The Frightening Rise Of Christian Persecution
There is a widely quoted statistic that more Christians died for their faith in the 20th century than in the 19 centuries leading up to it. But as bad as the 20th century was, the 21st century is starting to make that look like a Sunday picnic. In every corner of the globe, Christians are being shot, burned, hanged, tortured and even stuffed into metal shipping containers. Christian clergy are being marked for assassination around the world, hundreds of churches are being burned to the ground along with scores of homes and businesses owned by Christians. Dozens of nations across the globe have now passed strict anti-conversion laws in an attempt to stifle the spread of Christianity. In the countries where Christians are not yet facing physical persecution, they still must deal with open discrimination, lawsuits and increasing ridicule. Christianity is now the most hated and most persecuted religion on the plant. The reality is that the words that Jesus spoke in John 15:18 ring truer today than ever: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first."
Keep those words in mind as you read the following shocking reports of Christian persecution from all over the world....
Chinese authorities have conducted a crackdown on "illegal" Christian churches in recent months that church leaders are calling the harshest in years. Christians in China are required to worship in "churches" run by state-controlled organizations, and Christians who attempt to worship on their own are brutally persecuted.
Recently, hundreds of government police and hired thugs descended on a megachurch that served approximately 50,000 worshippers, smashing doors and windows, seizing Bibles and sending dozens of worshippers to hospitals with serious injuries. The co-pastors of the church are in prison and police vehicles remain parked on virtually every corner of the neighborhood where the church is located. Scenes such as this are regularly being repeated all over China as the Communist government seeks to eliminate all religion that is not government-sanctioned.
In a story that recently made headlines all over the world, thirty elderly women in Eritrea were arrested for simply praying together. But the truth is that this is just the latest episode in an ongoing persecution of Christians that is beyond brutal.
The Pakistan Christian TV website recently described the horrifc persecution of Christians in Eritrea this way....
Today some 3,000 Eritrean Christians are imprisoned for their faith. Some are in underground and solitary cells whilst some are in 'secret' prisons for the 'disappeared'. However, most are herded into unventilated shipping containers in the desert where dysentery and infectious diseases go untreated. Torture is routine.
The truth is that these unventilated shipping containers are extremely uncomfortable. The temperatures in these metal shipping containers can reach well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and in many instances Christians are not even let out of them to use the bathroom.
Assassinations Of Clergy
Increasingly, Christian clergy are being targeted for assassination all over the world. The following are just a few of the recent examples....
*A Russian priest that had been highly critical of Islam has been assassinated inside his own church.
*Leftist guerrillas in Colombia brutally executed a Christian pastor just outside his own home.
*Two masked members of the al-Shabaab Muslim militia shot and killed a Christian pastor in Somalia as he drove home from a worship service.
Persecution of Christians in India is getting so bad that India actually made International Christian Concern's Hall of Shame.
According to the ICC, 2008 was particularly bad, with "wave after wave of highly coordinated Hindu raids" that resulted in "the worst outbreak of anti-Christian violence in its recent history."
The statistics that the ICC quotes regarding the outbreak of persecution in India are sobering....
"In all, more than 100 Christians are confirmed dead, 4,000 homes have burned down, and over 50,000 Christians have fled their homes."
The following is just one example of what is going on in India. This story was originally posted by The Voice of the Martyrs....
On April 25, Pastor Mohan Babu and two other believers were severely beaten by 35 Hindu extremists for holding a Vacation Bible School (VBS) near Bangalore City, in Karnataka State. According to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts in India, the three-day VBS was organized by Ragigudda Baptist Church. VOM sources said, "Around 60 children from different backgrounds were attending the VBS. As they were worshiping, about 35 people belonging to a Hindu extremist group forcefully entered the hut chanting slogans and demolished the hut. The extremists mercilessly beat Mohan, Samuel and Krishna, alleging forceful conversion. The perpetrators chased the children without any courtesy and tore the Bibles. Mohan was severely injured on his lips and was profusely bleeding. The believers are living in fear and did not lodge complaint with the police."
Hundreds of Muslim villagers in southern Egypt recently burned and looted scores of Christian-owned shops. Christians in Egypt live in a constant state of fear and thousands are being forced to relocate. In fact, the forced deportation of Egyptian Christians from their homes by the government in order to "protect" them is rapidly increasing.
Saudi Arabia, of course, strictly forbids the conversion of any Muslim to Christianity. The penalty for conversion is death. Back in 2008, The daughter of a man who works for Saudi Arabia's religious police became a Christian after she joined an Internet chat group. He responded by cutting out her tongue and burning her to death.
The United Kingdom and Europe
All across Europe, "anti-proselytising" laws are being passed. Not only that, but other laws are being adopted that force Christians to deny their beliefs. For example, the U.K. government is being forced by the European Commission to eliminate exemptions that allow churches to refuse to employ homosexual staff.
North Korea is one of the most brutally repressive governments in the history of mankind. Tonight more than 200,000 Christians will try to stay warm in horrific North Korean labor camps.
Christians there are considered little more than dogs as the following story from The Voice Of The Martyrs illustrates.....
The young brown-eyed girl looked up at her mother. What would she decide?
Earlier that morning, the young girl's mother, their pastor, and twenty-six others in her North Korean village of GokSan were bound and taken before a screaming crowd of Communists.
One of the guards ordered Pastor Kim and the other Christians, "Deny Christ, or you will die." The words chilled her. How could they ask her to deny Jesus? She knew in her heart he was real. They all quietly refused.
Then the Communist guard shouted directly at the adult Christians, "Deny Christ, or we will hang your children." The young girl looked up at her mother. She gripped her and knowing how much her mom loved her. her mother then leaned down. With confidence and peace she whispered, "Today, my love, I will see you in heaven."
All of the children were hanged.
The remaining believers were then brought out onto the pavement and forced to lie down in front of a huge steamroller. The Communists gave them one last chance. "Deny this Jesus or you will be crushed." The Christians had already given up their children; there was no turning back.
As the driver started the heavy piece of equipment, the singing from the villagers started softly. "More love, O Christ, to thee, more love to thee."
Even with everything that has happened, the United States still offers Christians more freedom than virtually anywhere else on earth. But that is quickly changing as well. Christians in the U.S. just do not have the same level of freedom that they used to experience.
For example, school teachers in Florida say that they are being forced to hide in closets to pray after a controversial court ruling. All expressions of Christian faith are being ruthlessly pushed out of the public sphere by very powerful interest groups.
Calls for government repression of Christianity in the United States have grown louder than ever before. The Huffington Post even published a deeply disturbing article that calls evangelical Christianity the number one source of domestic terrorism in the United States and that calls on the Secret Service and the FBI to investigate and "infiltrate" pro-life and evangelical Christian groups.
Not only that, but many of the hottest best selling books in recent years have publicly mocked Christianity....
Just consider the titles of a few recent New York Times bestsellers.....
*"God is Not Great: Why Religion Poisons Everything" by journalist Christopher Hitchens.
*"The End of Faith" by atheist author Sam Harris.
*"The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins.
But this anti-Christian sentiment is just not held by a few elitists. The reality is that it has spread to much of the general population.
For example, the following are the titles of just a few anti-Christian threads on one of the most popular political discussion forums on the Internet....
“Dirty, Filthy, Christians”: Treatise On The Most Dangerous Death Cult In Human History
How can we destroy Christians?
Christians should not participate in politics
Why Christians are so ******* lame...
Attention Heterosexuals! Repent! Jesus Can Finally Make You Gay!
Christian are sub-humans
The truth is that hatred for Christians and Christianity is rapidly increasing.
Jesus warned us that these days would come.
In Matthew 24:9, Jesus told us how the world will treat Christians in the end times....
"Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me."
The times ahead of us are not referred to as "the Tribulation" for nothing. It will be an absolute bloodbath for Christians. The entire world system will be geared towards eliminating all traces of the true Christian faith. Members of the same family will even betray one another to the authorities.
The truth is that things are not going to get any easier for Christians from here on out. Someday soon there will be no place to hide from Christian persecution.
When that day arrives, what will you do?