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Week Ending October 20, 2006 - Washington, DC
October 20, 2006 11:52AM EST


RFC chairman William Murray is traveling in Darfur, Sudan.
In his absence RFC Executive Director, Peggy Birchfield wrote this week's update.



William Murray is in the violence torn nation of the Sudan this week, on a fact finding mission to assess the condition of religious freedom there. Yesterday he had a meeting with the Archbishop of the Catholic Diocese of Khartoum. About 40% of Christians in the Sudan are Catholic, and there are several protestant and evangelical denominations represented also. Sometime today, Mr. Murray will be meeting with President Omar al-Bashir, whom President Bush has accused of conducting genocide in the Sudan. Later this week, he will be traveling into Darfur, the part of Sudan where there have been the most recent reports of great loss of life and suffering among the civilian population. Other members of the fact finding group include a former governor, a former U. S. Congressman, and the head of a large Christian seminary. When Mr. Murray returns, he will give a full report of his findings about the Sudan.


On Monday, I represented the RFC at an event honoring the work of Congressman Frank Wolf (R-VA) who is co-chairman of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. Congressman Wolf, a deeply religious conservative Republican, plays a vital role in working with oppressed people around the world, many of whom cannot practice their religion freely. There were people at the reception representing some of the most repressive nations in the world, including North Korea, the Sudan (where Mr. Murray is currently traveling), Vietnam, and Iraq. Over two hundred Advocates and members of Congress, many in native dress, filled the beautiful historic Cannon House Caucus Room on Capitol Hill in Washington DC to watch participants in the evening's events perform a traditional Uyghur dance and a Tibetan circle dance. Speakers at the event included Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom John Hanford and many leaders of the international struggle for human and religious rights.


On Thursday, I participated in an NGO briefing and roundtable at the U.S. State Department with Ambassador John Miller and guests Suman and Shanta Sapkota of the Peace Rehabilitation Center (PRC) of Nepal, India. At the invitation of the Ambassador, I took part in a discussion with 15 Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) and Ms. Sapkota to gain information about her continued work with trafficking victims. The ministry was originally designed to rescue girls from the sex trafficking industry but now serves to help girls and women with HIV AIDS and STD's who have been abandoned on the streets of Nepal. The lack of sufficient education and income in Nepal often results in families selling their daughters to traffickers. Some women are misled with promises of marriage or employment. There are approximately 400,000 Nepali girls being held in the brothels of India. In continuous efforts to educate the public about the industry of human trafficking the group discussed ways to prevent and protect these women and children from traffickers while continuing to raise public awareness about modern-day slavery. Each year there are over a million human beings that are bought, sold or forced into labor and the slave trade. If you think you know someone who is a victim of human trafficking, please call the special toll-free Trafficking hotline at 1-888-3737-888.


Click here for detailsSeveral years ago William Murray wrote a book based on his experience of becoming a Christian as an adult. He did not accept Christ until he was 33 years of age, and as a result came into the Church with a lot of baggage. Like many people who become Christians as adults, he was unfamiliar with the church, the language of the church and many other aspects. Because so many people expect new Christians to be perfect people the minute they join a church, he called the book, The Church Is Not For Perfect People . The book went through several printings at Harvest House and then moved to MFM because of continued demand. SPECIAL OFFER: Because the RFC is moving its office in November, we are now selling these for $2.95 each plus shipping. If you would like your copy personally autographed by William Murray, please include a gift of an extra $10.00 to the work of the RFC. Click here or on the image for more information on the book and the offer!


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