Recognizing the Phenomenon of the Persecution of Christians Globally

December 1, 2019

We see the truth of the statement that Christians “emerge as the world’s ‘most widely targeted’ faith group” in the news items we post daily here at What we do not see is any concerted effort by government authorities or international human rights organizations to stop this persecution. There is no country in the world today that we can point to and say that while Christians were once persecuted there, now they live in safety and security. The international indifference to the persecution of Christians is a scandal of monstrous proportions. Please continue to pray that the hearts of world leaders would be softened, and that they would finally be moved to act to end this scourge.

For previous coverage of the persecution of Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere, and the imminent disappearance of Christianity from some of its ancient strongholds, see here.

“Recognizing The Phenomenon Of The Persecution Of Christians Globally,” by Ewelina U. Ochab, Forbes, November 30, 2019:

Acts of violence based on religion or belief are on the increase globally. This includes atrocities that amount to genocide and crimes against humanity. While such acts of violence (and also severe deprivation of human rights) affect all religious groups (especially minority religious groups), over the recent months, report after report has been raising the issues that relate to the persecution of Christians globally. 

A recent report, produced by the Bishop of Truro for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, identified “a global phenomenon of discriminatory behavior and physical attacks, some sadly deadly, on Christian children, women and men, often from the world’s poorest communities.” Studies consistently show that Christians suffer significantly higher levels of persecution and intolerance. In June 2018, the Pew Research Center stated that over the course of 2016 Christians suffered harassment in 144 countries. By this calculation, Christians emerge as the world’s “most widely targeted” faith group, slightly ahead of Islam.” Similarly, Open Doors’ World Watch List 2019 shows an increase in the persecution of Christians in 73 countries (affecting 245 million Christians). It says that Christians faced extreme, very high and high levels of persecution in 2018. According to Open Doors, the data for 2018 suggest an increase from 58 countries (215 million Christians) in 2017. However, as another recent report “Persecuted and Forgotten”, produced by the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need, emphasises “in spite of the growing wealth of information on the subject, the extent of the crisis facing Christians persecuted for their faith remains little known and understood.” 

Some of the concerns raised in the several report have been heard. Indeed, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that “in light of mounting evidence that Christians suffer the most widespread persecution, we asked the Bishop of Truro to carry out an independent review to ensure that our work in this area matched the scale of the problem. We have accepted, and will implement, all of the review’s challenging recommendations. We will use the U.K.’s global reach and program funding to improve the lives of persecuted people.”

Among the recommendations produced by Bishop of Truro in his report, one calls for the recognition of the phenomenon of the persecution of Christians. The underlying issue is that a new approach to this global issue is required, one that recognizes that the widespread issue of persecution of Christians is a phenomenon and not a series of single incidents of violent human rights abuses. A phenomenon that requires a more comprehensive response that acknowledges the level of the issue. 

Yet, while the U.K. is rightly exploring the issue, it is crucial to emphasize that some states have already reached that conclusion. Among others, Hungary recognizes that the attacks on Christians around the world are not a matter of coincidence, that they constitute a global phenomenon that will not cease on its own. As a result, the Government of Hungary has established the State Secretariat for the Aid of Persecuted Christians which has been tasked with “providing direct support for persecuted Christian communities and raising domestic and international political and public awareness of the phenomenon and increasing scale of Christian persecution in the 21st century.”…