Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Thursday, February 20th, 2014
According to sources in Egypt, an agreement has been reached to officially open a Coptic church in Saudi Arabia. This is being described as the first church ever built inside Saudi Arabia. It is unclear whether the church would be permitted to accept Saudi nationals who may wish to come. There are estimated to be more than a million foreign Christians living inside Saudi Arabia who have very limited access to religious activities or services. A formal church would be a step in the right direction, though is largely symbolic rather than a substantive change of policy towards Christianity.
Wednesday, February 19th, 2014
Christians face a rising level of religious freedom around the world, and especially in the Middle East. Two recent studies from respected research organizations, Pew Forum and Open Doors, have highlighted the massive scale of the issue. Many are pushing for the United States to make the protection of religious minorities a core part of foreign policy, which the administration says that it already is. The problem has been in the failure to back the rhetoric with action. While there are political issues involved, it is imperative that the positions that exist to protect religious minorities be quickly filled if the United States is to have any credibility behind its claims to be a defender of religious freedom.
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.
Monday, January 27th, 2014
While 2013 marked a very difficult year for Christian communities around the world, 2014 may be even more dangerous. The Middle East saw unprecedented levels of persecution, especially in Syria, where Open Doors recorded 1,213 Christian martyrs in 2013. Western media and governments can do more to cover the subject and to pressure nations who allow religious persecution to step in and protect Christians from violence.
Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
The following article provides an excellent overview of the situation for Christians across the Middle East who, if current trends continue, are facing extinction. It also asks the pivotal question, why isn't the West outraged? For a decade the Middle East has been emptying of Christians by the hundreds of thousands as radical Islamic movements in the region become increasingly violent. Syria, Iraq, and Egypt are perhaps the best examples of this trend. ICC is actively working to raise awareness and bring assistance to many of these communities.
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, July 10th, 2013
Blasphemy and defamation of religion laws continue to repress the Christian faith in countries across the world. Known for inciting violence, accusations and prosecutions on the basis of blasphemy or religious defamation have proven detrimental to the free exercise of religion and harmful to minority Christian communities throughout the world. Social hostilities, advanced by cultures of impunity, continue to pose a serious threat to Christians worldwide.
Friday, June 14th, 2013
“The conclusion of a new report by the US Hudson Institute researcher Lela Gilbert is clear and unequivocal: gender-based violence plays a key strategic role in the plans of those who wish to eradicate Christians and Christian belief from Muslim lands.”
Friday, May 24th, 2013
The sentencing of a Lebanese Christian to lashings and imprisonment for converting a Saudi coworker puts the spotlight on the laws of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its firm resistance to reason or political persuasion.
Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
Two men accused of helping a young woman flee Saudi Arabia after her conversion to Christianity were sentenced to prison terms and lashes with a whip by a Saudi court on Sunday.
Sunday, December 30th, 2012
“Christianity faces being wiped out of the “biblical heartlands” in the Middle East because of mounting persecution of worshippers,” The Telegraph reports.
Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Textbooks in Saudi Arabian schools continue to discriminate against minorities and teach outright hatred toward Christians and Jews. “The Jews and the Christians are enemies of the believers, and they cannot approve of Muslims” and “The apostate has two punishments; worldly and in the hereafter. Punishment in this life: Death if he does not repent,” are among the teachings studied by Saudi children. Despite international pressure to reform Saudi curriculum, progress has yet to be made.
Sunday, November 4th, 2012
Christians in Iraq, Syria, and throughout the Middle East have been the killed, kidnapped, and driven from their homeland “by the forces of intolerant Muslim supremacism that were unleashed as a result of the so-called Arab Spring,” John Eibner, the President of Christian Solidarity International, told World Net Daily. “The biggest complication today arising from the threat of the eradication of Middle Eastern Christian communities is related to America’s alliance with Sunni Islamist states, such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Qatar and Turkey.”
Thursday, August 30th, 2012
A religious freedom report released by the U.S. State Department signifies that violence and discrimination targeting Christians and other religious minorities is most prevalent in the Islamic world. In Egypt, Christians have been arrested for “insulting Islam” and several churches have been burned and destroyed. In Iran, tens of Christians are imprisoned, including one on death row, for apostasy. And, in Pakistan, Christians have been attacked by mobs and harassed by police for allegedly blaspheming Islam. With the political rise of Islamists following the Middle East’s so-called ‘Arab Spring’, it is likely that Christian persecution will continue to increase.
Sunday, August 26th, 2012
Christians throughout the Middle East are being attacked and killed while thousands upon thousands have fled their homeland in hopes of finding a safe haven in western countries. For example, in Iran, the Revolutionary Guard has taken over the oversight of churches and has arrested scores of Christian converts from Islam. In Kuwait, the Saudi grand mufti told crowds that it is “necessary to destroy all the churches in the Arabian Peninsula.” In Gaza, Christians have allegedly been kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam. These cases are just a few of many extreme acts and threats of persecution in the Middle East that The National Interest brings to light in this revealing article.
Wednesday, August 8th, 2012
“A Saudi woman who introduced herself as ‘Maryam’ announced in a video… that she has forsaken Islam and converted to Christianity,” Mohabat News reports.
Tuesday, July 31st, 2012
A U.S. State Department report on religious freedom expresses concern over whether or not the newly elected Islamist government in Egypt will respect the freedoms of religious minorities. The report also criticizes Afghanistan for trying non-Muslims in Islamic courts and Pakistan for issuing death sentences for blasphemy.
Monday, July 30th, 2012
The right to choose one’s own religion is a foreign concept in Saudi Arabia. Girls and women can be killed by their own families or imprisoned and even executed under Saudi law for converting from Islam to Christianity. In this story, the Saudi Gazette (note – this is a Saudi newspaper) reports on the story of a girl who embraced Christianity and fled to Lebanon for refuge. The girl came to Christ as a result of a dream where she heard God telling her that Jesus is His son.
Saturday, July 28th, 2012
Raymond Ibrahim writes for the Gatestone Institute that, “The bloody jihad waged against Nigeria's Christians, which has seen hundreds killed this year alone, now includes plans to kill Christians with poisoned food, as part of the Islamic organization Boko Haram's stated goal of purging Nigeria of all Christian presence.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.
Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
It has six months since the Saudi Arabian officials arrested 35 Ethiopian Christians for praying at a private home. The Christians have been facing mistreatment at the hands of Saudi security officials.
Monday, June 11th, 2012
Speaking with ICC, one of the prisoners reported feeling “very sad, and very surprised” at the constantly changing allegations. “Why haven’t they brought us to court? Why don’t they show us some evidence and bring charges against us?” said one of the prisoners. “[We feel like] the Saudi’s are trying to punish us for being Christians by keeping us in prison.”
Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
"We have fear, but Jesus is with us—Emmanuel is with us," Rasim said. "Jesus said, 'I am with you forever' and we need to go to the mosques and everywhere to tell people the truth about Him and His love."
Tuesday, May 29th, 2012
“According to a report appearing today (5/27/12) on the Arabic news website, Kermalkom.com, the McDonald's fast food restaurant ‘abused the Prophet Muhammad by placing his name at the base of a toy that is being distributed as part of the Happy Meal, a toy which steps on the name Muhammad.’” Gatestone Institute reports.
Thursday, May 24th, 2012
This article exposes what the practical walking out of radical Islam looks like; especially in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Nigeria. The main problem: Marrying off young girls and violence against Christians. The top Saudi Cleric said: "Our mothers and grandmothers got married when they were barely 12. Good upbringing makes a girl ready to perform all marital duties at that age." Before this, in mid-March, the same cleric called for the destruction of all Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula. We don’t know about you, but this article left us scoffing at the incredulous ideas (that are straight from Muhammad ) and broken hearted at the same time.
Wednesday, May 9th, 2012
Mission Network News shares the story of a Saudi man whose family committed him to a mental hospital after he gave his life to Christ.
Saturday, April 28th, 2012
Raymond Ibrahim writes for the Gatestone Institute that, “Saudi Arabia's highest Islamic legal authority decreed that churches in the region must be destroyed… American teachers in the Middle East were murdered for being Christian or talking about Christianity; churches were banned or bombed, and nuns terrorized by knife-wielding Muslim mobs.” Ibrahim’s series, titled ‘Muslim Persecution of Christians,’ is published each month to document cases of persecution – whether it be general discrimination, arrests, or murder – committed by Muslims in majority Islamic countries, Asia and the West.