Targeted attacks on Christians are increasing in parts of the world where they are the minority faith – including long-time U.S. allies India and Saudi Arabia, whose Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with President Trump on Tuesday at the White House.

While most Americans are understandably focused on news about developments in our own country, it’s critically important that we pay attention to this growing anti-Christian persecution abroad.

Just as he has met with the Saudi crown prince, President Trump met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila last November. The president’s press secretary reported that their meeting discussed “the comprehensive strategic partnership between the United States and India, and their shared commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region.”

We cooperate with Saudi Arabia and India, as well at others, despite the fact they are the places where Christians are being persecuted. Of the 50 countries where Christians are most persecuted today, as noted in the 2018 Open Doors World Watch List, India is No. 11 and Saudi Arabia is No. 12.

It’s time for people of faith in this country to let their interest in human rights shine a light on Christians facing persecution in every part of the world. Yes, persecution will always exist, but the Bible calls us to support our brothers and sisters as they face these challenges.

In India, for example, a variety of radical Hindu groups – including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – are responsible for persecuting Christians. Christians are seen as outsiders and traitors to the native culture. The BJP and RSS have announced their intent to cleanse the nation of both Islam and Christianity.

M.S. Golwalker, founder of the RSS, is seeking to unite India’s population into one Hindu nation. Non-Hindu people, he announced, must be “wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment – not even citizen’s rights.”

Persecution in Saudi Arabia is built on a rigid interpretation of Islam. The government maintains a tightly knit Islamic system that treats Christians as second-class citizens. Culturally, Christians are seen as infidels, and apostasy is punishable by penalties as severe as death.

So why aren’t Christians speaking up? Why isn’t there a movement of Christians rising up to defend their suffering brothers and sisters in other countries who risk their lives to follow Jesus?

It may come down to bad theology. Some pastors preach that persecution will always be present – an observation that can be supported by Scriptures like 1 Peter 4:12, which warn believers not to be surprised by trials that arise, but to rejoice in sharing in Christ’s suffering. These sermons sometimes present a one-dimensional view of persecution, as if it is part of the unchangeable nature of the world.

But in packaging persecution this way, these theological positions often fail to emphasize how Christians are called to respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters.

Hebrews, for example, talks about the need to “care for those in chains for the name of Jesus.” Galatians instructs Christians to “bear one another’s burdens.” 1 Thessalonians commands believers to “encourage on another.”

Yet very few American Christians see it as part of their faith to challenge persecution.

Given the outrage Americans express over discrimination in our own country, our apathetic reaction to persecution abroad feels ironically weak. After all, our attention to human rights has dramatically increased in America since the civil rights movement. And thankfully, as a result, widespread efforts continue to confront and work against the sexism and racism that impact our society today.

In the U.S., government and watchdog agencies monitor the conditions in our workplaces, schools and communities to ensure everyone is granted the same rights. Religious discrimination is illegal – as it should be around the world.

Some days, our interest in rights absorbs nearly every interaction we have. In some places, it’s even seen as a human rights violation for Christians to share their faith with others in their networks. Don’t violate someone else’s rights by forcing your beliefs on them.

Yet few speak up when Christians across oceans are being discriminated against, attacked, raped, imprisoned and even killed in rights violations far more severe than the verbal critiques mentioned above.

It’s time for people of faith in this country to let their interest in human rights shine a light on Christians facing persecution in every part of the world. Yes, persecution will always exist, but the Bible calls us to support our brothers and sisters as they face these challenges.

Given the current circumstances, now is the time to write, email or call your members of the U.S. House and Senate and let them know the American people care more about human rights violations in India than lucrative trade deals. Insist that any future defense or business partnerships must include provisions that protect religious minorities in India.

And if India is not committed to protecting the rights of all its citizens, regardless of their worship practices, then demand our government representatives re-examine the close relationship between India and the United States.

Similarly, Americans can ask their government officials to hold Saudi Arabia’s crown prince accountable for recent “shock reforms” in his country. Although the prince insists his actions are improving Saudi society, the severity of an anti-corruption crackdown – where he ousted his cousin from power at the end of 2017 – raises important questions.

There continues to be a need for political pressure to both address human rights concerns and limit executive powers in Saudi Arabia going forward. President Trump should withhold support from the Saudis unless standards are put into place to protect the rights of all that nation’s residents, regardless of political or religious affiliation.

We can do better. Press for extended freedom of religion for the people of India and Saudi Arabia today.