American Christians are being urged to wear the color orange – either on a ribbon or as part of their clothing – to focus attention on their brothers and sisters being killed for their faith around the world.
The color is a reference to the orange jumpsuits that Islamic State (ISIS) militants have forced beheading victims to wear.
Pastors such as the Rev. Frank Karwacki of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church in Mount Carmel, Pennsylvania, are urging church members to wear orange to church, or even every day.
"We are all brothers and sisters in Christ," Karwacki told FoxNews.com
. "It's so sad how they are being tortured — we need to get prayer power going."
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His church also distributed a prayer to be said by those wearing orange, which reads: "Lord Jesus, we honor all our Christian brothers and sisters, children, women and men who have suffered and died at the hands of ISIS and other terrorists and we pray for all who are now being tortured and held in captivity by them. We see orange as the color of martyrdom of our present day and we will ask others to pray for all who are persecuted for their faith. Amen."
"Orange is the New Color of Martyrdom
," Catholic writer Rey Flores says in the lay publication "The Wanderer."
Christians are facing persecution and death in parts of Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Twenty-one Egyptian Coptic Christians were marched to beach in Libya and beheaded by ISIS because of their faith last month. Last week, 15 Muslim immigrants from Libya were arrested by Italian authorities for throwing 12 Christians overboard after their boat sprung a leak and one of the Christians on board began praying Christian prayers for safety.
In 2014, a Sudanese woman, Meriam Ibrahim, was sentenced to die for marrying a Christian. After giving birth in prison, she was released to the United States. And Christian pastor Saeed Abedini is one of several America citizens being held in Iranian prisons, accused of holding private religious gatherings in homes.
Boko Haram and other militant Islamic groups in Africa have specifically targeted Christians in their kidnappings and killing sprees in shopping malls and schools.
In addition to the ribbons and clothing, Christians are spreading the word on social media with the hashtag #orangejumpsuit. Theologian Leonard Sweet has posted a painting of Jesus carrying the cross and wearing an orange jumpsuit while followed by members of ISIS and the Egyptian Copts who were beheaded for their faith.
Pope Francis has called on the world community to take action, telling people, "don't look the other way." Francis has been upset with what he termed "complicit silence" about the killing of Christians.
He told a group in St. Peter's Square recently that "our persecuted brothers and sisters" were "slain, beheaded solely for being Christian." He said he hopes the world "won't remain inert before such unacceptable crimes, which constitute a worrisome erosion of the most elementary human rights."
President Barack Obama's administration came under fire for what critics called de-emphasing the nature of Christian prosecution by militant Islamists. The White House noted that the Copts killed in Libya were "Egyptian," but did not mention that ISIS stated they were killed solely for their religion, not their nationality.
In February, The Washington Post reported
that protesters in orange jumpsuits gathered near the White House, chanting "Obama, Obama, did you see? Christian blood in the sea."
The official U.S. response was different following a video released by ISIS
on Sunday of two groups of Ethiopian Christians being slaughtered.
The White House condemned the "brutal mass murder," saying the men killed "solely because of their faith lays bare the terrorists' vicious, senseless brutality."
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