(Excerpts from Open Doors Ministry 2019 Report
In China the figures indicate persecution is the worst it’s been in more than a decade … Worldwide, our data reveals that 13.9 percent more Christians are experiencing high levels of persecution than last year. That’s 30 million more people.’
INDIA, the world’s largest democracy, has entered the World Watch List top 10 for the first time as Hindu extremists act with impunity and violent attacks on Christians and churches rise. This is driven by growing ultra-nationalism, which has brought waves of violence against India’s significant non-Hindu religious minorities.
Rising nationalism is leading to similar persecution in other countries… where national identity is tied to religion and those from minority faiths are considered outcasts. This impacts Christians most significantly in remote rural areas. … ‘It’s shocking that India – the country which taught the world the way of “non-violence” – now sits alongside the likes of Iran on our World Watch List. For many Christians in India, daily life is now full of fear – totally different from just four or five years ago.’
Persecution in NORTH KOREA is worse than any other country in the world and has been for the last 18 years. Five years ago, only North Korea was in the extreme category for the level of persecution suffered by Christians there. This year Christians in the World Watch List’s top 11 countries live where persecution is extreme These are: North Korea (1), Afghanistan (2), Somalia (3), Libya (4), Pakistan (5), Sudan (6), Er/it/rea (7), Yemen (8), Iran (9), India (10) and Syria (11).
Over 4,305 Christians were killed simply because of their beliefs during 2018. Many deaths go unreported because friends and relatives of the dead are afraid to report the killings. This is especially true for Christian converts in rural areas.
In the North and Middle Belt of Nigeria, at least 3,700 Christians were killed for their faith – almost double the number of a year ago (an estimated 2,000) – with villages completely abandoned by Christians forced to flee, as their armed attackers then moved in to settle with impunity. Deaths were highest in Plateau State (Nigeria) (1,885) where Christian deaths at the hands of Muslim Fulani herdsmen were declared ‘genocide’ by the Nigerian House of Representatives. Open Doors’ research shows that these targeted murders in Nigeria account for about 90 percent of all faith-driven killings of Christians WORLDWIDE.
Remember the prisoners as if chained with them—those who are mistreated—since you yourselves are in the body also.” (Hebrews 13:3)
May we not live in our own little comfort zone forgetting our brethren who are suffering around the world. May we always support them in prayer!