We can wag our finger at other countries’ trampling religious rights, but we share in the guilt.
Seven Christian families were forced to flee their village in India under threat of forced conversion to Hinduism. For refusing, they would have been subject to bodily harm or even worse. Unfortunately, this is not news anymore. In a world where tolerance is not only encouraged, it is demanded, people nevertheless are being threatened and even murdered for following Jesus.
Last month, at least seven families had to escape their homes in Masiya Mahuwatoli village in the Jharkhand state of India after harassment and threats from the local fundamentalist group Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM). On June 12, the HJM made a list of the Christian families residing in the village and confronted them, telling them they had to renounce their faith and convert to Hinduism. If the Christians did not recant, they would be excommunicated, prohibited from using the village road, deprived of their land, excluded from government rations, and prevented access to communal water.
Several families fled, including a pregnant woman, but the HJM did not stop there. On June 14, about 22 HJM members entered a home and dragged a man and his widowed mother to the street. Taken to the temple, they refused to renounce their Christian faith. As punishment, their Bibles were burned, and a conversion ceremony was carried out. That same evening, the group damaged the home of Mangra Munda, who said they told him they were going to kill him; fortunately, he managed to escape. Of the 47 Christians residing in the village, 37 fled to seek refuge in other villages.
The War On Christians
It’s a sad and scary fact that the war against Christians is getting worse, not better. Open Doors released its 2019 World Watch List on global persecution with this terrifying observation: “Persecution is increasing at an alarming rate.” In fact, according to the study, “each day, a staggering 11 Christians are killed for their faith in the top 50 countries ranked on the World Watch List.”
North Korea remains the No. 1 worst country for Christians, with Afghanistan coming in at second. Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, and India round out the top 10 of the Watch List’s top 50 countries.
Here are some other disturbing monthly statistics:
345 Christians are killed for faith-related reasons.
105 churches and Christian buildings are burned or attacked.
219 Christians are detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned.
The recording period for the 2019 World Watch List shows some other staggering figures for Christians in the top 50 countries for persecution and the most dangerous to be a Christian.
1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide.
4,136 were killed for faith-related reasons – 11 per day.
1,266 Churches or Christian buildings were attacked.
2,625 Christians were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced, and imprisoned.
Christian Women: The Worst Persecuted
Despite women’s liberation, the #MeToo movement, and the left’s loud proclamation of equality for all, it seems that women still face an upward battle for basic rights, including freedom to practice their religion of choice. Instead of gaining equal rights and staking a position among the other genders and minority groups, women are being marginalized in their own sports pursuits and persecuted for their faith.
According to the Open Doors study:
“In many places, they [women] experience ‘double persecution’— one for being a Christian and one for being a woman. Even in the most restricted circumstances, gender-specific persecution is a key means of destroying the minority Christian community. This kind of persecution is difficult to assess because it is complex, violent and hidden—in many cultures where women are specifically targeted, it is difficult if not impossible to report accurate numbers.”
Christian Persecution In The U.S.? You Betcha
While the United States did not make the top 50 worst countries for Christians on the World Watch List, that doesn’t mean persecution of some variety isn’t going on around us – and, worse, becoming a dangerous trend. The supposedly tolerant left is increasingly intolerant of those who do not subscribe to its beliefs and agenda. And this is glaringly obvious in today’s politics.
Just a couple of months ago, one of Christianity’s primary religious holidays was attacked – or rather the believers were. Remember Bill and Hillary Clinton’s Easter tweet calling Christians “Easter worshippers”? Who knows if they were just trying to be politically correct or intentionally sought to insult the world’s Christians?
Those on the right are being attacked on every level, it appears, and because many on the right are Christians, it makes sense that Christianity is being attacked. Our beliefs and politics are branded intolerant and racist. For example, Colorado baker Jack Phillips has been sued repeatedly because his Christian beliefs conflicted with a customer’s demand for a cake for a gay marriage cake or a transgender ceremony. “In God We Trust” was a fundamental pillar in the birth of our nation, yet now such a phrase is considered insulting and in many government establishments is being removed. Politicians who oppose bills that place restrictions on Christian beliefs are villainized. A teacher in New Jersey was suspended for giving a student a Bible, and a football coach in Washington state was placed on leave because he dared to say a prayer before a game. Conservative speakers have been banned from speaking at schools, while fascist hate groups such as Antifa are praised by some on the left.
Who would have ever thought late-term abortions would become not only acceptable but also defended as a woman’s right? Or that we’d allow an anti-American politician such as Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to remain in office? Omar blatantly denigrated Christians for their positions on abortions and a woman’s right to choose:
“Let’s just be honest, for the religious Right, this isn’t simply about their care or concern for life. If they cared about or were concerned about children, they would be concerned about the children that are being detained and those that are dying in camps across our borders, or the children who are languishing in hunger and facing homelessness.”
While we fight to bring religious freedom to other countries and provide asylum to those who are attacked for their beliefs, we need to take a look closer to home. Our freedom of faith is rapidly decreasing – especially if you happen to be a Christian.