International Christian Concern
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|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 religious minorities from all forms of persecution through assistance, advocacy, and awareness.
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, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Algeria. In recent years ICC has also worked to raise the profile of religious persecution in Mexico, Pakistan, Egypt, and India along with individual cases such as Sudanese Christian mother Meriam Ibrahim.
ICC seeks to serve all persecuted Christians regardless of denomination or sect and claims to provide awareness, advocacy, and practical assistance for persecuted Christians.
ICC encourages, aids, provides public awareness through detailed research, advocates and seeks support for, and prays for Christians worldwide who the organization views as being persecuted. The organization focuses on raising awareness via information gathering and sharing although their methods of obtaining information have been called into question by current and former employees who were concerned for the lack of security measures maintained to help those in dangerous areas.
Areas of Focus
ICC strives to work with various government entities, both domestically and internationally to enact change through the legislative process, pressure countries who persecute Christian minorities, and secure the release of the prisoners of conscience
- August, 2012: Saudi Arabia releases 35 Ethiopian Christians arrested at an underground church service in Jeddah after an extensive advocacy campaign.
- August 2013: interview on Fox News Special Report with Brett Baier discussing the torching of 40+ Christian churches in Egypt.
- November 2013: The U.S. designates Boko Haram a "Foreign Terrorist Organization", putting in place economic sanctions and travel bans against the group.
- March 2014: 70 members of Congress write to President Obama urging him to address human rights and religious freedom in Saudi Arabia. The effort was led by Amnesty International and ICC.
- May 2014: Congressman Trent Franks publishes first Congressional news release of Meriam Ibrahim case.
- June 2014: Protests on behalf of Meriam Ibrahim in front of White House and Sudanese Embassy. Members of Congress, Fox News, Time magazine, and the Huffington Post attend. Secretary John Kerry issues statement condemning imprisonment immediately after the protests.
ICC believes it is vital for both the nation and those globally to become more informed and educated on the very real issue of religious persecution. Through the development of media resources, volunteer efforts, and social media, International Christian Concern has brought the plight of religious minorities to the forefront of many organizations and government entities.
- April 2015: ICC holds first press conference at the National Press Club in Washington D.C. focusing on Pakistan. Speakers included a Congressional member, a member of the UK Parliament, Amnesty International, and the attorney for Asia Bibi.
- July 2015: Senator and Presidential candidate Marco Rubio questions Mexican ambassadorial candidate on the continued religious persecution of evangelical Christians in the Mexican states of Chiapas, Hidalgo, and Puebla.
Assistance refers to practical help and finances ICC offers religious minorities to rebuild, repair, and regroup. ICC continues to provide various forms of donation funded support to persecuted individuals and groups around the globe. Persecution of religious minorities varies beyond the general actions of attacks and imprisonment. ICC provides explanations and opportunities to aid in their effort in 6 unique forms of assistance opportunities.
Offers a monthly magazine subscription entitled Persecution.
Pens Op-ed's and original news releases located on the organizations website persecution.org.
ICC has been awarded high marks by charity watchdogs for their efficient and ethical use of financial support and the effectiveness of their work:
- Charity Navigator, America's premiere independent charity evaluator, works to advance a more efficient and responsive philanthropic marketplace by evaluating the financial health of over 5,300 of America's largest charities. Charity Navigator gave ICC its highest rating (4 stars) again in 2013.
- ECFA is an accreditation agency dedicated to helping Christian ministries earn the public's trust through adherence to seven Standards of Stewardship, ECFA has again given its stamp of approval to ICC in its latest audit in 2013.
- Inderjeet Parmar (2009). New directions in US foreign policy. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- John Woodrow Storey, Glenn H. Utter (2002). Religion and politics: a reference handbook. ABC-CLIO. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- Allen D. Hertzke (2006). Freeing God's Children: The Unlikely Alliance for Global Human Rights. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "Who We Are « Persecution of Christians & Persecuted Churches". International Christian Concern. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- Robert Murray Thomas (2006). Religion in schools: controversies around the world. Greenwood Publishing Group. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- Tom Doyle (2009). Breakthrough: The Return of Hope to the Middle East. Biblica. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- Michael Cromartie (2003). A public faith: evangelicals and civic engagement. Rowman & Littlefield. Retrieved June 10, 2011.
- "Franks Decries Harsh Sentence for Sudanese Woman Refusing to Recant Christian Faith | Congressman Trent Franks". franks.house.gov. Retrieved 2015-09-14.
- "5 Practical Actions to Help Free Imprisoned Sudanese Mother". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-09-11.