On Wednesday 30th September, John Pontifex (U93) provided an impactful and inspiring talk to the Lower and Upper Sixth in the first of this year’s Sixth Form Lecture Series, entitled ‘The Bells That Nobody Can Silence: The Genocide of Christians Today’

As the 2019 Old Gregorian Medallist, it was a pleasure to welcome John back to Downside, where despite being socially distanced in the School’s Fleischner Theatre, the powerful effect of the talk on the Sixth Form was evident and resulted in a very enthusiastic Q&A session.

John, the Head of Press and Information at Aid to the Church in Need, shared his personal experience of working alongside members of the suffering church who live in countries where persecution of Christians is often widespread and severe.  Many Christians worldwide today face stark choices between survival and compliance with their society’s religious expectations. Some may choose to give up their Christian faith, but many decide to remain committed despite the potential massive costs of doing so.   

John brought his talk to life by talking about individuals who have suffered directly for their faith in recent years using examples from countries as far afield as Syria, Iraq and Libya in the Middle East, Nigeria and Eritrea in sub-Saharan Africa, and Pakistan and China.

John closed with a reminder for us all to get involved with #RedWednesday on 25th November, showing our support for faith and freedom across the world.

Click here to find out more about #RedWednesday.