Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Friday, February 14th, 2014
Lawmakers listened to testimony from experts and religious leaders highlighting the persecution of Christians that is rampant across the Middle East. As a representative from the Vatican stated, Arab Christians “find themselves the target of constant harassment for no reason other than their religious faith.” The United States has an important role to play in leading the conversation to find solutions to religiously based discrimination and persecution.
Friday, January 10th, 2014
In the latest report highlighting the status of Christian persecution around the world, 9 out of the top 10 countries are Muslim majority states, and Islamic extremism is the primary cause of their persecution of Christians. North Korea again holds the spot at #1 for the worst persecutor of Christians, but behind that it is Islamic extremism that is largely driving the problem. Another troubling aspect has been the relatively silence of the United States government on the issue, despite efforts within Congress to make it a higher priority for the State Department and the White House.
Wednesday, January 8th, 2014
A newly released study documents that more than 2,100 Christians were killed as “martyr’s” in 2013. The greatest increase was seen in Syria. With a reported 1,213 deaths, Syria alone eclipsed the global total of 1,201 from 2012. The report is intentionally narrow in its definition of “martyr” and tries to distinguish between Christians killed in the midst of broader conflict and those killed explicitly for their faith. Nine of the ten worst persecuting countries are Muslim-majority states. As a whole, the report finds that “Islamist extremism is the worst persecutor of the worldwide church.”
Tuesday, January 7th, 2014
The following interview with Thomas Farr, director of the Religious Freedom Project at Georgetown University, provides important insight into why Christians play such an important role in the Middle East and how the promotion of religious freedom and the protection of Christians specifically is in the best interests of all peoples in the Middle East, and even in the West as well.
Wednesday, December 25th, 2013
Slowly across the Western world we are seeing more and more political and thought leaders awake to the reality of Christian persecution, and the massive scale on which it is taking place across the Middle East. The horrific abuses have been largely ignored for a number of reasons from “political correctness,” fear of “doing God” in public, or taking sides in some sort of “clash of civilizations.” None of these, even if they were accurate, are justification for allowing massive crimes against humanity to take place with near total impunity and with little outcry from those countries who claim to be the defenders of human rights.
Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
The importance of the highlighting the religious persecution in the Middle East is slowly creeping into the national consciousness. It is an issue that needs to be confronted now, as its seeds will bear disastrous fruits in years to come. As this article highlights, “The silence of Western governments about this phenomenon and its primary cause – the rise of Islamist extremism – is at best short sighted. The Christian exodus represents not only a humanitarian crisis, but a looming national security problem for the West.”
Tuesday, December 17th, 2013
The intentional targeting of Christians in Syria and Iraq has taken a tragic turn as radical Islamist organizations are seeking to drive them out to advance the cause of establishing an Islamic state. In Syria, where there remains an active conflict, there have been five Christian schools attacked in just the past few days a Syrian parliamentarian said. They see attacking children as one of the best ways to force their parents to leave the country. This is creating a repeat of what Iraq has witnessed over the past decade, with a mass exodus of Christians fleeing the country.
Friday, December 6th, 2013
Slowly there is a rising awareness throughout Europe and elsewhere of the brutal treatment of Christians throughout much of the Middle East. Cases such as the murder of Jessi Boulus, a 10-year-old girl in Cairo, highlight the tragedy they face. Alan Howe, executive editor of the Herald Sun, describes Jessi’s “an almost forgotten footnote in what can only be described as a war that strands Middle Eastern Christians somewhere between the Exodus and a Holocaust.” This is a wake-up call for those in the Western who have somehow missed the reality of what is unfolding across the region.
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Following a meeting with the leaders of churches across the Middle East Pope Francis spoke out calling for the church to support the continued existence of the church in areas that have increasingly become hostile to Christians. “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians,” Pope Francis said. This further highlights the work that is necessary to support the church and to address the political and cultural dynamics that are driving their exodus and in some cases martyrdom.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
“We ignore too many things, and even more indefensibly, we pretend not to see too many things.” This is the reality for how much of the world has treated the intensifying war against Christians in much of the Middle East. Among many in the West there is a massive, and sometimes willful, ignorance of the realities confronting Christians around the world who are paying a high cost because of their faith. Many often thing of Christianity as a Western religion, though the reality is that nearly two thirds of the 2.2 billion Christians (Protestant and Catholic combined) live outside of the West and that number is rising. They are also far more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of religious persecution.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
The plight of Christians in the Middle East is a story that often never makes the headlines. Unless the persecution of Christians happens to overlap with a major political interest, chemical weapons in Syria, a potential military coup in Egypt, etc., the story hardly gains any traction among the media and the political elites. There are many reasons for this, but among this that the decision makers are not made aware that this is an issue that people are personally concerned about and that their elected representatives ought to care about.
Friday, September 27th, 2013
When attacks occur on churches such as what happened in Pakistan, or the string of violence in Egypt over the past month, or the horrific stories that have emerged from Syria, they are often treated as isolated incidents. Through many of them there is a common thread of an extremist interpretation of Islam that motivates them. While certainly a minority opinion among the world’s 1.2 billion Muslims the threat is real. There is a need for leaders – from within faith communities, both Christian and Muslims, as well as media and politicians – to speak out against this dangerous interpretation of Islam.
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
The violence and unrest across the Middle East has resulted in the Christian population of the region falling from 20% a century ago to about 5%. In some cases Christians have been the direct targets of violence from militant Islamic groups and campaigns of repression by Islamic governments that see little place for Christians in their society. While there are occasional bright spots the prospects for the future appear bleak.
Friday, August 2nd, 2013
This interview highlights the work of Nina Shea and her colleagues at the Center for Religious Freedom who are working to raise the level of rights guaranteed to all faiths across the globe. In a recent book, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians, they highlight country by country the severity and variety of abuse confronting followers of Christ in many countries and also explains ideas for how American’s can assist them.
Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
This report highlights the frequent but often under-reported cases of Christian abuse across the Middle East. The abuses of Western governments are often splashed across the headlines of newspapers, the violence experience by Christians is often overlooked. As the article points out, between Morocco and Pakistan there is hardly anywhere that a Christian is fully free to worship without harassment.
Sunday, July 28th, 2013
Today is according to many the period of the largest persecution of Christians in history. Estimates range as high as 100-200 million who face persecution in some way. The persecution is not just on the sidelines of local ethnic disputes but is often the direct action taken against people specifically because of their religious beliefs.
Saturday, July 27th, 2013
Islamic extremism continues to have tragic – and often deadly – results around the world. This report highlights a number of events across the globe from recent months where Christians were targeted for abuse and violence as a result of their faith.
Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Christians throughout the Middle East are living in the midst of radically changing circumstances. The various political movements, regime changes, civil wars, and terrorist attacks can have terrible consequences for those on the fringes of society, as Christians generally are. In Iraq, for example, the Christian population has shrunk by 87% from 1.5 million to just 200,000. Though there is intense suffering there are amazing things happening as well and there is hard work to be done to pursue a better future.
Monday, June 24th, 2013
In an effort to express his concern and solidarity with Christians who have faced extreme difficulties in recent years, newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby will visit the Middle East. The Archbishop’s visit highlights the particular pressures Christians are facing as a result of the on-going violence in Syria and political turmoil throughout the region.
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
The United States has historically been a strong defender of the oppressed and persecuted around the world, including Christians. As Rep. Frank Wolf recently pointed out the record in recent years raises many questions. As persecution of Christians around the world increases both in terms of government-sponsored repression and social hostilities little is being done to support those individuals. Even money and positions that are specifically designated for that role have gone unused, according to Wolf.
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
Monday, June 10th, 2013
The period known as the “Arab Spring” has seen the peoples of a number of countries throughout the Middle East take a more active and engaged role in the politics of their own nations. While there are some elements of this that are extremely positive the outcomes for some minority groups have been tragic and the indicators for the future are not positive. Continually raising the issue of the importance of all parties of society being represented in the politic system is of extreme importance.
Thursday, May 2nd, 2013
“Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack,” writes Raymond Ibrahim. “The ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians—peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them.”
Sunday, April 28th, 2013
In Egypt, entire Christian communities have been attacked as revenge for the actions of a few. In this article published by FrontPageMag, Raymond Ibrahim argues that the collective punishment of Christians and other religious minorities who “refuse to know their place in the Islamic order” has doctrinal backing.
Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013
Leading up to Pakistan’s elections in May, 38 percent of the country’s youth believe that Islamic law (Sharia) is the best legal system according to a recent survey, the Hindustan Times reports. For years, Sharia has played into the hands of extremists, including the Pakistani Taliban and al-Qaeda, and the rights of religious minorities, including Christians, Hindus, and Shia Muslims, have become increasingly non-existent. Of primary concern to Pakistani Christians are the country’s ominous blasphemy laws—authorized under Sharia—which have resulted in the imprisonments and murders of dozens of Christians. Approximately 1,400 blasphemy cases have been registered since the law was first enacted in 1986, according to Human Rights Watch. There are at least 16 people currently on death row, including several Christians, in Pakistan for blasphemy, and 20 serving life sentences. While many hope that the next generation of Pakistanis will support greater freedoms and liberal governance, the recent survey, conducted by the British Council, suggests the opposite: extremist ideals are being passed to and supported by the next generation.
Wednesday, March 20th, 2013
Hana, a Christian ministry worker in Pakistan, says that torching of some 180 Christian homes on March 9 in a colony of Lahore evidences growing Islamization in the country. "Anytime we have an incident like this one you have a number of Christians who will leave [Pakistan]," Hana told the Christian Post. "Parents are afraid for the future of their children. It's extremely difficult to breathe as [a] Christian in Pakistan let alone to live and bring up a family."
Monday, March 18th, 2013
Following the destruction of some 180 Christian homes by a Muslim mob in Lahore, Pakistan on March 9, Andrew G. Bostom says that, “There is an intensifying, global campaign to impose Islamic blasphemy laws on non-Muslims.” In this article published by the American Thinker, Mr. Bostom warns us about ten doctrinal origins of blasphemy laws found in Islam and the implications of those doctrines on the international community.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2012
Monday, October 22nd, 2012
Mohammed Christophe Bilek, a convert to Christianity, writes for Asia News that Muslims who want to become Christians “are like children asking to be born who are denied the right to exist.” In this article, Mr. Bilek “pleads with Muslims to defend freedom of conscience and the right of Muslims to change their religion in the same way that Christians can embrace the Muslim religion.” Christians who face the greatest persecution in the Islamic world are those who choose to leave Islam and follow Christ. Even in Europe, Christian converts from Islam face abuse and retaliation from their families and communities. Moreover, these new Christians are often rejected by traditional churches who tell them to remain in the religion that he or she was born into. “Faith is a freely given commitment to God. It is to Him that each one of us will have to respond,” says Bilek.
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012