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Karolyn Andrews Memorial Fund
(Editorial - July/August 2002)

As the Bible prophesies, and as Christadelphians have expected for over a century, the world is becoming an ever more violent place, especially for godly people who have a serious Biblical faith.

Purpose of KAMF
The Karolyn Andrews Memorial Fund is an international emergency fund established to help and support Christadelphians and their families anywhere in the world who are victims of violence and persecution because of their faith. It provides immediate assistance when requested by experienced elder brothers and sisters. On their recommendation, the Fund will support those in prison, in hiding, and their families, assist those who have lost their homes and livelihood as a result of obeying the truth, and arrange for relocation where practicable.

In 1997, some very serious cases of persecution of brothers and sisters occurred in countries where existing sources of help, such as the Bible Missions were not available or appropriate, and where the circumstances required a high degree of confidentiality and discretion. The trustees of an existing Christadelphian Fund in the United States of America agreed to help the immediate need but it was felt the formation of a specialized fund was advisable. A fully international committee of ten directors was formed and a new fund incorporated in the Cayman Islands, the world’s fourth largest financial center. The incorporation coincided with the brutal murder of Sis. Karolyn Andrews of the century-old Georgetown ecclesia in Guyana, and the Fund adopted her name in memory of a typical modern martyr for the truth. There have been others since, and no doubt there may be more before the Lord’s appearing.

Today’s persecution
After many years when almost the only serious persecution of Christadelphians was in Nazi Germany and Stalin’s Soviet Union, today brothers and sisters all over the world are being tried in a furnace of affliction. The growing and trafficking of illegal drugs and the terrorism they generate have become the world’s most lucrative business. In some countries, where the Christadelphian presence is of very long standing, deliberate persecution of those refusing to condone drug use and traffic is now endemic.

Also, as a result of recent preaching, and God’s blessing, many former muslims in Central Asia, the Middle East and elsewhere are responding to the Gospel of Christ. They are doing so at the hazard of their lives, and are already facing imprisonment and harassment. This past month, help was requested for a couple who have been continually threatened, with the husband beaten unconscious, for their preaching activities. They have lost home and job yet continue to preach fearlessly despite all that has happened. Funds were provided to assist with relocation.

Because of their faith, brothers and sisters in many areas of the world have fallen victim to guerrilla groups and militaristic regimes. Some have been victims of brutal torture and dehumanizing treatment, borne with great courage. For example, a brother who refused to resume his life of law enforcement was framed by the authorities and wrongfully imprisoned. Significant funds were required to secure the help which effectuated his release.

Not all of these are in poor anti-Christian or anti-western countries. Hatred and religious fanaticism know no boundaries of race or nation. Over the past five years, the KAMF has assisted brothers and sisters and families persecuted by Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, racists, atheists, state secret police, rebel guerrillas, drug dons and various assorted mafias.

Making a difference
We wish to emphasize that the KAMF is not a ‘welfare’ fund for the poor and needy. Most assistance is not given directly to the persecuted members, but is administered by the directors or their carefully selected agents. Funds are used to enable suitably wise and courageous brothers and sisters to carry out investigations, often covert and hazardous, into individual circumstances, and offer such direct assistance as is appropriate. This assistance may include relocation where this is a practical option, as it often is. However, some needy cases end tragically rather than happily. A few attempts at rescue have failed. We are told in Scripture not to treat this as something strange, but as a simple fulfillment of the work of faith. But we do know that KAMF is making a difference.

A special appeal
During 2001 US$25,000 was spent on assisting and ameliorating the plight of around 40 Christadelphians and their families suffering persecution for their faith. We are facing a dramatic increase in calls for assistance which has momentarily drained the Fund, hence this special appeal. The need is great.

Consider these facts

  • There are now 319 Christadelphians in seventeen Muslim nations, 124 (39 percent) of whom were baptized in 2001. Almost all have lost their civil rights, and are constantly vulnerable to persecution. Many are in hiding.

  • There are 2,035 Christadelphians in thirty-five additional countries with no religious freedom. These include communist or former communist regimes, actively or militantly anti-Christian governments (such as Israel) and military or authoritarian dictatorships. Of these brothers and sisters, 333 were baptized in 2001.

  • There were 1,323 baptisms recorded worldwide in the one year period between June 2001 and May 2002. More newly baptized brothers and sisters were welcomed into the household of faith in central Asia and the Middle East (10 percent) than in Australia (9 percent), the USA (8 percent), or Britain (8 percent).

  • Even more remarkable is the fact that, of all baptisms from June 2001 to May 2002 in the one hundred and eighteen (118) countries in which there is an established indigenous Christadelphian presence, more than a quarter took place in fifty-three countries where there were no Christadelphians at all ten years ago: Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Central Asia, and the Middle East.

  • There are ninety-one countries with under 100 Christadelphians in each, totaling 1,840 brothers and sisters. Surely, the problems of isolation that these saints in Christ experience should be a matter of earnest prayer on the part of those of us who have a busy and supportive ecclesial life.

  • Table 1 speaks for itself ...

Table 1: Countries with indigenous Christadelphian ecclesial centers
(*including house ecclesias)

  Year Number*
  1872 7
  1952 14
  1962 20
  1972 30
  1982 42
  1992 65
  2002 118

Financial considerations
In one case after another, persecution has tremendous financial impact upon the persecuted. Typically, before coming to the attention of KAMF, any savings have been exhausted, usually jobs have been lost and frequently dwellings have been damaged or our brethren have had to flee their homes. One reason for establishing the Fund was the discovery that poor, persecuted brothers and sisters in tragic circumstances are having to borrow or beg aid from non-Christadelphians sometimes even poorer than themselves. We are dedicated to helping our persecuted brothers and sisters and their families. We ask your generous assistance to make this possible.

Where to send funds
The original KAMF was established with a bank in the Cayman Islands. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, however, international banking operations have come under much closer scrutiny resulting in changes in bank practice. For example, the Cayman bank will no longer wire transfer funds upon the receipt of faxed requests from two KAMF directors. They required signed letters which sometimes critically delayed the transmission of funds. As a result of such changes, the fund has been moved to a bank in southwestern Ontario which is within daily reach of two of the directors. Even this bank requests the bank account information not be publicly published, although we are pleased to share it on a private basis with those making direct donations to the account. Send funds in any currency to KAMF, P.O. Box 87371, Canton MI 48187, United States of America. Banking arrangements generously have waived conversion charges on foreign checks.

The directors
Bro. Don and Sis. Ellen Styles (USA/Canada), coordinators; Bre. Alan Eyre (Jamaica); Jim Granter (Australia); Tim Galbraith (India); Duncan Heaster (Lithuania); Patrick Rodney (Cayman Islands); Stephen Smith (United Kingdom); Chris Tarry (Netherlands); John Warner (USA).

Further information is available from dhelstyles@hotmail.com or caribbeanpioneer@yahoo.co.uk

Alan Eyre and Don Styles

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