Although the subject of Christian persecution isn’t pleasant, knowing the amount of persecution others face worldwide is important information for everyone. Unfortunately, according to Release International, 2019 is expected to see an increase in persecution for Christians around the world.
According to Release International, some 215 million believers currently face persecution in the form of violence and discrimination for their faith worldwide. These numbers are only expected to increase, with particular concern for believers in India, China and Nigeria.
Nigeria was described as being particularly dangerous for Christians.
“In Nigeria, Fulani militants look set to continue devastating attacks against Christians in the north and central Nigeria,” Release International said in a press release. “In the first six months of 2018 alone, they killed up to 6,000 and drove 50,000 from their homes…There was a deliberate plan to destroy and take over the predominately Christian communities in the region. A strategic modern-day jihad.”
Moving on, Christian persecution in China has been widely reported on for years. A partner with release warned “The government wants to reduce Christianity to just a minor activity by unimportant older people.” This disgust for believers by a militantly secular government is being felt as the state cracks down on churches, congregations and pastors throughout the nation.
In India, Christians face persecution in the form of violent mobs. Release International is trying to alleviate the damage.
“Release is providing Bibles in local languages to replace those militants destroy and is giving vital aid and support to pastors who have been arrested,” the organization said.
Unfortunately, the projected outlook by Release paints a wide picture of persecution becoming more widespread throughout many countries, not just the ones mentioned. They also listed Pakistan, Eritrea and North Korea as being hostile environments for believers.
Sitting in the safety of America, believers might wonder what they can do to help the persecuted noted all over the world. Obviously, prayer is one way to help as is getting involved with organizations that are working to combat the problem. Of course, bringing the darkness into light in the form of sharing information is sometimes one of the most helpful ways a believer can make a difference. Many times other believers are simply unaware of the scope their fellow believers face daily as part of their everyday lives. It is a foreign concept to most Americans, thankfully.
U.K. Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt recently announced his desire to complete a review of the persecution facing Christians around the world. Hunt appointed Bishop of Truro, the RT. Rev. Philip Mounstep to lead the review.
“With Christianity on the verge of extinction in its birthplace, it is time for concerted action that begins to turn the tide,” he said, referring to Christians living in the Middle East.
“It is not in our national character to turn a blind eye to suffering. All religious minorities must be protected and the evidence demonstrates that in some countries, Christians face the greatest risk,” he added.
This additional study into where persecution is happening and what can be done to counteract its efforts is at least a good start. It’s also important to remember that the Christian life will also come with some form of persecution. As it says in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” Thankfully, believers can look forward to their ultimate reward one day for enduring persecution here on earth. That’s not to say; however, believers should turn a blind eye to fellow Christians as preventative and protective action is most certainly appropriate when possible.
~ 1776 Christian