Advocates Celebrates its 19th Year of Doing Justice with Compassion

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Your Advocates International Monthly Update
The Good and Other News from or about Advocates around the World
Vol. 2, Issue 5                                                                                             June 2010


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Advocates In the News

Mats Tunehag Is Proof Journalist are Advocates Too Mats
Let us introduce you to one of our European advocates, Mats Tunehag, who also serves on the Global Council of Advocates International. Mats Tunehag is a very experienced journalist, lecturer and consultant from Sweden. He has worked in nearly half the countries of the world, developing global strategic alliances for various aims and constituencies, including Business as Mission. Tunehag is a senior Associate on Business as Mission for both the Lausanne Movement and World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission, and has lectured widely on Business as Mission as well as published numerous articles and papers on the topic. He initiated and led the Lausanne global think tank on the issue of Business as Mission.
He writes editorials on international affairs for a national newspaper in Sweden. Tunehag is also a global spokesperson on Religious Liberty & Freedom of Speech for the World Evangelical Alliance.

Mr. Tunehag has lectured for lawyers in Europe, Latin America and North America on Human Rights issues and lessons learned in building strategic and influential alliances shaping public opinion and legislation. Mr. Tunehag's recent presentation to a group of European leaders, Global Trends, Concerns and Recommendations Regarding Freedom of Speech & Religion was very well-received and can be read in English and Spanish here.

Great Britain's Lawyers' Christian Fellowship  (LCF) Elects A New Executive Director



From the official announcement:
"The Council of the LCF is delighted to announce the appointment of Mark Barrell as the new Executive Director of the LCF with effect from 7th June 2010. Mark's appointment, after a rigorous selection procedure and subsequent approval by the Charity Commission, represents a major step forward in the life of the Fellowship. "

 AI's Founder Sam Ericsson Receives the 2010 Religious Liberty Award  

2010 (15%)


Samuel Ericsson, left, president of Advocates International received this year's International Award from the International Religious Liberty Association. Joining him is IRLA Secretary-General John Graz. In accepting the award for hsi work through AI, Mr. Ericsson thanked all the advocates all over the world whose efforts are so instrumental to all that AI is accomplishing for good.  More details can be found at the Religious Liberty Award's official website

Prayers & Praises
A global chronicle of our advocates prayers & praises 

        Pray for Justice with Compassion for Nigeria
AI joins the world community calling for prayer, a full investigation and prosecution of all the perpetrators who without provocation have murdered or seriously injured hundreds of Christian Nigerians in the Jos area of Plateau State, Nigeria.


Isaiah 5:7, 20-24 (NKJV)
7 ....[The LORD] looked for justice, but behold, oppression; For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help....
20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;


AdvAI Prayer Logo (50%)ocates Calls for  Prayer Around the World  

Advocates Founder and President, Sam Ericsson, is asking advocates all over the world to share three prayer requests: (1) the names of one judge or justice; one lawyer or advocate; and one law student that

needs our prayers in 2010;  2) the greatest need facing believers in their country in 2010, perhaps a rule of law or religious freedom challenge; and 3) a personal need in your life, your family or your job. E-mail Sam and let him know how we can pray for you.


Let Us Know Your Needs

Advocates' international prayer & praise correspondent,  Bulgarian human rights attorney Diana Daskolova  reminds all advocates to  e-mail AI Prayer Net  your Advocates International prayer requests for inclusion in the next

AI Prayer Calendar.


The entire Advocates Africa team thanks you for your prayers.  For inclusion in the next Advocates Africa Prayer Calender.  Please send any items of prayer or praise to  Alison Diarra at Thank you.

Advocates Celebrates its 19th Year of Doing Justice with Compassion

      We've had a great start in 2010 with advocates in action on every continent.   Click here for a complete country-by-country summary  of our activities.  These events, some of which are covered in this AI Update, serve to highlight the global impact of AI's unique network of advocates living and working in over 130 countries.  AI's mission for justice with compassion would not be possible without your prayers, financial support and voluntary help.  Your financial help is particularly needed now as we approach the summer months. All are invited to join us in our advocacy efforts. In celebration of Sam 1's robust health following his recovery from cancer we are pleased to attached our summer reading list to help your family's health. We thank you for your help and support as we stand together .

For Justice with Compassion,

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Sam 1 & 2
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AI Justice for Jos Update, Working to End Sectarian Violence in Nigeria

Find Gao Zhiseng

In three intense and action-packed weeks Advocates International has, through its International Counsel on Nigeria, has worked on several fronts to implement the Justice for Jos Project. Int. Counsel Emmanuel Ogebe flew to Nigeria where he had meetings with national officials of the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON). He traveled to Jos where he met with the local chapter of CLASFON and reported that the lawyers have been working around the clock to provide legal defense to innocent people who were arbitrarily rounded up by the military after the national outcry resulting from the crisis.
"The lawyers here are real heroes," says Emmanuel, "The local chair of CLASFON had his home burnt down during the crisis. He is literally living out of a box with his family. Yet he makes the time to go to court in defense of others. Talk about true sacrifice. He was himself a refugee or displaced person but for the kindness of another lawyer who took his family in." AI's Int. Counsel was in court monitoring the trials for two straight weeks. "It is quite a delicate situation. The judge is new and a Muslim woman so there are lots of sensitivities. It does not help that she is a federal judge trying crimes that occurred within the jurisdiction of a state. However she came across as fair and firm."

AI's Arm the Advocates Project Leader Completes His Work in Haiti

Waxman in Hati

Advocates' Staff Counsel, Bart Waxman, has returned from Haiti with heartbreaking stories and hopeful reports. Bart, along with humanitarian group Sparrows Home, spent three weeks in Haiti providing legal services for children with severe medical conditions in order for them to get the help they so desperately need from hospitals in the United States. In an earthquake devastated, poverty stricken Haiti, this was not an easy task. "...every day in Haiti was an emotional and spiritual battle. Just the inefficiencies of daily life were enough to make one lose focus and composure, and every day required constant efforts to remind yourself that you are doing good work and can't expect to accomplish what you're used to doing in one day in America."
Yet, despite the difficulties, Bart gives glowing reports of the good work that AI along with Sparrows Home has been able to do to the glory of God. In his last update, Bart told the story of Job and Smider, two Haitian boys who were able to fly to America for medical treatment. This one tells the story of Martine, a young girl with both legs amputated, who Sparrows Home is caring for and doing all they can to join her with the boys in the United States.  
For the full report on Bart's transformational experience in Haiti click here.


maryam-and-mazriehMaryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh have been finally acquitted of all charges by the Iranian judicial authorities!

Maryam Rostampour and Marzieh Amirizadeh have been finally acquitted of all charges by the Iranian judicial authorities! Arrested in March of 2009 for openly practicing the Christian faith in Iran, Maryam and Marzieh spent months in prison, in extremely harsh conditions, and were pressured to denounce their faith. Never wavering in their commitment to Christ, they stood firm and were released from jail, on certain conditions, in November of 2009. Six months passed as they eagerly awaited their case to be heard in an Islamic court and on May 22, 2010 they were released with all charges dropped. After leaving Iran with strict warnings against continuing their Christian practices, the women are determined to remain in the service of the Lord. "We hope to eventually share some of what the Lord allowed us to go through to highlight the need and the opportunity for the church in Iran," Maryam said, "but right now we will take time to pray and seek the Lord for His will."



 After a brief reappearance in March and April Gao Zhisheng has disappeared once again.

2010 (15%)Mr. Gao, an outspoken, Chinese human rights lawyer and activist, disappeared last year under the charges of "subversive behavior." Despite pressure from Advocates International, other international human rights groups, the United Nations, European Union, and the White House, Chinese officials continually denied any wrong doing, simply claiming that Mr. Gao was "where he should be," and nothing more. 

Mr. Gao was targeted for his defense of the marginalized farmers, underground Christian churches and the Falun Gong spiritual movement. 
He disappeared over a year ago but on March 18 he resurfaced, claiming that he was done speaking out against government human rights abuses because he no longer had the "capacity to persevere." Fearing that continuing his activism against government cruelty would put his wife and children in danger, he stated that his new goal was to seek "peace and calm." His family fled to the United States earlier this year. 
During a previous detainment in 2007, Mr. Gao admitted to being brutally tortured, but upon his latest appearance he refused to comment on his treatment while in captivity. 
On April 20, only one month after being released, Mr. Gao called his father-in-law from the airplane after paying him a brief visit and promised to call him again once he landed in Beijing. That was the last anyone heard from him before he disappeared again.
Please continue to pray for Mr. Gao and his family, and for justice in this sad situation to prevail

A recent New York Times article has discussed this situation further.

Thank You for Your Financial Support


        AI is not a recipient of government funding and is solely dependent upon the financial contributions of those who believe in its mission, thereby enabling it to serve "clients" ranging from heads of state seeking to implement constitutional reforms to persecuted and imprisoned believers sentenced to death for their faith. We are most grateful and thank you for whatever financial support or voluntary service you can provide in support of AI's mission. Here's how you can help: (more)