A Dangerous Time To Be A Christian

Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world with more than 90,000 killed in 2016 because of their faith, a leading religious study group director has claimed.
“Persecution rose globally again for the third year in a row, indicating how volatile the situation has become,” stated Open Doors, a social service organization focused on serving persecuted Christians through Bible and Gospel Development. “Countries in South and Southeast Asia rapidly rose to unprecedented levels and now rank among such violent areas as the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa.”

The findings and trends noted by Open Doors, are worrisome:

·         Approximately 215 million Christians experience high, very high, or extreme persecution.

·         North Korea remains the most dangerous place to be a Christian (for 14 straight years).

·         Islamic extremism remains the global dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 out of the 50 countries on the 2017 list.

·         Ethnic nationalism is fast becoming a major driver of persecution. “While this took an anti-establishment form in the West, in Asia it took an anti-minorities form, fuelled by dramatic religious nationalism and government insecurity. It is common—and easy—for tottering governments to gain quick support by scapegoating Christians.”

·         The total number of persecution incidents in the top 50 most dangerous countries increased, revealing the persecution of Christians worldwide as a rising trend.

·         The most violent: Pakistan, which rose to No. 4 on the list for a level of violence “exceeding even northern Nigeria.”

·         The killings of Christians in Nigeria saw an increase of more than 62 percent.

·         The killings of Christians were more geographically dispersed than in most time periods studied. “Hitting closer to home, 23 Christian leaders in Mexico and four in Colombia were killed specifically for their faith,” said Open Doors of the “rare” event.

·         The worst increase: Mali, which moved up the most places on the list from No. 44 to No. 32.

·         Asia is a new center of concern, with persecution rising sharply in Bangladesh, Laos, and Bhutan, and Sri Lanka joining the list for the first time.​

The top 10 nations where it is most dangerous and difficult to practice the Christian faith are:

1.    North Korea

2.    Somalia

3.    Afghanistan

4.    Pakistan

5.    Sudan

6.    Syria

7.    Iraq

8.    Iran

9.    Yemen

10. Eritrea

As the World Summit in Defense  of Persecuted Christians closes tomorrow May, 13, 2017, we must continue to pray that persecuted believers around the world, especially in the most dangerous areas, will:

  • remain strong in faith and trust despite physical and psychological abuse
  • be able to forgive those who persecute them or who fail to support them
  • experience and know love, joy and peace from God (Romans 8:28-39)
  • walk humbly in their identification with Christ’s sufferings
  • be fruitful witnesses to others and
  • be able to balance standing up for their rights, yet responding in grace and love.

    Sources: http://www.huffingtonpost.com, www.releaseinternational.org, Gleanings, Open Doors, CBN News
    Photo by: asianews.it

    1 comment:

    1. May God help us to be true defenders of our faith. Amen.


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