This is not a cold building with a dusty King James Bible and an unopened hymnal sitting on a pew.
This is a ministry that tries to be tuned in to today’s world and is run by, believe it or not, a Hollywood resident.
“What separates our site from groups like Open Doors and Voice of the Martyrs is we try to be a little edgier and hipper. We are also a little less institutionalized in our attempt to reach the younger generation with the reality of Christian persecution in America and around the world,” said Christian Broham, founder of Legalize Jesus.
“I’m not criticizing those groups; they do great work. But growing up in Hollywood, I try to mix a little bit of pop culture with the social issues to try to get young Christians interested in what is going on in the world.”
The ministry website features the organization’s logo, a clenched nail-scarred fist with blood flowing from the wound. While some see it as a leftist symbol, Broham says people making that claim are not looking at it closely enough.
“I tell them to look closer, there’s a hole in the wrist with blood coming out of it. The leftist clench fist has nothing to do with Jesus,” he said. “On the other hand, Jesus went into the temple and chased out the money changers. In a way, Jesus was the first revolutionary, which is what the fist is supposed to represent.”
Broham said he wasn’t always an activist for the Christian faith, but he became motivated when members of the “gay” community decided to attack an elderly woman for her faith.
“In 2008, my wife and I were watching Fox News and they had a segment where Phyllis Burgess, a 69-year-old woman who was savagely attacked by homosexual activists for simply exercising her constitutional rights by supporting traditional marriage,” he explained. “She was carrying a Styrofoam cross, and the gays grabbed it from her and stepped on it and began to attack her like demons. Here was a beautiful old woman simply trying to stand up for Jesus and they attacked her.”
He said the other event that caused him to found Legalize Jesus was the attempt by atheists to remove a World War I memorial in the Mojave Desert. As the case wound its way through the court system, the cross was ordered boarded up so people could not see it.
“These two things opened my eyes to all of the Christophobia occurring in America and around the world. I knew then I had to do something about it.”
The website currently features stories on the History Channel series, “The Bible,” as well as the upcoming movie “Exodus,” which is about the life of Moses. Mixed with this is a prominent banner noting that a Christian is murdered somewhere every five minutes for simply believing in Jesus, and there are 51 countries, mostly Muslim, where Christianity is illegal.
Broham says this is intentional, and he believes the balance is the key to getting young people engaged in caring about the fate of persecuted Christians around the globe.
“While some people just don’t care, I don’t think that is the only reason Christians are not more involved in fighting Christian persecution,” he explained. “I think there is a real lack of knowledge out there among the younger generation. The key to informing people is to not only highlight the persecution faced by Christians, but to have a balance between what is going on in the culture as well as actual persecution.”
Living in Hollywood, Broham says he has insight into informing Christians on the issue that other organizations may not have.
“Being in Hollywood, I know how they use various media outlets to get their liberal message out to indoctrinate unknowing minds. We need to use the same tools they use.”
In addition to his website, Broham is planning on making a documentary highlighting Christian persecution throughout history.
He publicizes on his site a video of Christians in China being given Bibles. It’s like American teens chasing the latest Air Jordans:
“I am putting together a legalize Jesus documentary where I go through persecution from the time of Christ and list the 53 countries where it is illegal to be a Christian,” he explained. “I also talk about what’s happening here in America, including all of these random attacks on our free speech and freedom of religion, especially on kids in school. At the very end I address the question of how Christians can stand for Jesus during times like this.
“The first half of the film highlights persecution around the world and in America, while the second half consists of looking at people who are glorifying God in a radical way today.”
He blames the media for making websites like his necessary, saying they often refuse to cover stories of Christians being persecuted around the globe as well as here in America.
“With the exceptions of news organizations such as WND, Breitbart and Fox News, these stories just don’t get covered. In America we have kids getting kicked out of school for simply wearing a Jesus T-shirt or having a Christian message on it, yet apart from local coverage these stories are never reported.”
Broham said it’s interesting that while President Obama frequently speaks out for the rights of homosexuals and the right to an abortion, he silent about Christians being killed and persecuted in other countries.
“Obama is the most radical pro-abortion person on the planet. This man is a Nobel Peace Prize winner, so why is he so silent on Christian persecution? We’re giving Egypt $1.6 billion in aid while they’re slaughtering Christians and tearing down their homes.”
He also said it is shameful that the two countries the American military has assisted in recent years have some of the worst records when it comes to persecuting Christians.
“Iraq is particularly bad. There used to be 1 million Christians in the country before the U.S. invasion, but now there’s fewer than 300,000.”
He said Christians also have a personal stake in standing up for their persecuted brethren in other countries.
“While the persecution we are seeing is nothing compared to what our brothers and sisters in Christ overseas are facing, I believe we need to stand firm against persecution against Christians everywhere. What we are seeing in America with the militant ‘gay’ agenda and other progressive groups is simply the precursor to us seeing that kind of persecution here in America.”