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 February 17, 2017
Attendees at Speak Freedom Dallas 2016 learning about religious persecution.
 

Message from Bob

GREAT NEWS! More than 700 Advocates signed the 21CWI letter to President Trump urging him to nominate an Ambassador-At-Large for Religious Freedom in his first 100 days in office. The position became vacant with the transition to the Trump administration, and it has taken previous administrations an average of 353 days – almost a year – to secure a nomination. Many of you signed this letter and have been praying for this appointment to happen quickly. You can still reach out to the White House directly to urge a swift appointment. Thanks to all of you for your continued prayers. 
 
WANT TO CONNECT? I am here to support you in raising awareness about religious persecution. If we have not connected in person, I would like to come to your church or organization and meet with you. I enjoy sharing about the work of 21CWI and how all of us together can help promote religious freedom around the world. If you’re a pastor, would you have room on your schedule during the week? Please feel free to reach out to me anytime.
 
SAVE THE DATE! I am pleased to announce that our 2017 Development Dinner will be held at Dallas Baptist University on Monday evening, Sept. 11. Our guest speaker for the evening will be Mike Huckabee. Governor Huckabee was the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996-2007 and ran for President in 2008 and 2016. He is also a Fox News Contributor and a New York Times Best-Selling Author. Prior to his political career, he served as senior pastor of the Immanuel Baptist Church in Pine Bluff, Arkansas (1980-86) and of the Beech Street First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Arkansas (1986-92). Please consider budgeting to host a table for this event. More details will be announced over the coming weeks.
 
A POWERFUL PERSECUTION STORY. Virginia Prodan is featured in this newsletter.  She is one of our 21CWI Ambassadors as well as a gifted speaker, legal champion and author. Please take the time to read her story today. I would also recommend that you consider having her speak to your church or organization. For more information, go to http://virginiaprodanbooks.com/speaking/.
 
I appreciate you, your support, your ministry and your friendship. May God continue to bless you as you continue to serve Him.

JOY!
Bob
Psalm 84:11

Team Spotlight
Lou Ann Sabatier serves as the Director of Strategy and Communications for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative. She manages branding, messaging, three websites, two Facebook pages, collateral material, press and the International Religious Freedom Scorecard.
 
Prior to working with 21CWI, Lou Ann spent 40 years working in media and communications. For fifteen years, she led publishing operations in the fields of politics and international economics. In addition, for ten years early in her career she served as a literary agent, packaging and selling non-fiction works on politics, economics and cultural criticism.
 
Sabatier has spent the past 22 years heading a global consulting consortium with 19 consultants. With more than 200 assignments completed, clients include a list as diverse as World Vision/Save the Children, the International Monetary Fund, the OECD, the Federal Reserve Bank, National Geographic, American Marketing Association, and the U.S. Marine Corps. About one-quarter of her clients have been faith based organizations or ministries.
 
An effective teacher and gifted communicator, Lou Ann speaks regularly at industry and faith based conferences on a wide array of topics. 
 
Lou Ann lives in Falls Church, Virginia and she and her husband have one son.
 

Alliance Spotlight

Virginia Prodan
21CWI Ambassador, Author and Speaker
 
Virginia Prodan is an international human rights attorney, an Allied Attorney with the Alliance Defending Freedom Organization, and a sought-after speaker.  I heard her speak last November in downtown Dallas for the 21CWI Speak Freedom Rally sponsored. Her story is simply incredible.
 
As a young attorney under Nicolae Ceausescu’s brutal communist regime in Romania, Virginia had spent her entire life searching for the truth. When she finally found it in the pages of the most forbidden book in all of Romania, Virginia accepted the divine call to defend fellow followers of Christ against unjust persecution in an otherwise ungodly land.
 
Her memoir, “Saving My Assassin,” documents how she was kidnapped, beaten, tortured, placed under house arrest, and even came within seconds of being executed under the orders of Ceausescu himself. How Virginia not only managed to defeat her enemies time and again, but helped expose the appalling secret that would lead to the demise of Ceausescu’s evil empire is one of the most extraordinary stories ever told.
 
Virginia Prodan’s compelling story of courage in the face of intimidation and even death on behalf of others is a testament to her unwavering faith in a God who delivers.
 
Exiled from Romania since 1988, Virginia frequently shares her story as a keynote speaker in large public forums—including public and private schools and universities and churches—and has been featured prominently in media reports.  She was the focus of a full-length documentary and has been interviewed by Fox News, Heritage Foundation, and many others.
 
Virginia currently resides in Dallas, TX, where she practices law.
 
I highly recommend “Saving My Assassin” and know you will be encouraged by her testimony. For more information, go to www.virginiaprodanbooks.com.
 

Resource Highlight

World Watch List 2017
A Ranking of the Top 50 Countries where Christians Face the Most Severe Persecution for Their Faith.
 
Periodically, Open Doors publishes the World Watch List to highlight the plight of persecuted Christians around the world. The list represents believers in Jesus Christ who are arrested, harassed, tortured—even killed—for their faith.
 
The 2017 World Watch List uses data from Open Doors fieldworkers and independent experts to track the deep structures of Christian persecution.
 
It measures the degree of freedom a Christian has to live out his or her faith in five spheres of life—private, family, community, national and church—plus a sixth sphere measuring the degree of violence.
 
The data is translated into points, and countries are ranked accordingly, with the top 50 countries appearing on the list. There is also a brief explanation of the persecution of each of the top 50 countries. The list is independently audited by the International Institute of Religious Freedom.
 
You will find this list, a map, and a quick start guide by going to our website and looking under “resources,” or you can click this link:  www.21wilberforce.org/resources/  

TAKE ACTION

Here’s how you can help as a 21CWI Ambassador
  1. Pray for 21CWI.  Our leadership team is working hard in the DC area advocating for those who are suffering abroad from religious persecution. Please pray specifically for our President/Founder Randel Everett; Executive VP Elijah Brown; and Distinguished Senior Fellow and Former Congressman Frank Wolf. These men are on the front lines in the fight for religious freedom around the world. 
  2. Share the needs of the persecuted church with your church or organization.
    1. Designate a Sunday to pray for those who are suffering from religious persecution abroad. 
    2. Teach a Bible study or preach a sermon on religious freedom. 
    3. Show a video about religious freedom.  Sermon Starters, and other resources are located on our website (www.21wilberforce.org/resources) under resources for your convenience.
  3. Host a Religious Freedom Service annually. Most people do not understand the scope of religious persecution. Unfortunately, “out of sight, out of mind” is the rule of the day.  You can help by focusing on the issue regularly.
  4. Ask your church or organization to become a Wilberforce Alliance Member. This is an opportunity to partner with 21CWI financially. Thank you in advance for your consideration.
  5. Promote the work of 21CWI. We are a young organization. Many of your peers have never heard of us. When the opportunity presents itself, please remember to share about 21CWI. 
 
NOTE:  Also please remember that 21CWI staff are available to come and speak to your church or organization. It would be an honor and privilege for us to do so. You can contact me by email (bob@21wilberforce.org) or phone. My office number is 571-297-3177. My cell number is 432-853-1177. My office is located at Dallas Baptist University in Dallas, Texas. 
 
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The 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative is empowering a global movement to advance religious freedom as a universal right through advocacy, capacity building and technology.
www.21wilberforce.org


Mailing Address:
405 North Washington St
Suite 300
Falls Church, VA 22046

Phone:
432-853-1177

Email Address:
Bob@21wilberforce.org
Randel Everett
President and Founder

Frank Wolf
Distinguished Senior Fellow

Elijah Brown
Executive Vice President

Bob Billups
Director of Wilberforce Alliance

Nathan Wineinger
Director of Policy Relations

Abigail Berg
Director of Government Relations
Copyright © 2017 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, All rights reserved.