The troubling resurgence of Christian persecutions

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Christian persecution is taking place in many parts of the World at a much higher number of victims than in times of the Roman Empire. The ten most responsible governments for systematic persecution and violations of religious freedom are in descending order: North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and India. The fact that India is among these top ten violators is hard to believe to many who cannot understand how such a democratic country often allows at leisure Hindu radicals attacking Christians with practically no consequences. Note that with the exception of North Korea and India, all the other violators are muslim. In fact, among the next 10 in this woesome ranking, 8 of them are also muslim countries: Syria, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Iraq, Egypt, Algeria, Uzbekistan and Myanmar. The following National Review report is quite revealing about this tragedy.

Ranking of Nations Where Christians Are Persecuted Most

Some old standbys, and then some surprises  One of many vandalized churches in some of the countries listed

Jan 29.– The group Open Doors has released the latest iteration of its World Watch List. The ranking covers the worst 50 nations with respect to religious persecution of Christians. Most nations on the list are perennials, instantly recognized by those who follow the issue. The details vary a bit year by year, but the outcome of this tragic sport rarely changes much.

Indeed, one imagines religious persecutors involved in a competition to see which state can be more inhospitable to freedom of conscience. There is an aging champ, still in the lead but closely trailed by new aspirants. A previous contender reemerges for a new run at the top prize. Most of those seeking victory have different strengths. Some competitors emphasize direct government repression, others vicious social pressure. A favorite technique is mob violence with official acquiescence. There are more.

Open Doors noted some broad trends. The People’s Republic of China has been using technology for dramatically ill ends. Less dramatically, India, too, is using facial recognition. Overall, “in the most populated countries on earth, Christians live in a surveillance state.”

Although the Middle East has traditionally been the fount of Islamist violence, “sub-Saharan Africa is increasingly under threat from Islamic extremist groups. Particularly in countries or in regions where government control is weak or non-existent, these groups are killing, kidnapping and sowing chaos with impunity.” Alas, the violence is not limited to Africa. “Militant Islam spreads violence and fear in Southeast and South Asia.” For instance, Sri Lanka, long the host of a brutish Buddhism that battered Christian believers, saw Islamist terrorist attacks on Christians.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy, at least symbolically, is the threatened disappearance of Christians from the birthplace of the faith in the Middle East ...

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