Persecuted Church Economic Development Network Established

September 5, 2006

Network will Address Economic Viability of the Persecuted Church
MEDIA ADVISORY, Sept. 5 /Christian Newswire/ — More than 200 million Christians in 60 countries are persecuted for their faith everyday.(1) In addition to physical violence, widespread unemployment in developing countries and social ostracism means these Christians also face the daily challenge of providing adequate food, clothing and housing for themselves and their family. In fact, many persecuted Christians live on as little as $60.00USD a month.

Responding to this serious, growing economic challenge for persecuted Christians, 16 leaders from 11 international organizations met recently in Atlanta to form the Persecuted Church Economic Development Network (PCEDN) to explore how the global church can assist fellow believers.

In addition to discussing the status of the persecuted church, the group also agreed on broad definitions relating to micro-finance, sustainable small and large enterprise development, tentmaking and macro- economic conditions. Moreover, leaders identified critical roadblocks to economically helping the emerging, persecuted church including:
1) an inappropriate economic worldview among both the Western and emerging churches
2) lack of good models of economic sustainability for healthy churches in a hostile environment
3) shortage of sustainable, reproducible grassroots economic development models relevant to the emerging church
4) lack of collaboration among Western resource ministries

As one leader remarked, “Unless we successfully address this issue, it’s likely that our efforts in evangelism and church planting in the toughest parts of the world will have little lasting impact.”

Three PCEDN Working Groups were established:
• Models of Sustainable Economic Development
• Information Exchange
• Facilitating the Network

The PCEDN Working Groups will address the need for sustainable economic develop models and standards for training and consulting with the emerging church. Plans are also underway for a PCEDN enewsletter and website. The next global meeting of the PCEDN will be held spring 2007 in Bangkok.

The working consultation was developed and facilitated by visionSynergy ( http://www.visionsynergy.net).

__________________________
(1) International Christian Concern: http://www.persecution.org/newsite/churchresources. php

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