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Priest launches campaign for freedom to worship and pray

24 October 2014

by a staff reporter




INSPIRED by the ice-bucket challenge (Comment, 17 October), a priest has launched a "freedom to worship and pray" challenge in support of those suffering persecution for their faith.

The Priest-in-Charge of Moldgreen and Rawthorpe, in the diocese of West Yorkshire & the Dales, the Revd Heather Atkinson (above), is asking people to post pictures of themselves in places of prayer and worship on social media, and to nominate others to do the same.

Those taking part are asked to donate money to Christian Aid's emergency appeals for Iraq, Gaza, and Syria, where Christians and others are being persecuted.

"I wanted a way to raise awareness of the situation in Iraq, and give people of all faiths the opportunity to say something positive about their place of prayer or worship," Mrs Atkinson said.

"Many people around the world are persecuted for their faith or their views, and this is a way to show how lucky we are that we can worship so freely."

The campaign is running on Facebook and Twitter, with the hashtag #freedomtopray.

"If you've got something to say about what it means to have this freedom to pray and worship, then please just say it on behalf of all those who have had that freedom taken away," Mrs Atkinson said.

Christian Aid's regional co-ordinator for Yorkshire, Alex Jones, said: "Christian Aid partners on the ground in Iraq and Gaza are working in very difficult circumstances. . . We share Heather's call for the protection of all people, regardless of their belief and identity, and encourage others to join her in this challenge."

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