Sunday, March 31, 2013

Christian Persecution Continues to Grow Worldwide

I will never cease to pray for my brethren in Christ who are being persecuted for the Risen Lord.

3/28/2013 United States (Chicago Sun-Times) - Nearly a third of the world’s population celebrates Good Friday and Easter this weekend, testimony to the influence of a religion that is a foundational pillar of Western civilization and the advancement of human rights. Yet, the observance of the faithful is shadowed by the reality that Christians are persecuted in a third of the nations of the world and are literally running for their lives from parts of the Middle East where the faith originated.

At least 100 million Christians in 65 countries suffer persecution, according to Open Doors USA, a non-denominational organization supporting oppressed Christians. That persecution can come from terrorism, as is the case with the so-called “Arab spring” that unleashed killings, assaults and arson against Coptic Christians in Egypt. Civil war in Syria forced tens of thousands of Christians to flee the country as violence and abductions targeted their community, Open Doors reports. The chaos of the worst years of the Iraqi war resulted in the number of churches falling to 57 today from more than 300 in 2003, according to the MidEast Christian News service.

Or oppression can originate with governments. North Korea outlaws Christianity and punishes Christians with imprisonment in labor camps or even death, reports Open Doors. Saudi Arabia decrees death for conversion to Christianity. Pakistan is notorious for directing draconian blasphemy laws against Christians.

We know of the widespread oppression thanks to the work of Open Doors and other organizations and individuals alarmed by the growth of bigotry against Christians.
nternational Christian Concern operates the website to document assaults on Christians around the world. Recent postings report on discriminatory building regulations and forced church closures in Indonesia; mob violence by Buddhist nationalists against Christians, and Muslims, in Sri Lanka, and Sudan’s air strikes killing Christian civilians in the Nuba Mountains region(Source).

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