Christian persecution across the globe is becoming more common and widely accepted among other religions, primarily in Islamic settings, but also at the hands of other religions as well. As many as 900,000 Christians have been slaughtered worldwide because of their faith in the last decade, 90,000 of those in the last year.
The Center for Studies on New Religions released a report that indicated that “nearly a third were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS. Others were killed by state and non-state persecution, including in places like North Korea.”
Another report stated that “Asia’s Christians have been targeted by nationalist religious movements – Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist – in such countries as Pakistan, India and Myanmar. Many of these groups increasingly view Christianity as a foreign, “colonial” import, and believe its practitioners are doing the bidding of the West”.
In places such as Iraq, the Christian population has dwindled down to less than 275,000 as Christians flee the country or have been killed in a genocide that was finally recognized by the Obama administration late last year. In 2003, there were as many as 1.5 million Christians in Iraq.
Ryan Mauro, a national security analyst for the Clarion Project said that “very few people are even aware that Iraqi Christians began organizing to defend themselves and needed our help,” but that “the persecution of Christians has failed to suppress the faith. On the contrary, Christianity appears to be rapidly growing beneath the surface. Persecution will increase as Islamists see Christianity as an increasing problem for them.”
Christians are not only being killed in Iraq. Their churches are being burned, and one reporter stated on Fox News that all of the books from a convent had been taken to the courtyard and burned.
The attacks against Christians are reaching Europe. Last Christmas, a Tunisian man drove a truck into a Berlin market filled with Christians.
Another report indicates that persecution in India is increasing. Since Prime Minister Narenda Modi was elected in May of 2014, he has promoted Hindu nationalism. Referring to a study done by the Christian advocacy group Open Doors USA, the report stated that “there was an average of 40 incidents per month of Christian persecution last year in the subcontinent, including pastors beaten, churches burned and Christians harassed. Eight Christians were killed for their faith. Of the 64 million Christians in India, approximately 39 million experience direct persecution…”
Surprisingly, the attacks on Christians from Mexico into South America are on the rise. Even though Mexico is 80 percent Catholic, priests have been attacked and killed, and in the State of Chiapas, the elders of one village banished 30 evangelical Christians and destroyed their homes.
Another report by the Center for Studies on New Religions showed that “nearly 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith in 2016 and that as many as 600 million were prevented from practicing their faith through intimidation, forced conversions, bodily harm or even death”.
On the Voice of the Martyrs website persecution.org, a Prisoner Alert page scrolls several examples of Christians who have imprisoned for their faith:
Zhao Weiliang was sentenced to 4 years in prison for “using a cult organization to undermine law enforcement” after being swept up in a government raid on his church choir practice. Twenty one others were arrested, including a pregnant woman and four children.
Cheng Hongpeng was also arrested in the same incident, and was sentenced to three years under the same charge.
Hassan Abduraheem was arrested along with three others in 2015 in Sudan and is currently on trial. They face the death penalty for “conspiring against the state, espionage against the country, entering and photographing military areas and works, calling for opposition to public authority by use of violence, provoking hatred against or amongst sects, and publishing false news. In addition, they also face charges of immigrating in illegal ways and conducting voluntary jobs without permission from the authorities under Sudan’s immigration and passport laws.”
Islam is perhaps the greatest threat to Christianity worldwide, but it is clearly not the only one. Any place where religious freedom is not tolerated, persecution will eventually follow. In America, we have a growing group of people that believe in freedom of religion, as long as it is not Christianity, but who are equally ignorant of Christianity and other religions.
Persecution of some form is coming here, if it has not already arrived.