The persecution of Christians all over the world has reached such an alarming level that it has gotten to the point where it is already seen in more places now, according to a new report by advocacy group Open Doors USA.
In a statement to Fox News, Open Doors USA president and CEO David Curry said the world is now witnessing the “worst” persecution in modern history. Based on the group’s latest World Watch List of the world’s worst Christian persecutors, there are recorded incidents in every continent.
“It is appalling that Open Doors has to report that persecution has increased again in 2016 and we are still at the worst levels of persecution in modern times,” Curry told Fox. “The spread of persecution has gotten worse, now hitting nearly every continent in the world. There were 23 Christians killed in Mexico specifically because of their faith.”
The new Open Doors report says around 215 million Christians all over the world experience persecution, but Curry told Fox the number is only a “conservative” estimate. He said there are probably thousands of other incidents of persecution that go unreported because the believers are overwhelmed by fear.
In addition, Curry attributed the rise in persecution to Islamic extremism and nationalist religious movements, such as those observed in Pakistan, India and Myanmar. The Open Doors official said governments have also launched crackdowns on Christian churches, fueling the trend even more.
Ironically, Christian persecution is also escalating in countries in North, Central and South America despite Christianity being the dominant religion in those areas. In Mexico, 23 Christian leaders have been killed in religiously-motivated attacks, and four in Colombia suffered the same fate.
Meanwhile, the U.S. has made it to International Christian Concern’s “Hall of Shame” list of top 12 worst countries for Christians. The report explains the inclusion of the country in the list is due to the lone wolf Islamic State-linked attacks there and the incidents of believers being targeted by the media and its culture, The Christian Post relays.
ICC president Jeff King acknowledged that the situation in the U.S. is not as bad as those in Nigeria and other countries on the list. However, he said there is a clear trend of the culture and the courts’ efforts to push “faith out of the public square.”
3 February 2017