Where & Where


November 8, '09
5:00 p.m. (pst)


Saddleback Church
Main Auditorium

General Event Information

There are many Christians all over the world living in fear and suffering; being tortured, persecuted, and condemned for their faith. In hopes of raising awareness about these atrocities and offering prayer and support, we’re hosting a Civil Forum On The Persecuted Church. Be a part of this special event on Sunday, November 8, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Worship Center with guest speakers Dishan Wickramaratne, Michael Cromartie and Carl Moeller. We’ll discuss the state of the persecuted church, how we can make a difference now, offer prayer for those being martyred, and take time for a special offering.


Pastor Dishan Wickramaratne is the Senior Pastor of Peoples Church in Colombo, Sri Lanka. With over 8,000 members, Peoples Church is the largest church in a country that has waged heavy religious persecution. Sri Lanka has suffered through a brutal civil war over the past 26 years, persecution has significantly increased since the 1990’s, and religious extremists have criminalized “unethical” conversions. In spite of threats, harassment, and the burning of churches, there has been strong evangelical growth in the last 30 years.

Michael Cromartie is Vice President of the Ethics and Policy Center, an institute dedicated to applying Judeo-Christian moral tradition to critical issues of public policy. Cromartie directs both the Evangelicals in Civic Life and Religion & Media programs, and is the senior advisor to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. He’s also an adjunct professor at the Reformed Theological Seminary, an advisory editor of Christianity Today, and served as an advisor to the PBS documentary series With God on Our Side: The Rise of the Christian Right in America.

Dr. Carl Moeller is the President and CEO of Open Doors USA, which seeks to serve those who are denied religious freedom around the world. Moeller has a passion for encouraging and strengthening Christians being persecuted and oppressed for their faith. He began his ministry back in 1983 when he joined Campus Crusade for Christ International. Since then, he’s held strategic positions as Director of Institutional Advancement and Director of Alumni at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago, Director of Development/Major Gifts Officer at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Westminster College of Salt Lake City, Associate Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Salt Lake City, and Pastor of Membership at
Saddleback Church.

Dr. Rick Warren is a pastor, author, global strategist and philanthropist. His book, The Purpose Driven Life, has sold more than thirty million copies in English, and is published in more than fifty languages. In 1980, Warren and his wife Kay founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Today it is one of America’s most influential congregations, with more than 20,000 members.