2016: The Year Persecution Grew On A Global Scale

What do you think is the most persecuted religious group in the world? Perhaps you might say Judaism, and you'd have good reason. With Israel under constant threat from their neighbors and the ever-present spirit of anti-Semitism around the world, Jews are often the target of abuse.

Maybe some of you progressives say Islam is the most persecuted. With the liberal media's slanted view of Americans' response to radical Islamic terrorism, and the numerous hate crime hoaxes being perpetrated by young Muslim women, you might think that people are targeting Muslims for abuse out of fear of terrorism. Yet that's not happening.

The fact is Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, according to the research conducted by Open Doors USA, an organization monitoring persecution for the last 25 years.

Some of you may be in disbelief, but it's not surprising when you think about it. While we who live in the Western world enjoy our many civil liberties, large swaths of society still suffer under totalitarian or hostile regimes. Much of Africa and the Middle East are under Islamic rule. And despite what your liberal professors might claim, Islamic-run governments are not the open-minded, respectful systems you think they are.

In Asia, persecution against Christians abounds, thanks to the hostility generated by Communist governments. Marx said religion was the opiate of the masses, after all. So it stands to reason that countries shaped by his atheistic beliefs would arrest, torture, and kill people who believe Jesus Christ is the king of kings.

As it turns out, despite humanitarian organizations, the United Nations, and seemingly ubiquitous globalism, Christians continue to be persecuted. In fact, 2016 was the worst year for believers in Christ around the world.

“Christians throughout the world continue to risk imprisonment, loss of home and assets, torture, beheadings, rape and even death as a result of their faith,” the report stated.

The World Watch List (WWL) ranks the 50 countries across the globe where persecution of Christians is most severe.

In 25 years of chronicling and ranking the political and societal restrictions on religious freedom experienced by Christians worldwide, Open Doors researchers identified 2016 as the “worst year yet.”

The report corroborated an earlier study from the Turin-based Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), which found that during the year 2016, some 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith around the world. (via Breitbart)

Non-religious readers will find those numbers shocking and eye-opening, though Christians in America will most likely be aware of this. Churches send out missionaries who report on these numbers, and many Christians read publications like Voice of the Martyrs, which chronicles the struggles of believers around the world.

The worst countries include North Korea (number 1), Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, and Iran.

Now, I'm sure many of you don't understand how such persecution is possible. If you don't hold to a personal faith, you may not understand why this happens, especially to Christians, who enjoy freedom in America. In our modern age, how could something as quaint as religious faith (as it might seem to some) be the source of such hatred and hostility?

A large part of it stems from the power of Christianity to spread to new groups. All Christians have the same fundamental belief that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, who died for our sins and rose again. Those who believe in him will have eternal life and go to heaven when they die. It is a revolutionary concept that defies most traditional religions which teach strict adherence to rules and swift punishment for failure.

Many religions don't promise a place in heaven, even for their most fervent followers. The notion that accepting Christ will bring forgiveness of sins and guarantee a place in heaven is a powerful motivator for people to convert. You also have to consider that in many impoverished places in the world, people are eager for something to give them hope. Christianity offers salvation in the next life and blessings in this one. It's no surprise the Good News spreads as much as it does.

Governments under the influence of other religions naturally consider Christianity a threat and lash out by persecuting its followers. They deprive Christians of basic rights, like shutting down their businesses or taking their land. They arrest them on spurious charges; even if countries provide nominal religious freedom, they find ways to arrest Christians. In the worst places, Christians are the object of physical abuse, torture, rape, and death.

Many Americans are unaware of this reality because our media refuses to report on it. You can decide why that is on your own. But even in the Western world, Christians come under persecution. They may not be arrested or killed, but people who stand by their faith in Christ and the Bible are often the subjects of ridicule, harassment, ostracizing, and even lawsuits.  This is often done by political, social, or economic institutions.

BuzzFeed News pulled off a tricky feat Wednesday, managing to offend most of civil society and even its peers in progressive media with a hit piece on Christian reality television stars Chip and Joanna Gaines.

The stars of HGTV’s home renovation show Fixer Upper, it was reported by BuzzFeed, attend the Antioch Community Church in Waco, Texas, a church that has as one of its beliefs that marriage is between one man and one woman.

“Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Church is Firmly Against Same-Sex Marriage,” the headline announced. (via Breitbart)

Buzzfeed, which seems to be making it a regular practice of embarrassing themselves, published this piece in order to attack this popular Christian couple, by alleging they're against gay marriage. Even though there was no evidence to prove the Gaines' personal views, they made the assertion to put pressure on the network to either cancel or alter their program.

Either the Gaines openly embrace gay marriage- perhaps violating their personal beliefs- or they openly refute it and risk losing their very popular show. This is a clear attempt at attacking a family and their business because they are Christians. While this particular attempt was panned by others in the media, Buzzfeed still stands by their assertions.

Christians are often attacked in America because of their political views. While both major parties have Christian supporters, apparently it's not okay for Christians to vote for a conservative candidate like Donald Trump.

Jomo Johnson, founder of the Black Lives Matter branch in Savannah, Georgia and a former minister with the Presbyterian Church in America, created a satirical version of the Bible with Trump acting as Jesus. The book is made to shame Christians for supporting President-elect Trump.

The book is titled, The Gospel: King Trump Version, and follows the same structure as The Gospel of Mark. (via Milo)

Attempts to politicize people's faith is disgusting and insulting. While many may vote based on their conscience, shaped by their faith in Christ, that is their own business. To drag the Bible and Jesus Christ through the mud in order to criticize the incoming President, I can't think of a worse way Black Lives Matter can insult Christians. Outside of physically attacking us, that is.

This kind of "sophisticated" persecution of Christians goes all the way up to the White House. Under President Barack Obama, Christians were given the short end of the stick, as Arab Muslims were treated with more respect and preferential job appointments.

A new batch of private emails released by WikiLeaks shows the Obama Administration deliberately sought to fill top jobs with Muslims, specifically excluding Christians.

The insights were divulged from John Podesta’s account in an email chain showing that Obama’s transition team focused on hiring Muslims and Asians, yet deliberately avoided Christians—even if they had Arab backgrounds:

"In the candidates for top jobs, I excluded those with some Arab American background but who are not Muslim (e.g., George Mitchell). Many Lebanese Americans, for example, are Christian. In the last list (of outside boards/commissions), most who are listed appear to be Muslim American, except that a handful (where noted) may be Arab American but of uncertain religion (esp. Christian)." (via Milo)

Obama even welcomed more Muslim refugees, specifically denying Christians from entering the country:

According to CNSNews.com, who looked at the data, only 53 Syrian Christian refugees have been allowed into America, compared to 2,098 Syrian Muslims.

While everyone of every faith is suffering in a Syrian civil war that has been further complicated by the successful creation of an Islamic State throughout much of the country, there is no questions that Syrian Christians have been singled out for the worst kind of persecution under ISIS, including mass beheadings that do not discriminate against innocent women and even small children.

Nevertheless, despite this widely publicized bloodbath, since 2011, only 53 Christians have been offered refuge in the United States. (via Breitbart)

You'd think in a "modern" age such petty distinctions would not matter to bureaucratic institutions like the U.S. government or the United Nations. If people are in need, and our organizations can help, then they should, regardless of their religious affiliation. Yet it is the U.N. that controls our application process for refugees into the America; they are the ones denying Christians asylum.

The United Nations is silent over the shocking number of people being killed because of their faith in Christ. Where are the sanctions against these countries for their inhuman, despicable treatment of their own people? Why aren't the United Nations and other humanitarian organizations actually doing something about this crisis? Christians are persecuted more than any other religious group in the world, yet we and the rest of the global community do nothing.

If we don't protect our religious liberties and raise awareness about the injustices happening around the world, then even our rights will be at stake. Don't be surprised if, in a generation or two, even the United States is a place where Christians- and other religious groups- are persecuted openly.

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