International Christian Concern
|Purpose||Human rights of Christians|
International Christian Concern (ICC) is a non-denominational, non-governmental, Christian watchdog group, located in Washington, DC, whose concern is the human rights of Christians. Its mission is to help "all persecuted Christians who affirm the Apostles' Creed and believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God."
ICC was founded in 1995 by Steve Snyder, former president of the USA Division of Christian Solidarity International. In 2002, Snyder was succeeded as ICC President by Jeff King, who had served 11 years with Campus Crusade for Christ.
The organization has issued reports on persecution of Christians in countries such as China, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Algeria. The organization publishes a "Hall of Shame", naming what it views as those countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians. In 2011, the 11 countries on its list were China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Somalia, and Vietnam.
ICC protested what it reported as the 2001 detention of 11 Christians in Saudi Arabia, for practicing their religion in their homes. It also reported that in February 2001, Muslims burned a new Egyptian church and the homes of 35 Christians, and that in April 2001 a 14-year-old Egyptian Christian girl was kidnapped because her parents were believed to be harboring a person who had converted from Islam to Christianity. In June 2004, ICC reported on what it termed a "pogrom-like" crackdown by Saudi police on Christians after media reports of Koran desecration in Guantanamo Bay. In August 2004, the organization protested an attack by Islamists on Iraqi Christian churches that killed 11 people. ICC reported that in October 2007, the Baptist manager of the only Christian bookstore in the Gaza Strip was murdered, following the firebombing of his bookstore and his receipt of death threats from Muslim extremists angry at what they viewed to be his missionary activity.
In June 2009, ICC reported the rape and killing of a Christian man in Pakistan, for refusing to convert to Islam. In August 2009, the organization reported that four Christians working to help orphans in Somalia were beheaded by Islamist extremists when they refused to convert to Islam. Later in 2009, ICC said that over 3,000 Christians were being held prisoner in Eritrea, at times in underground dungeons or old metal shipping containers, and alleged a December 2009 mass arrest of 30 mostly elderly women who were praying together at an Evangelical church with a Methodist background.
In February 2011, ICC lauded the release of an Afghan man[who?] who had been imprisoned for nine months for converting to Christianity, but said another convert was still in detention after he allegedly gave a copy of a Bible to a friend. In March 2011, the organization said that a Muslim group spurred Muslim youths to burn up to 50 Ethiopian Christian churches and kill one person on the basis of accusations that Christians had desecrated the Koran. In May 2011, ICC indicated that Christians in Syria were more afraid of the anti-government protesters than of the government itself, because under the Syrian Assad government there has been tolerance towards religious minorities.
In August 2012, ICC reported that Saudi Arabia deported 35 Ethiopian Christians after incarcerating them for over seven months (during which time they pressured them to convert to Islam), for praying at a private religious function in advance of the Christmas in December 2011 in Jeddah.
In August 2014, ICC reported that up to a million Christians had lived in Iraq prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 against the government of Saddam Hussein, but that their number had since dropped to less than half. In September 2014, ICC warned that umbrella Hindu nationalist group Sangh Parivar was inflicting suffering and looking to "cleanse" the minority Christian population in India, similar to what Islamic State was doing in Iraq and Syria. In September 2014, ICC reported that one of the last Christians to stay behind after the Islamic State took over his Iraqi town was beaten to death by jihadi militants in front of a church, after refusing to convert to Islam.
ICC exists to build and bandage Christ's persecuted Church. They seek to serve all persecuted Christians regardless of denomination or sect. ICC provides awareness, advocacy, and practical assistance for persecuted Christians.
ICC encourages, aids, provides public awareness about, advocates and seeks support for, conducts research with regard to, and prays for Christians worldwide who the organization views as being persecuted. The organization focuses on raising awareness via information gathering and sharing.
ICC publishes a newsletter, entitled Concern.
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