The trauma of persecution

Responding to survivors of the post-traumatic wounds of extreme violence and inhumane treatment


  • Roger Foster


Trauma, persecution, post-traumatic stress, post-traumatic growth, survivors, best practice, resilience


Many survivors of various forms of persecution carry the wounds and symptoms of post-traumatic stress and would benefit from evidence-based care and therapeutic assistance. This article refers mainly, but not exclusively, to survivors of war, torture, genocide, gender-based violence and false imprisonment. My premise is that organizations responding to issues of religious persecution need to think and act beyond the competent work that many are now doing in terms of communication, advocacy and basic spiritual and material assistance. A best practice standard for organisations that assist survivors of persecution is recommended.

Author Biography

Roger Foster

Roger Foster, penname, is a Clinical Social Worker and has been involved in international development, child protection and social work, mainly in Africa, for more than 20 years. He is a Trauma Therapist and Trainer with a religious liberty organisation in the Middle East. Roger recently completed a Certificate in Global Mental Health with the Harvard Refugee Trauma Program and holds a Master’s Degree (MSW) from the University of Maryland School of Social Work.