Persecution of Christians Reaches Unprecedented Global Proportions
ICC Note: Few Christians, especially in the United States, have even a basic understanding of the extent to which Christians around the globe face discrimination, harassment, arrest, and death because of their faith in Christ. The following article, which first examines conditions for Christians living in North Korea, reveals fascinating and alarming statistics about the global breadth of anti-Christian activity. For instance, according to the Pew Forum, Christians faced harassment in 139 nations, or almost three quarters of all countries on earth, between 2006 and 2010. Another estimate is that 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians.
12/2/2013 North Korea (Christian Post) – Sometime in November, the North Korean regime publicly executed eighty people in seven cities across the country. In each instance, a crowd was forced to watch as ten people, their heads covered with white bags, were tied to stakes and machine gunned to death.
The “crimes” for which these people were put to death were “watching or illegally trafficking South Korean videos, or involvement in prostitution, [or] possessing a Bible.”
That’s right. Possessing a Bible.
While what happened last month was horrific, it should not come as a surprise. North Korea “enjoys” the dubious distinction of being the “most hazardous nation on earth in which to be a Christian” for eleven consecutive years.
As horrendous as these stories are, they’re unfortunately only a small part of the persecution Christians face every day all around the world. As Allen notes, according to a study by the Pew Forum, “between 2006 and 2010 . . . Christians had been harassed in a total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth.”
The International Society for Human Rights has estimated that “80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians.”
This harassment and discrimination takes many forms: institutional and employment discrimination, suppression of missionary activity to the ultimate form of discrimination, death.
Allen notes that estimates of the number of Christians who are killed because they are Christian range from 7,300 to 100,000 every year. Even at the low end, that represents nearly one per hour.