Alarming New Report Reveals Christianity Under Attack Worldwide

April 21, 2017

by Maggie Gallagher

In September 2008, a group of Islamists invaded the home of an Indonesian pastor, dragged him to the street, and demanded he convert to Islam. “When he refused, they cut off his finger,” reports Under Caesar’s Sword, a new study by 17 scholars of Christian persecution in 25 countries. “He still refused, so they chopped off his hand. When he refused again, they cut off his arms, and when he refused again they sawed off his legs, ending by chopping off his head. The pastor’s wife met the same fate.”

It’s not just Islamists or Islam. “Communist regimes like China, Vietnam, Laos, Cuba, and North Korea are a second type. India, Sri Lanka, and Russia exemplify a third type, in which various forms of religious nationalism promote a fusion of state, faith, and national identity to the detriment of Christian minorities. A fourth category comprises regimes that impose a harsh secular ideology, such as the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia.”

Nor is it only governments. “Non-state actors—populations at large and organized groups, including violent religious extremists and terrorist groups—are often responsible for repression, too.”

Why does this report focus on Christians? Because, these scholars conclude, “Christians are the most widely targeted religious community, suffering terrible persecution globally.” Estimates by human rights organizations vary, “but even the most conservative estimates of the Christian proportion of global religious persecution do not fall below 60 percent.” In 2009, the International Society for Human Rights, a secular NGO based in Frankfurt, estimated Christians were the victims of 80 percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world. The Pew Research Center found that in every year between 2007 and 2014, Christians have been targeted for harassment in more countries than any other religious group.

Why are Christians the primary object of persecution worldwide? Very few Christian majority nations persecute their religious minorities. But there are exceptions, these scholars point out, such as in Russia where Vladimir Putin is encouraging a nationalist-Orthodox fusion of identity and exposing minority Christian sects to “strong discrimination.” Then there is Communist Cuba, where the majority of the population still identify as Catholics and are nonetheless persecuted by their own government.

And yet despite the gruesome stories of persecution — and the occasional acts of heroic martyrdom — the press remains remarkably uninterested.

“Perhaps the most troubling aspect of this persecution is the lack of press coverage it receives,” the study notes.  Georgetown’s Religious Freedom Project analyzed 323 major reports published by Human Rights Watch, from 2008 to mid-2011. Only 2.5 percent of its reports were concerned with religious persecution of any kind, and less than half of these tiny number reported on Christian persecution.

What about the liberal democracies of the West? The scholars acknowledge — and it is important emphasize this –that Christians here do not face persecution. Reading about what is happening to Christians in much of the rest of the world reminds me: we American Christians are wusses.

But the report notes Christians and other traditional faith communities do face a growing, troubling hostility among the powerful.

“The Pew Research Center reports that between 2007 and 2013, governmental restrictions on religion increased in 37 out of 43 European countries, as well as in Canada and the United States, while social hostilities increased in 38 out of 43 countries.” They point out: “Such restrictions are motivated by a secular ideology and involve imposition of serious material costs on Christian believers due to their commitment to traditional Christian teachings.”

In many Islamic nations, in Communist China, and in Putin’s Russia, it is not clear what we can do to protect the persecuted Christians. But the first step is noticing them, remembering them, and paying attention.

Maggie Gallagher is a senior fellow at the American Principles Project.

Archive: Maggie Gallagher

11 comments on “Alarming New Report Reveals Christianity Under Attack Worldwide”

  • Maurine says:

    Hi there to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of this
    web site; this blog carries awesome and actually excellent stuff in support of visitors.wholesale
    nba jerseys China

  • Geri says:

    Hi there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most.
    Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Thank you, I appreciate it!cheap mlb jerseys from China

  • Madeline says:

    Pretty great post. I just stumbled upon your weblog
    and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.
    In any case I’ll be subscribing for your rss feed and I’m hoping you write once more soon!wholesale basketball
    jerseys from China

  • Poppy says:

    Fully consider this – it’s never easy to get points such as
    this throughout but you’ve done an admirable job for
    your audience

  • says:

    The obvious area we can earn money in is that of laying bets – that is betting that an final result is not going to happen, for example that a horse will
    lose a race.

  • Moses says:

    I have read so many content on the topic of the blogger
    lovers however this piece of writing is actually a fastidious article, keep it up.wholesale nhl jerseys from China

  • Gaye says:

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering issues with your RSS.
    I don’t understand why I can’t join it. Is there anybody having
    similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the answer will
    you kindly respond? Thanks!!wholesale jerseys free shipping

  • says:

    People should have hope and a traditional life, which extreme
    eczema sufferers shouldn’t have (as it’s best to very
    well know)!

  • Cruz says:

    Awesome blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from
    somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple adjustements would really make my blog stand out.
    Please let me know where you got your theme. Kudoscheap mlb jerseys China

  • woodworking tools crossword says:

    A wood turner can make use of all this wooden that otherwise could be destined for the fireplace or landfill.

  • Keenan says:

    That is very fascinating, You’re a very professional blogger.
    I’ve joined your feed and look ahead to looking for extra of your fantastic post.
    Also, I have shared your site in my social networks3597

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *