In the Middle East, the birthplace of Christianity, Christians and other minorities are being violently persecuted, driven out of their homes, and killed. Their places of worship are being destroyed, and their history is being erased.
Entitled FAITHKEEPERS, this powerful new documentary tells the uplifting true stories of those who suffered and refused to renounce their faith.
Premiering May 23, FAITHKEEPERS is the latest film by The Clarion Project and Lightworks Media that uncovers the horrific reality faced by so many simply for being who they are.
The documentary gives face and voice to the humanitarian crisis and genocide affecting millions in the Middle East as a result of religious and ethnic persecution.
In Iraq and Syria, ravaged by war, Christians, Yazidis and other minority groups are suffering grievously under the yoke of terrorist groups like the Islamic State. Christian communities that fall under their control are given a simple choice: convert to Islam, pay the jizya, a humiliating protection tax, or die.
A testament to the inspiring stories of persecuted Christians, the films producers include Emmy nominated actress and producer Roma Downey, U.S.-trained lawyer Paula Kweskin, and Raphael Shore, founder and CEO of the Clarion Project.
Award winning narrative and documentary filmmaker Micah Smith is director of the documentary.
“We would like to awaken the Christian community and all people of conscience to understand and be empowered to take action on behalf of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East who are experiencing genocide,” said Kweskin. “We feel there is a real lack of information and this is first and foremost a film to educate people and wake them up about this humanitarian crisis.”
Join thousands across America to experience the inspiring stories of courageous Christians sacrificing for their faith in the Middle East. This important movie experience is available to your church for free.
While there is no cost to the church to host the event, costs are covered by ticket sales. Tickets are $8 per person, which includes a $1 ticketing surcharge.
For more information go to www.faithkeepers.clarionproject.org.
Q&A with Producer Paula Kweskin, U.S.- trained lawyer
Clarion Project: What is the goal of Faithkeepers?
Paula Kweskin: We would like to awaken the Christian community and all people of conscience to understand and be empowered to take action on behalf of Christians and other minorities in the Middle East who are experiencing genocide. We feel there is a real lack of information and this is first and foremost a film to educate people and wake them up about this humanitarian crisis.
What efforts is the U.S. government doing to protect Christians in the Middle East and is it enough?
Congress has taken a number of steps to protect Christians and other minorities in the Middle East. House Concurrent Resolution 75, which passed the House of Representatives in March 2016, correctly states, “the atrocities perpetrated by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious and ethnic minorities in Iraq and Syria constitute war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide.” The bill is currently awaiting passage through the Senate but if passed it will push the U.N. and other international bodies, working with U.S. leadership, to establish war crimes tribunals for ISIS leaders and take other more robust steps to tackle ISIS. There are other proposed bills, including one which would expedite the asylum process for Christians and other minorities fleeing ISIS persecution.
In addition, President Trump has increased the number of soldiers deployed to Iraq and Syria to fight ISIS and earlier this year he gave Defense Secretary Mattis the authority to set troop levels in Iraq and Syria. This means the U.S. military has the freedom to commit the forces it needs to eliminate ISIS, working with local partners on the ground.
What action can people take?
We have a three-pronged call to action: Awareness, advocacy, and aid. Visit our website for more information on how exactly to help.
Awareness: Spread the word by posting the trailer on your Facebook page or sending it to family and friends – each one of has the capacity to do that and awareness leads to action.
Advocacy: Speak to elected officials and make sure they are engaged on the issue and are supporting steps to end the genocide and help these communities.
Aid: We are collecting funds to distribute to selected charities and organizations in the region doing critical work on the ground.
What needs to be done to help Christians and other minorities who are now returning to villages and towns that were devastated by ISIS?
First and foremost there has to be strong security in place. But we can’t just protect them, we also have to help them rebuild. Right now they’re going back to destroyed churches and homes and are in a terrible situation. We need to give them the support to restore their devastated communities, whether that is politically, economically or in other ways. But I don’t think it will be possible for them to return unless there is a strong effort from the international community to assist them, not just in the short term but in the long term.
What do you say to people who say the United States has already wasted too much blood and treasure in the Middle East and that it’s not our problem to fix?
This is a humanitarian mission that goes beyond any one country. I see a genocide happening and I feel compelled to act. Minorities in the Middle East are a stabilizing and moderating force in the region.
A strong, peaceful and diverse Middle East is definitely in America’s interests.
SOURCE: Truth PR