Christian singer Matthew West believes that the world is going through a "very unique" and troubling time in which Christian persecution is on full display in the Middle East, with problems and violence also running rampant here in the U.S.
Now, more than ever, West said that America — and the world — are desperately in need of unity. And the singer said that the plight of minority groups in the Middle East has forced him to consider what he would do if his own faith were to be challenged so fervently.
"Would I stand up in the face of such great persecution or would my faith crumble?" West said.
He also recalled how he was sitting in Glenn Beck's Texas studio earlier this summer preparing for an interview when he overheard Beck describing the Restoring Unity event — and West said that something instantaneously clicked as he listened.
"All of the language that he was using was really reminding me of a song of mine called 'Do Something,'" West said, explaining that the song is about each individual having the power to make a difference in the world.
See the music video for "Do Something" below:
West ended up playing a little bit of the song for Beck, who ironically told the singer that he was somewhat familiar with the lyrics, as a friend had recently suggested that "Do Something" be the theme song for "Restoring Unity." Beck didn't personally know West, though, so when the singer appeared on the show for an entirely different reason, the timing was just perfect.
The connection was made and the two began discussing Restoring Unity, with West agreeing to perform "Do Something" following a march that culminates in a rally in Birmingham, Alabama.
West said that he believes Restoring Unity is an important event considering the "need for restoring unity within our cities" as well as in observance of the "Christians being persecuted in the Middle East."
"We're in a very unique time in our country," he said. "We see things happening like what took place in Charleston, and we're seeing Christians being persecuted [abroad]."
West said that one challenge he has personally faced is being sure that he is as in-tune and aware of what's happening in the Middle East as he is about what's going on here in the U.S.
"As Americans, we're affected by what we know and what hits closer to home for us — and that tends to move the compassion of Americans more," he said. "My challenge has become [that] I want to have my eyes open to what's going on in the Middle East and not just some headline that is distant."
Christian singer Matthew West (TheBlaze)
West said that he's been praying, "God, give me a greater sense of compassion for these people I've never met who are being persecuted all because they [are Christians]."
He said that he's guilty of sometimes thinking that he's only one person and of wondering how he would help being so far from the Middle East, saying that he believes that Restoring Unity is a great opportunity to figure out how to each and every individual can come together to help.
"That's one of the reasons I'm excited about this event. Glenn's going to give us a challenge, [telling] us how we can get involved and how we can have a voice in stopping it," West said. "People are ready to rally around something."