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Waking up to the scale of global Christian persecution

Our hope for persecuted Christians is in the Lord, the creator of the heavens and the earth. Ultimately we know that the cross that so many Orthodox Christians and Christians of other faith traditions are carrying worldwide will lead to the resurrection.

At the same time, this article is correct that “with more Christians facing the prospect of persecution every day, it matters more than ever that we in the West wake up to the scale of this persecution and respond to help those in need.” We hope and pray that more Christians will wake up to this imperative.

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.

“Waking up to the scale of global Christian persecution,” Scottish Catholic Observer, March 6, 2020:

Christian persecution around the world is much worse than we thought, writes James Bundy

Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, and rates of these persecutions are on the rise. Our brothers and sisters are being killed, tortured and silenced because of their Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. We have a duty to be aware of this persecution and to offer our brothers and sisters the support they need, as well as grow in our Christian Faith.

Reading about the persecution Christians go through is a painful experience. Beheadings, bombs and gunshots are what millions around the world face every day simply for practising their Faith. Yet, they still go to Mass, Confession and proclaim the truth everywhere they go. Their love and commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Mother Church should inspire us all.

With more Christians facing the prospect of persecution every day, it matters more than ever that we in the West wake up to the scale of this persecution and respond to help those in need.

Eye opening report

It is why I make a commitment to keep up to date with the latest reports on Christian persecutions, parliamentary debates and, sadly, the most recent tragedies.

One such report was conducted by the Bishop of Truro after being established by the then Foreign and Commonwealth Secretary, Jeremy Hunt MP. This report served as an eye-opener to me, but more importantly, to a number of MPs as well.

This report made clear that Christians were ‘the most persecuted group’ in the world. The same report also cites the Open Doors World Watch List Report 2019 Key Findings by stating that ‘approximately 245 million Christians living in the top 50 countries experience high levels of persecution or worse.’ The widespread nature of Christian persecution is also made clear by references to attacks in Egypt, Pakistan, Indonesia, Myanmar, Sudan, and North Korea.

Call for action

The World Watch List for Christian Persecution also emphasises the wide-ranging nature of the problem by listing North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan as the top five nations on the World Watch List. On top of this, the report concludes that, in 2019 alone, 2,983 Christians worldwide were killed because of their Faith, 9,488 churches and other Christian buildings were attacked and 3,711 believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned.

In the West, and particularly in the United Kingdom, we have been far too slow to react to this growing persecution. The only incident of Christian persecution I remember getting any sort of coverage in the mainstream media was the atrocious Easter bombings in Sri Lanka—and much of that coverage was because Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton referred to those persecuted as ‘Easter worshippers.’

The Christian news story that appeared to get the most media coverage last year was the burning of Notre-Dame Cathedral. It was a tragedy, as it was a beautiful building designed to aid us all to God, but is it as sad as the death of over 2,500 Christians? Of course it is not!…

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