International Christian Concern
What is International Christian Concern?
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.
Its mission is to help "all persecuted Christians who affirm the Apostles' Creed and believe that the Bible is the inspired word of God." It shares the view of Michael Horowitz that it is important to forestall a Christian holocaust because, as Horowitz put it, "You're only allowed to sit out one Holocaust per lifetime."
ICC campaigns for the right of Christians world-wide, seeing to develop solidarity among Christians globally. It 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.
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