The world watch list is the foremost report of its kind—a document, updated every year, of how many followers of Jesus are targeted, discriminated against, persecuted, and attacked for their faith. More than 340 million of our Christian brothers and sisters live in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination. That’s 1 in 8 Christians, worldwide. For a complete listing go to https://www.opendoorsusa.org
COVID-19 exposed further persecution …
The coronavirus pandemic was the event of a generation. And in addition to the pain felt by people all over the world, it also exposed the ugliness of Christian persecution in a new way. In India, for instance, more than 100,000 Christians received relief aid from Open Doors partners to help them through the pandemic. Of these believers, 80 percent reported to World Watch List researchers that they were dismissed from food distribution points. Some walked miles and hid their Christian identity to get food elsewhere. Another 15 percent received food aid, but reported other discrimination, such as being passed over for employment.
In Myanmar, Nepal, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Central Asia, Malaysia, North Africa, Yemen and Sudan, there are reports of Christians in rural areas being denied aid. Sometimes, this denial was at the hands of government officials, but more often, it was from village heads, committees, or other local leaders. Some Christians even reported that their food ration cards were torn up or waved away.
The global pandemic made persecution more obvious than ever—simply because so many people needed help. The clear discrimination and oppression suffered by Christians in 2020 must not be forgotten, even after the COVID-19 crisis fades into our collective memory. There is so much more. But space here does not allow more.
For more info go to https://www.opendoorsusa.org or for information on the ongoing battle of Christian persecution in America go to www.prayvotestand.org
Pick up more information on how you can pray on the table in the hall. And let’s all do our part in helping our persecuted brethren at home and abroad.
The World Watch List is really all about resilience. The numbers of God’s people who are suffering should mean the Church is dying—that Christians are keeping quiet, losing their faith and turning away from one another. But that’s not what’s happening. Instead, in living color, we see the words of God recorded in the prophet Isaiah: “I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.” (Isaiah 43:19, ESV) When our sisters and brothers are persecuted for their faith, and they still choose Jesus, the Living Water—this is a miracle in front of our eyes.