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Open Doors USA President Available for Interviews Following Obama Remarks on Religious Freedom

Contact: Jerry Dykstra, Open Doors USA, 616-915-4117, jerryd@odusa.org

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6, 2014 /Christian Newswire/ -- Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry says he was encouraged by President Obama's focus on religious freedom during the annual National Prayer Breakfast held this morning at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

"I am encouraged by President Obama's support for persecuted Christians and other faith groups in such places as North Korea, Iran and around the world," Curry says. "With the number of martyred Christians almost doubling last year from 1,201 to 2,123, according to Open Doors researchers, it is past due for a new focus in the State Department and our entire government to support the value of religious freedom worldwide and in our own country."

During Obama's speech, he highlighted the peril of those enduring religious persecution. He specifically urged North Korea to release Christian missionary Kenneth Bae and for Iran to release Christian pastor Saeed Abedini.

Last month the World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians listed North Korea as the No.1 persecutor in the world and Iran No. 9. Open Doors says Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world. For more information on the World Watch List, go to www.opendoorsusa.org.

Curry adds that Open Doors USA has been encouraging President Obama to quickly name a qualified person to fill the important position of Ambassador of International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Obama said during the event that he would make that appointment a priority.

To set up an interview today with Curry from Washington, contact Jerry Dykstra at 616-915-4117 or email jerryd@odusa.org. Curry recently returned from Egypt where he reviewed the situation for beleaguered Christians.