Gia Chacón, the founder and President of For the Martyrs, will be a keynote speaker at the 2021 March for the Martyrs in Washington, D.C.
Chacón was first exposed to the realities of Christian persecution after encountering the bold faith of Christians throughout the Middle East who daily faced social exclusion and the possibility of being killed for their faith in Christ. She was particularly impacted by the conviction of Christians she met in Egypt.
Egypt is a majority Islamic nation and according to the Office of International Religious Freedom, Christians are estimated to be 10% of Egypt’s religious population. The Egyptian government requires churches to register with the government while restricting Christians from building new places of worship. Extremists often attack Christians in their churches, villages, and homes.
“People my age and even younger were willing to lay down their lives for Christ and risk everything for the Gospel, and that impacted me so deeply,” Chacón said in an interview with the Christian Post. “So actually, while in Egypt, I made the decision to give my life totally over to the service of Christ.”
After her experience in Egypt and her other travels throughout the Middle East, Chacón quit her job, which she had thought was her dream job, and launched herself into the world of religious freedom advocacy. In December of 2019, Chacón founded For the Martyrs, hoping to raise awareness and aid persecuted Christians. One of the ways For the Martyrs raises awareness is through March for the Martyrs, the only full-scale march to stand in solidarity with persecuted Christians. In 2020, Gia Chacón and For the Martyrs hosted the first ever March for the Martyrs with hundreds of participants.
Chacón hopes March for the Martyrs will, regardless of denomination, unite the Body of Christ around the issue of Christian persecution:
“When you’re persecuted, they don’t ask you what denomination you are. They’re not going to persecute you more if you’re Catholic or you’re Protestant or whatever denomination you adhere to,” Chacón told the Christian Post. “When you’re persecuted, you’re dying because of your belief in Christ, because of your allegiance to the Cross.”
“So we at For the Martyrs, spearheaded by myself, decided if we host a march to stand in solidarity with the persecuted Church, that will help not only raise awareness but also bring people into this movement for the persecuted Church to give them a tangible way to make a difference in the lives of the persecuted.”
“It is important that we as the church in America are using our platforms, our freedoms, our voices, to not only know that our brothers and sisters are suffering, but we have an obligation to speak on behalf of them and be our voice,” said Chacón.
With the 2021 March for the Martyrs just one week away, there is still time to register at https://forthemartyrs.com/register/