Every day, 13 Christians worldwide are killed because of their faith.
Every day, 12 churches or Christian buildings are attacked.
Every day, 12 Christians are unjustly arrested or imprisoned, and another five are abducted.
WHERE CHRISTIAN FAITH IS DANGEROUS
In some countries, government-sanctioned circumstances or anti-Christian laws lead to Christians being harassed, imprisoned, killed, or deprived of possessions or liberties because of their witness. Christians may also be prevented from obtaining Bibles or other Christian literature. Even in countries where governments do not actively oppose Christianity, believers may face severe persecution from family, friends, neighbours, political and religious groups or rebels because of their witness.
WHERE DO CHRISTIANS FACE THE MOST VIOLENCE?
Because of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, Christians are at constant risk of being falsely accused of blaspheming Islam, the Koran or Mohammed, and they receive harsh punishments when convicted. Street evangelism is legal under Pakistani law, and several bold evangelists take advantage of the opportunity to share the gospel publicly. Many Christians live together in closed neighbourhoods known as colonies, which provide a measure of security amid the widespread oppression. Still, several large-scale attacks have occurred in these areas in recent years, including some during Christmas. Most Christians are trapped in a cycle of poor education and poverty. Often, the only jobs they can get amount to indentured servitude in brick kilns or as street sweepers or sewage workers. Christians have been imprisoned for years under the country’s blasphemy laws, and many of those have been killed or forced to permanently flee the country upon release from prison.
Nearly all Christians in north-eastern Nigeria have lost family members or friends in attacks by Boko Haram or Fulani Islamic militants. Entire congregations have been displaced, and many pastors have been forced to leave the region. Being active in church looks much different than it did at the beginning of the 21st century. It now takes great courage and faith to openly worship and serve Christ. Thousands of Christians remain in camps designated for internally displaced people. With few schools able to function because of the violence, families are concerned about their children’s education. Life is a constant struggle, and in some places, it is difficult for Christians to find food. Famine threatens farms in the north as a result of ongoing Islamist violence; Fulani Islamic militants kill farmers when they attempt to return to their farms. In addition, many villages and farmlands have been taken over by the Islamist militias.
Democratic Republic of Congo
The church is under immense pressure in the eastern DRC. In areas controlled by the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), Christian villages have been raided, churches destroyed and hundreds of believers brutally killed. Dozens of local Christians have been abducted by the ADF and told to recant their faith in Christ and convert to Islam. Those abducted have witnessed horrific acts of violence against fellow Christians. Prior to the outbreak of violence, one church denomination had 25 churches in the Beni area; today they have eight. Another denomination had 54 churches and now has 11. Other denominations report similar patterns.
Why are Christians persecuted in these countries?
- Jesus is competition for power
- Christianity challenges the surrounding culture
- Doing good means opposing the bad
- A new identity is dangerous
- Jesus is competition for other beliefs
These are just five of the reasons that Christians are targeted and hated around the world. There are, of course, many more—and combinations of reasons. But Christianity is viewed as a threat by so many who fear the idea of Jesus as the ultimate giver of life.