In Nigeria and many other countries around the world, the persecution and open murder of Christians is happening on a daily basis, but it hasn’t received the attention the horrific story warrants.
According to the Nigerian Voice, “The number of defenseless Christians hacked to death by Nigeria’s Islamic Jihadists and their collaborators in the security forces in the past 200 days or 1st January to 18th July 2021 has risen to no fewer than 3, 462 and this is just sixty-eight deaths less than the total deaths of Nigerian Christians in 2020 which the Open Doors’ World Watch List of Persecuted Christians put at ‘3,530.’
The number of Churches threatened or attacked and closed or destroyed or burnt since January 2021 is also estimated to be around 300 with at least ten priests or pastors abducted or killed by the jihadists.”
In 2019, The Christian Post reported: “Church leaders said that over 6,000 persons, mostly children, women, and the aged have been maimed and killed in night raids by armed Fulani herdsmen … killing, maiming, burning, and destruction of churches and other sacred places of worship, and forceful seizure and occupation of ancestral, worship, farming and dwelling lands of the indigenous Christians.”
This is genocide.
According to Open Doors: “Of the top 50 countries where Christians are persecuted, 35 of them are majority Christian; and 30 of the top 50 have seen a rise in Christian persecution in the past year…The Islamist movement is the part of Islam which embraces a clear political agenda for bringing nations under Muslim domination and Sharia law.”
But it isn’t just in Nigeria where persecution of Christians is occurring.
In China, last year, according to a Chinese Religious Liberty watchdog publication Bitter Winter, “the coronavirus outbreak significantly affected China’s economy and people’s livelihoods, primarily low-income households. Without much help from the state amid the pandemic, religious residents are also coerced to renounce their faith, or their welfare benefits will be canceled.
In April, the government of a town administered by Linfen, a prefecture-level city in the northern province of Shanxi, called officials from all villages under its jurisdiction for a meeting. The participants were ordered to remove crosses and religious symbols and images from the homes of people of faith who receive social welfare payments and replace them with portraits of Chairman Mao and President Xi Jinping. The officials were instructed to annul the subsidies to those who protest the order.”
The Catholic News Agency reported that “authorities have resumed action to remove crosses from buildings and crack down on religious practices. The latest round of enforcement actions has included the removal of crosses from buildings belonging to the state-run churches. According to a report from UCA News, priests say they are cooperating in the removal of exterior crosses in hopes that entire church buildings will not be demolished or converted into a building for secular use.”
In Egypt, Coptic Christians—a group that can trace their ethnic lineage back to the times of the ancient Egyptians and their Christian lineage back to the times of the Apostle Mark—have recently been targeted by Islamists and non-Jihadi Egyptians.
National Review reported: “Egypt’s Copts make up approximately 10% of the population, but have been targeted by Islamist groups as well as fellow Egyptians in the last few decades as sectarianism became virulent throughout Egypt and terrorism spread from Syria’s war zone. ISIS has claimed responsibility for several church bombings, including the two 2017 Palm Sunday bombings that killed 45 people and injured over 100. More recently, in November 2018, Islamic militants opened fire on two buses carrying Copts on a pilgrimage to an ancient monastery, killing seven.”
The world is largely unaware of what is happening to Christians around the world. This needs to change before it’s too late.