Open Doors USA just released their annual Christian persecution watch list with the 50 nations Christians suffer the greatest amount of persecution in. Not suprising, 9 of the top 10, 19 of the top 25, and 36 of the top 50- or 90%, 76%, and 72% respectively- of all of the persecution of Christians comes from Muslim-majority nations, and 1 in 12 Christians in the world lives in an area where Christianity is illegal or punishable. according to their report:
But the new report reveals an alarming trend as countries driven by Islamic extremism reach persecution levels rivaling those in North Korea. Afghanistan (#2) and North Korea nearly tied for the No. 1 spot. Never before have the top two countries been so close in persecution incidents. Both countries are extreme in intolerance and outright persecution of Christians in all six areas of life that Open Doors monitors.
Countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are intensifying persecution against Christians. Perhaps the most vulnerable are Christian women, who often face double persecution for their faith and gender.
Every day, six women are raped, sexually harassed or are forced into marriage to a Muslim under threat of death due to their Christian faith. Research for the World Watch List documented 2,260 such incidences against women—and this number only covers those who had the courage to report such an incident, representing only a fraction of those actually raped and harassed in this way. Throughout this year, we’ve shared numerous stories of women, such as Debora in Nigeria, Rana in Iraq and Workitu in Ethiopia martyred for her faith, who have experienced dual persecution because they 1) believe in Jesus and 2) because they are female.
The overall numbers signal an increase in violence–especially against women, says Open Doors USA CEO David Curry. “It’s imperative we continue to advocate and call leaders to prioritize issues of religious freedom.” (source)
The report noted that while Christian persecution is most severe in Pakistan and Islamic violence remains the primary driving force of Christian persecution. It said that six countries saw a dramatic increase in persecution of Christians, of which five of them are Muslim- Egypt, Libya, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Turkey. However, there was one exception to this list, and that is India. Additionally, the report noted that the cause of the persecution in India was religious nationalism.
This fits with the assessment we gave during our 2017 end of the year summary for our major stories and trends of 2017 to watch going into the next year in which we wrote:
Christians are suffering persecution all around the world. However, a major nation to watch in the years coming is India because plans are actively under way by Hindu Nationalists to exterminate all non-Hindus and create a Hindu ethnostate no different than what Germany and Japan attempted to do centuries ago. These plans have been confirmed by both Christians as well as former Hindu Nationalists involved in creating them yet nobody is discussing them. Shoebat.com is the first and only website to systematically identify and outline the plans of these Hindu nationalists and call for Christians to prepare to help their Indian brothers as their lives will need it in the coming years. (source)
The fact remains that Muslim persecution of Christians is the single greatest cause of Christian persecution throughout the world by an indisputable measure. However, this does not mean that Christians persecuted in other areas should be ignored. At the same time, the persecution of Christians at the hands of ethnonationalist Hindus fits with the trend that Shoebat.com has been following in the west, which is the like rise of ethnonationalist paganism that is inherently anti-Christian and is being increasingly defined by anti-Christian pagans. While the form is different and the state of advancement might be delayed, the “alt-right movement” is simply a tool and will go down as such in history books as the vehicle by which ethnonationalism and the inevitable persecution of Christians that will follow was introduced and normalized to the people. What is happening in India is an extension of this.
According to official statistics from the Indian government, there are approximately 24 million Christians in India, or the population of both Kazakhstan and Libya put together. As the report noted, India is not yet in the top 10 nations for persecution, but in the duration of one year it went from #15 to #11. If trends continue at the rate they are, and currently they are, India will be in the top 10 nations where Christians are persecuted and will along with North Korea be the only one whose persecution does not come from the enforcement of Islamic theology by Muslims.
Additionally, another interesting point was that according to statistics, 6 Christian women each day are sexually assaulted worldwide as part of the persecution of Christians that is a way of life in so many areas in the world. While these statistics are terrible and certainly not something to boast about, there is hope, for thanks to your help, Rescue Christians was able to report that we have been able to Rescue an average of 5 to 6 Christians each day, EVERY day, from slavery. This could not have been accomplished without the assistance of many people who have supported us in this important and life-saving ministry.
It has scarcely been two weeks into 2018 and already Christian persecution has been making headlines in the news around the world with all of the horrors that defines it. There is much work ahead this year, and given the political and social climates with rising and institutionalized hatred of Christianity done in the name of race, “tolerance” or other popularized ideas, much preparatory work that needs to be done to prepare for the persecution in the years to come.