Imagine thousands of individual petitions - each one a unique, handmade, committed prayer to see change for persecuted women through policy and action – sewn together to create something both beautiful and spectacular.
The handmade petition is visible, meaningful and memorable. It shows MPs and influencers your genuine concern for the suffering of your sisters, powerfully encouraging those in power to engage and act.
Thank you to everyone that added their name to the handmade petition! It had a powerful impact on thousands of people. Tourists, worshippers and Open Doors supporters visited it in the Chapter House, Westminster Abbey, hearing and seeing the stories of your persecuted sisters.
More than 16,000 Open Doors supporters took part by writing, painting, drawing or embroidering their names in this unique petition, along with over 250 Christian women from across Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America who have been persecuted for both their faith and gender. And an installation of the handmade petition was held in Chapter House, Westminster Abbey during November 2019.
The petition is pushing for policy which recognises that, in order to address the problem of sexual violence in conflict, the persecution of faith needs to be recognised too. In many countries the two are inextricably linked.
Christian women in Nigeria did the handmade petition at a trauma care workshop. Rejoice said, ‘I chose the black fabric because I came with a heavy heart, but I sewed my name in shiny gold sequins because Jesus is shining through me and I have hope again’.
Women across the world took part. We received pieces from countries in Asia and Latin America. Many of the women are victims of persecution themselves, and they are choosing to stand with their sisters to help restore hope and dignity for all of them. When they hear about the petition, they are delighted that their family is standing with them too.
An Open Doors supporter and author of the Flower Violet Blog did an amazing job encouraging people across her parish to sign the handmade petition. With the support of her parish priest, Stephanie ran a table at the back of her church on several occasions. She also encouraged local food banks and women’s groups to get involved.
“It was a mad rush at times,” she said, “Many gave their love and thanks for the work that was being done by Open Doors and were grateful for the opportunity to participate in this campaign.
“After the last three pieces of fabric had been signed, and all the counting of fabric had been sorted, it totalled an incredible 203! So much love and support demonstrated by the Christian Community of Acocks Green!”
MPs up and down the country, and from across the political sprectrum, added their names to the handmade petition.
Here are pictures of more of the beautiful handmade petitions we have received.
Included is a photo of Amanda’s petition sewn on a very special piece of fabric. She writes: “This material was made by my grandmother in Burnley in the 1950s. I have been saving it for something important and this is it!”
Do you have a handmade petition story or picture to share? Then do get in touch.