This article originally appeared on WND.com
Guest by post by Bob Unruh
‘Most of us can’t imagine what it’s like to live in fear for our very lives because of our faith’
Open Doors US, working under its worldwide name, Open Doors International, to provide food, medicine, trauma care, legal help, safe housing and spiritual support for Christians, has released its newest World Watch List of persecution of Christians.
And it stunningly reveals that some five million Christians were added to the list of those facing “high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith” in just the last year.
A year ago that total was 360 million; now it’s 365 million.
“This means that 1 in 7 Christians experience pressure or violence because of their faith in Jesus,” the report said.
At No. 1 among the worst offenders is North Korea, where the Kim dynasty “continues to crush any perceived threat to its authority, including religious belief. If they aren’t executed outright, Christians discovered in North Korea risk imprisonment in North Korea’s infamous network of labor camps,” the report said.
And sub-Saharan Africa remains the most violent place in the world for Christians.
“Faith-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa far outstripped those of any other region in the annual report. This has been a trend for several years. More than 82% of Christians killed because of their faith were in Nigeria (ranked No. 6 on the 2024 World Watch List), according to Open Doors’ World Watch List research,” the report said.
Ryan Brown, CEO, said, “It’s heartbreaking to hear about what our brothers and sisters in Christ are experiencing in Nigeria and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. Most of us can’t imagine what it’s like to live in fear for our very lives because of our faith in Christ, but what a testimony these faithful believers are to the rest of us. We must continue to remember them in prayer as well as emulate their faithfulness in our own contexts.”
He continued, “As Christian persecution rises to the most significant levels in history, there’s an opportunity for us as believers to come alongside and support our brothers and sisters in Christ as they are enduring persecution for the sake of the Gospel. There is no better reminder than the annual release of the World Watch List that we need to stay informed about and in prayer for our persecuted family members throughout the world.”
Another region most active in the war against Christians is India.
“Ethnoreligious violence in Manipur States left hundreds of Christians dead and thousands displaced, and hundreds of other Christians in Chhattisgarh State were told to either renounce their faith or leave their homes.”
China doesn’t escape criticism, either.
There, an “alarming spike in the number of churches and Christian properties that were attacked or closed down” was documented.
The report documented:
- 4,998 Christians killed worldwide for their faith. This is a conservative estimate, as many violent incidents go unreported.
- A seven-fold increase in attacks on churches, Christian schools and hospitals from 2,110 (WWL 2023) to 14,766 (WWL 2024).
- Christians beaten or threatened increased from 29,411 reported cases (WWL 2023) to 42,849 on the 2024 World Watch List
- Attacks on homes rose 371 per cent from WWL 2023 figures (4,547 to 21,431)
- Christians forced out of their home or into hiding more than doubled from 124,310 (WWL 2023) to 278,716 (WWL 2024)
Copyright 2023 WND News Center
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