Monday, June 20, 2011

Report: Christian Dies for Beliefs Every 5 Minutes

When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. Revelation 6:9-11

I can imagine that all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are in Heaven right now are asking the Lord, "How long?" And so am I.

06/19/2011 (WND)-The number is shocking. Massimo Introvigne, a human rights representative for the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has told an OSCE meeting in Bodollo, Hungary, that 105,000 people are killed every year because of their Christian faith. Introvigne recently declared to the crowd gathered in the Budapest suburb that the statistics mean that an average of one Christian is killed every five minutes.

Introvigne cited an article written by the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research. CSGC Researcher Bert Hickman says wars, purges and persecution support such a total. "Those figures are accurate that we published in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research. We report that … over the last 10 years, on average 100,000 Christians have been killed every year," Hickman explained.
"This doesn't count Christians who are killed incidentally because of other causes, so that does work out to be about one every five minutes," he said. International Christian Concern's Jonathan Racho says that because of recent upticks in anti-Christian violence, he's not surprised by the figures. Persecution of Christians has really increased over the past couple of years. The figure seems to be very high, but since we don't have exact number of people who have been killed, I can't confirm or deny it," Racho said.

"But the number is consistent with what we've been hearing from reports of violent persecution, massacres, and violence. It's not surprising for us because of the increase in number of persecutions," he said.

The Voice of the Martyrs website discusses martyrdom numbers published by the International Bulletin and researchers David Barrett and Todd Johnson. However, Voice of the Martyrs does not endorse them.
"Many, many persecution experts have concluded that they are untenable," the organization explains. VOM says that the researchers have stated that their figures are estimates.

That the numbers, whatever they are, are significant seems not to be a subject of disagreement. An organization called Defenders of the Catholic Faith says the situation is deteriorating: "More martyrs for Jesus Christ died in the 20th century than in all previous 19 centuries combined. This century will most likely prove to be more repressive and bloody. The world is more anti-Christian than ever since the first centuries in Rome."

Hickman explains that his data are based on several sources.
"It comes from some reports that organizations produce. It comes from some sources we have in different countries," Hickman said, adding that some of the casualty reports are the result of anti-Christian violence in Congo's civil war.
"Before that, you had people being killed for their faith in Sudan for a good period of years. Those are two of the largest causes," he said.
Hickman said his figures have credibility because the numbers come from people who are actually in the troubled territories. He said the sources are missionaries, human rights activists and aid workers.
"The numbers come from multiple sources," he observed. Racho says the heaviest persecution is from other religious groups. "So far, the main persecution of Christians is in Muslim countries. The primary number of Christians persecuted and killed are those living in Islamic countries," Racho said.

However, Racho added that even though figures indicate that most of the anti-Christian persecution comes from Muslim countries, Christian persecution is also the product of political ideologies. "There are also a significant number of persecuted Christians living in communist countries like China, North Korea, and Eritrea. In all of these countries persecution is widespread," Racho declared. "There are other countries like India, for instance, where persecution is rampant. This is because of Hindus who believe that India belongs to the Hindus," he said.

"So persecution is going on because of Islamic radical teachings and practices, because of communist ideologies and because of other radical ideologies like the Hindu radical ideas," Racho summarized.
Hickman added a surprising source for anti-Christian violence. "It's a cross section. Sometimes it's from other religions. Sometimes it's from adherents of different groups within Christianity. You can have things like Catholic on Protestant and Protestant on Catholic," Hickman explained.
Hickman added that the absence of persecution news in the media doesn't mean that anti-Christian violence isn't happening (Source)

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