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Christian, Muslim and Jewish Leaders Uniting in Toronto July 5th for Interfaith Human Rights Event in Support of Persecuted Uyghur Community

Contact: Brian Mayes, Nashville Publicity Group, 615-771-2040, brian@nashvillepublicity.com

TORONTO, Ontario, June 30, 2011 /Christian Newswire/ -- On July 5, 2011, One Free World International will host an interfaith event in Toronto to raise awareness and support for the persecuted Uyghur community. Speakers will include members of the Canadian Parliament, leaders from the Christian, Muslim and Jewish communities, and a keynote address by Rev. Majed El Shafie. The event will take place from 7:00 pm-9:00 p.m. at Catch The Fire Church (formerly Toronto Airport Christian Fellowship), located at 272 Attwell Drive in Etobicoke.

"Our main goal is to bring awareness to the situation in East Turkistan and the plight of the Uyghurs living under Chinese colonial rule," says keynote speaker and One Free World International founder Rev. Majed El Shafie. "We will also promote and bring attention to the urgent needs of the Uyghur refugees."

Uyghurs are a Turkic-speaking Muslim group who number over nine million in Xinjiang, a vast desert region of Western China.

On July 5, 2009, several thousand Uyghurs, mostly university students, peacefully gathered in the Xinjiang capital city of Urumqi to protest the longstanding discriminatory policies of the Chinese government towards the Uyghurs and the egregious repression of their religious, political, educational, linguistic and economic rights. However, security forces used lethal force on the demonstrators, leading to hundreds dead and thousands injured in what has been described as the deadliest outbreak of violence in China in years. Chinese authorities continue to pursue and arrest people in connection with the 2009 event, even hunting Uyghur refugees in neighboring countries.

Says El Shafie, "Millions of Uyghurs have been killed since China invaded East Turkistan, however the world remains silent. It is time for us to unite and stand together. It is time for our voices to be heard. Religious persecution of any kind is unacceptable."

Rev. Majed El Shafie was arrested, tortured and sentenced to die in Egypt because of his Christian faith. Escaping to Israel, he was imprisoned until his eventual release a year and a half later. Today Rev. El Shafie lives in Canada and fights for those persecuted around the world. Pressuring governments, and challenging both world and spiritual leaders, Rev. El Shafie has not been afraid to put everything on the line to help those in need. The upcoming documentary "Freedom Fighter" tells his story. To view the trailer or learn more about his One Million Voices Campaign, please visit www.freedomfightermovie.com.