avoiding the level of genocide experienced in Rwanda.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to pursue this internship through the Center for Global Justice. The Center’s commitment to promoting the rule of law, seeking justice for the downtrodden, and supporting organizations engaged in protecting human rights is critical for so many who live without the freedoms we enjoy in America.
This post was written by a Center for Global Justice Intern. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of Regent University, Regent Law School, or the Center for Global Justice.