When has physical persecution of Christians been the worst ever?
Christians being thrown to the lions in the Roman Coliseum in the 1st century?
Christians burned at the stake for translating the Bible during the Middle Ages?
A new report from a persecution charity group shows that Christian persecution is actually worse today than ever before in recorded history.
This is partly due to terrorist groups like ISIS in the Middle East and Boko Haram in Nigeria targeting and murdering Christians – basically committing genocide.
Not so well known is the increase in Christian persecution in many other countries due to the rise of various forms of religious nationalism … which seeks to eliminate Christianity while promoting the national religion:
- Hinduism in India and Nepal
- Buddhism in Myanmar and Sri Lanka
- Islam in all countries with pro-Islamic governments
- Idolization of the Kim family in North Korea
- Loyalty to communism and the Xi Jinping regime in China
In China, Christian persecution has escalated dramatically over the past 5 years – since President Xi Jinping came to power – compared to the last 5 years of the previous administration.
Here is a brief summary of some of the recent incidents you probably haven’t heard about:
- Rural Christian peasants threatened with the loss of their poverty relief packages unless they replace images of Jesus with images of Xi Jinping
- Approximately 1,700 churches have been demolished or have had their crosses removed during the past 3 years
- The number of reported cases of persecution increased 30 times last year compared to 2013 – President Xi Jinping’s first year in office
- The number of Christians physically abused increased 40 times last year compared to Xi Jinping’s first year in office
- New regulations this year prohibit publication of religious materials without government approval
- No one can study theology without government permission
- Religious services are only allowed in recognized church buildings for which a permit has been granted
China forces women to have abortions … encourages infanticide … and executes more people every year than any other country on earth.
China harasses, detains, tortures and disappears followers of all religions – and those who openly criticize the government – on a regular basis.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis says Christians “can worship freely” in China…
And a Vatican official in Rome says that China is “best implementing the social doctrine of the Church.”
Clearly, the Vatican wants to mend its previously fractured relationship with China.
As Christians, we all should remember what the Apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:26 … “If one part [of the Body of Christ] suffers, every part suffers with it.”
Please pray for the persecuted Christians in China as well as in North Korea, the Middle East, and around the world.
What do you think? Write me at firstname.lastname@example.org