Amid reports saying that there are over 340 million Christians facing persecution for their faith, the Christian non-profit organization For The Martyrs has planned a second march for the oppressed in Washington, D.C. The march will be held this summer.
Gia Chacón, who founded For The Martyrs in order to give persecuted Christians a voice, told The Christian Post, "I saw a need for [persecuted Christians] to have a voice, and I believed that if God laid it on my heart, if He broke my heart, then as part of that was the responsibility to do something."
Chacón, 24, launched For the Martyrs in December 2019, and through the group, she and others have been able to raise awareness and encourage other young people to fight for oppressed Christians. The non-profit offers aid in the form of food, clothes, transportation, and Bibles while also advocating for persecuted Christians around the world, a problem Chacón argues is "often overlooked by communities of faith" and ignored by the media.
"As I began researching, I realized that not only is Christian persecution growing every single year, but also that Christians are the most persecuted religious group. And I never realized this before," she shared. Chacón first saw Christian persecution firsthand in Egypt when she visited the country with her grandmother through her grandmother's non-profit. Then she traveled to Egypt again at 20, and that was when she decided to go all-in, even quitting her dream job, to give Christian martyrs a voice.
On September 5, 2020, For the Martyrs organized the first-ever march for the persecuted church in Long Beach, California, drawing hundreds of people from various Christian denominations to unite in solidarity for the persecuted church around the world.
"We march for life. We march for our rights. We march when we stand up for injustices. But there's never been a large-scale march to stand in solidarity of the persecuted Church around the world," she told The Christian Post. "So we at For the Martyrs, spearheaded by myself, decided if we host a march to stand in solidarity with the persecuted Church, that will help not only raise awareness but also bring people into this movement for the persecuted Church to give them a tangible way to make a difference in the lives of the persecuted."
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Lord Henri Voton
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.