This past year, for the 3rd year in a row, persecution of Christians has hit a record high worldwide.
Open Doors has released its 2017 World Watch List (WWL) and cites increasing concerns for Asia along with the Middle East, due to both ethnic nationalism and Islamic extremism.
“The annual list examines the pressures faced by Christians in five spheres of life (private, family, community, national, and church), plus levels of religiously motivated violence, in order to rank the top 50 countries where ‘Christians face the most persecution.’”
Open Doors defines persecution as “any hostility experienced as a result of identification with Christ.” It states, “Christians remain one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. Christians throughout the world continue to risk imprisonment, loss of home and assets, torture, beheadings, rape and even death as a result of their faith.”
A report by Christianity Today lists these 10 trends in regards to the study:
- 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, fueled 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:
- North Korea
Yemen was the only new country in the top 10, replacing Libya from previous years.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?- We have all sinned and deserve God's judgment. God, the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loves us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve, was buried, and rose from the dead according to the Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus alone as your Savior, declaring, "Jesus is Lord," you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.
What is your response?
If you are not a Christian, and would like to become a Christian. Simply say - "LORD Jesus, thank you for forgiving me of my SINs, today I am deciding to follow you. Accept me into your family, in Jesus name I pray. Amen "
If you still have questions , click here to Contact Us, we are here to help
Unless otherwise specified, the news and opinions expressed are solely the source's and author's and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Mail.