Tony Perkins is a Washington, D.C., fixture, having gone from being a Marine to a police officer in Louisiana to working with the Department of State to running for office in Louisiana to becoming a state senator from Baton Rouge and now on to a career in Washington.
Famed Washington, D.C., prayer leader Dick Simmons was Perkins' mentor, and under his direction, Perkins moved from his base in Louisiana, enabling him to continue his Christian ministry through leadership of the Family Research Council.
In 2018, he became a member of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, a unique entity which came out of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998.
The act mandates an annual report on the state of religious freedom worldwide and to focus efforts on countries of particular concern. It was updated in 2016 with the Frank Wolf International Freedom Act to strengthen its efforts, honoring former Congressman Frank Wolf, who was instrumental in its founding.
From July 13-15, 2021, the first International Religious Freedom Summit will be held in Washington, D.C., co-hosted by former Ambassador for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback and Katrina Swett, president of the Lantos Foundation.
Perkins encourages churches to support this historic event in prayer and participation, either in person or online, as it will make a significant difference for the 300 million persecuted Christians worldwide.
Perkins shares with former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo the honor of being banned by China. He considers it a badge of courage that he is making a difference for the cause of Christ worldwide.
"One of the key victories of [former] President Donald J. Trump was his historic religious freedom accomplishments," Perkins says, highlighting the moving of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and the removal of the Johnson Amendment. This, Perkins says, "prevented pastors from speaking out on political issues." He also highlights Trump's desire to go to the United Nations and to sit alongside the secretary general and "strongly demand religious freedom worldwide," Perkins says.
"One of the lasting accomplishments of the administration was the hosting of, along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the two Ministerials to advance international religious freedom, hosted at the Department of State, in cooperation with the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to advance religious freedom worldwide," Perkins continues.
He believes the two Ministerials were a "wonderful touchstone" to shed a light on the fact that it is estimated nearly 80% of the world live in some form of religious persecution. Perkins also says it is encouraging to see the recent annual religious freedom proclamation by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom and the 2020 International Religious Freedom Report by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Perkins encourages believers to go to USCIRF.gov to get information on the Commission on International Religious Freedom, as most don't know of its official government-chartered status. He also encourages believers to register their organizations, churches and as individuals for the International Religious Freedom Summit at irfsummit.com, and pray for and support the efforts to help the nearly 300 million believers who live under persecution worldwide.
Amir George directs The World Helpline at theworldhelpline.org.
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