Christian Freedom International
Christian Freedom International (CFI) is an American human rights organization based in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, whose stated mission is to "help those who are persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ." CFI operates as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on voluntary, private support from individual donors and Christian churches throughout the United States.
CFI originated from the Swiss-based organization Christian Solidarity International, and established official independence as Christian Freedom International on April 24, 1998. CFI was founded and is currently headed by President Jim Jacobson (born 1961), a former White House legislative aide and policy analyst who served under the Reagan administration.
CFI assists Christians living in countries where persecution is most intense. In addition to its international activities, the organization also engages in political advocacy in Washington D.C. on behalf of thousands of persecuted Christians around the world.
Christian Freedom International operates a variety of programs that provide relief aid to Christians who are repressed because of their religious beliefs. Since its founding, the organization has worked in countries such as Sudan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Burma, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet, Laos, India and Indonesia.
CFI's international programs focus on the following key areas:
- Bible distribution to Christians living in restrictive countries where it is illegal or especially difficult to obtain or own a personal copy of the Scriptures;
- Medical assistance through the establishment of clinics and hospitals, donations of medicine and medical supplies, and the support of backpack field medics who provide medicine and medical treatment for internally displaced refugees in Burma;
- Emergency food distribution to impoverished Christians, especially those living in remote, isolated regions;
- "Care pack" distribution for needy Christian families in Pakistan who labor in brickyards;
- Child sponsorship, especially for orphans, to help provide for basic, daily essentials as well as educational needs and supplies;
- Operation of orphanages and a vocational school in Thailand for children of Christian refugees from Burma; and
- A microenterprise outlet that provides an income for Christian artisans who produce handcraft products for resale in the United States.
Christian Freedom International's objective is to monitor countries where persecution is reported and obtain firsthand evidence of human rights violations and repression of religious freedom. CFI then presents such evidence and information to policymakers in Washington, D.C. through briefings and testimony before Congress, the White House, the State Department, and the United Nations.
CFI also works to increase the American perspective and attention on the issue of worldwide Christian persecution, to mobilize other Christians to pray for victims of persecution, and to launch letter writing and petition campaigns on their behalf.
One of CFI's largest advocacy campaigns involved the 2006 decision by the U.S. State Department to allow the resettlement of persecuted refugees from Burma in the United States. After months of political indecision and a final waiver of restrictions under the Immigration Nationality Act, the State Department approved the applications of thousands of refugees that were seeking asylum in the United States.
Christian Freedom International has been a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) since 1987. According to ECFA's 2005 year-end data, 85.9% of CFI's revenues were used for program expenses, 9.9% for administrative expenses, and 4.2% for fund-raising expenses. Additional information about CFI's accountability practices, including a Financial Report and IRS Form 990, may be downloaded here .
- Christian Freedom International, Inc. Financial Statements For the Years Ended December 31, 2006 and 2005 (http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=4944&PrintVersion=True)
- Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=8320)
- Ministry Watch (http://www.ministrywatch.com/mw2.1/F_SumRpt.asp?EIN=521283394)
- U.S. State Department (http://www.america.gov/st/washfile-english/2006/May/20060505170858ajesrom0.5491144.html)
- Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (http://www.ecfa.org/MemberProfile.aspx?ID=4944)