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-2015: Worst Year Ever For Christian Persecution?

by Dr. D ~ January 14th, 2016

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According to Open Doors ministry, which keeps tabs on the persecution of Christians around the world, 2015 might have been the worst year ever in modern history for Christian persecution. Here’s the story from the Christian Post:

The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors has released its annual list of countries where Christians face the greatest persecution and found that it has reached unprecedented levels worldwide as over 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2015.  …

…Additionally, over 2,400 churches were attacked, damaged or destroyed during the reporting period, which is more than double the number from last year.

"The 2016 World Watch List documents an unprecedented escalation of violence against Christians, making this past year the most violent and sustained attack on Christian faith in modern history,"

Open Doors CEO David Curry explained at a Wednesday press conference introducing the report.

"This research has concluded that after the brutal persecution of Christians in 2014, 2015 proved to be even worse with the persecution continuing to increase, intensify and spread across the globe."

<Read the whole article>

Response: North Korea made the top of the list of countries where Christians were severely persecuted in 2015  reportedly having over 70,000 Christians enslaved in work camps.

Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran, and Libya make up the rest of the top ten. The one thing the nine have all have in common is that Islam is their dominant religion. Note that ISIS is responsible for some of the major trouble for Christians in Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

Note also that the figures that Open Doors gives for Christian deaths are those who were killed solely for being Christians. Thousands of other Christians were also killed in 2015 where religion was just one of the contributing factors. Also it is very hard to get accurate figures out of some of these countries, North Korea especially.

It is time to pray for Christians around the world, particularly those in Muslim countries. For quite a few centuries Muslims and Christians lived side by side in peace but the rise of radical Islam in the last decade or so has changed the cultural atmosphere in many Muslim dominated countries. Now Christians are not tolerated as much as they use to be and many experts are concerned that the traditional Middle Eastern Christian churches and denominations may not even survive the next decade.

However, this is also a time when hundreds of thousands of Muslims per years are actually being converted to Christianity. But none of them are attending the traditional Middle Eastern Christian churches. Most are meeting together secretly in homes.   So I believe that Christianity will not only survive the severe persecution in many of these countries but actually grow in the same way that the number of Christians increased exponentially in China after the communists shut down all of the churches and missions in the early 1950’s.

Nevertheless I unfortunately expect the severe persecution of Christians to continue in these same countries this year also. Particularly since radical Islamists like ISIS and the Boko Haram seem to be getting even more intolerant and violent in their treatment of religious minorities.              *Top

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