Barnabas Fund - International Headquarters River Street, Pewsey, Wilthire. Phone: +44 1672 565030 Latitude: 51 deg 23 min 18 sec N Longitude: 1 deg 45 min 48 sec W .
Facing the Rising Tide: Anti-Christian P...

Email:

Facing the Rising Tide: Anti-Christian Persecution across the World

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

Facing the Rising Tide: Anti-Christian Persecution across the World

Project(s): 00-000

Country/Region: Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia

On Easter Monday the Archbishop of Canterbury appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week and was asked to comment on the troubles currently being experienced by non-Western Christians. In his reply he said, “We lose sight in this country very often of just how vulnerable some of the Christian communities around the world are... Christian minorities that have in Muslim environments been part of the furniture for many, many centuries are suddenly seen, suddenly cast as Western outposts, and that makes them particularly vulnerable.” As examples he mentioned the Christians of Iraq (specifically Mosul) and Nigeria.

In recent weeks Barnabas Fund has reported on the acute sufferings of both these Christian communities. In Mosul at least fifteen Christians have been murdered since Christmas, including eight killed in the space of ten grim February days, and seven bomb attacks on Christian targets left many injured and property damaged. Over 300 Christian families fled in fear from the city. Jos, the capital of Plateau State in Nigeria, has seen three horrific incidents of large-scale anti-Christian violence in January and March, in which hundreds of people have died. Inaccurate international reporting of the first outbreak unfairly cast Christians as the aggressors, and they suffered savage “retaliation” at the hands of armed Muslim mobs.

The Archbishop’s comments are to be warmly welcomed for raising awareness of the painful difficulties faced by Christians in these three countries. But they represent only a small fraction of the places in which Christians suffer grievously for their faith. These include large parts of Africa, almost the whole of the Middle East, most of Asia and even some places in Europe. The body of Christ is stricken and bleeding across a vast area of the globe.

Moreover, the problem of persecution has worsened significantly in the last 20 years, fuelled in many parts of the world by a growing and increasingly militant Islamist movement. In the interests of international security Western governments are keen to present Islam as a moderate and peaceful religion. But this is largely wishful thinking. Injustice, oppression and violence towards non-Muslims are sanctioned, even encouraged, by the Islamic source texts, and these cruelties have dominated Muslim relations with Christians throughout history. Where Islam holds sway politically and culturally, Christian minorities often experience it as both intolerant and aggressive.

So in many Muslim-majority countries, very different in culture and separated by thousands of miles, Christians are even now facing repeated incidents of discrimination, harassment and violence. For example:

  • In Egypt, Muslim mobs have been targeting Christians in various locations, destroying their property and livelihoods, burning their churches, and forcibly converting Christian women to Islam. Many Christians have been injured, and some killed.

  • In Iran, a number of church leaders who are active in sharing their faith with Muslims and winning them for Christ have been arrested and imprisoned. Muslims who convert suffer harassment and discrimination, and live in fear of even worse reprisals.

  • In Pakistan, the “blasphemy law” prescribes the death sentence for “defiling the name of Muhammad” and a life sentence for desecrating the Qur’an. Christians are very vulnerable to false and malicious accusations, and in some places they are being pressured to observe Islamic customs.

  • In Indonesia, Islamist groups persuade local authorities and Muslim communities to help them force the closure of Christian churches, whether by legal means, intimidation or violence. Hundreds of buildings have been destroyed by angry crowds.

But it is not only in Muslim-majority contexts that Christians are enduring persecution. They may be endangered by any dominant religion or ideology. For instance, Hindu-majority India has witnessed brutal and extensive instances of anti-Christian violence in recent years. Christians in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka have seen their leaders and buildings attacked, and many barely survive in desperate poverty and need. And in Communist China, churches that refuse to register with the authorities are continually harassed: their buildings are closed and their pastors imprisoned.

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, says,

As the persecution of Christians has increased in recent years, the national and international media have too often ignored or even misrepresented it. But since 1993 Barnabas Fund has sought to make known the trials and needs of our suffering brothers and sisters, and to relieve their distress in whatever ways we can. Will you help us to do this, with your gifts and above all with your prayers?

Donate Today

If you would like to make a gift to strengthen persecuted Christians in the face of their hardship and grief, please click to donate online using our secure server for 00-000 (General Fund).

If you prefer to telephone, dial: 0800 587 4006 from within the UK or +44 1672 565031 from outside the UK. Please quote project reference 00-000 (General Fund).

If you prefer to send a cheque by post: Click this link for the address of our regional office. Please quote project reference 00-000 (General Fund).

Please Pray:
  • Give thanks for those Christian leaders who are prepared to speak out on behalf of the persecuted Church. Pray that many more Christians in the West will be made aware of the problem and moved to help.

  • Pray for Christians who are currently suffering for their faith, that the Lord will give them patience and peace in their trials. Pray that they may have the grace to remain faithful to Him and forgive their persecutors.

  • Pray for the media, that they may report anti-Christian persecution accurately and fairly. Pray that their reporting may help the victims rather than exposing them to the risk of further attacks.

  • Pray for Western governments, that they will have a clear understanding of the causes of persecution and the will to act against it.
Help us: Share this article

Email:

Facing the Rising Tide: Anti-Christian Persecution across the World

To

Email address:
Separate multiple addresses with a comma (,). Maximum of 10

From

Your name:
Your email address:
Security test:
Please enter the numbers that appear here in the box below.
refresh captcha
CAPTCHA Image
Security code:

Details provided here will never be used in any other context

christian, persecution, charity, church, persecuted, sookhdeo, Islam

Other articles

No related articles found.

Follow Barnabas

or

receive news & appeal emails as they are published

From Twitter

From Twitter_icon

    Daily prayer

    Daily prayer_icon
    • “If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also,” said the Lord Jesus (John 15:20). According to the Pew Centre for Research, Christians face religious oppression in 151 of the world’s countries, whether direct or indirect. On this Barnabas Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, let us remember our brothers and sisters facing tremendous pressures of all kinds because of their faithfulness to Christ and help them with our prayers (Philippians 1:19). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed 12 hours ago

    • Hardline Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka are becoming increasingly militant, and in two recent incidents Christians were hospitalised with injuries sustained in mob violence. The General Secretary of one such group, Ravana Balaya, which launched an anti-Christian campaign on 15 July, said they would “advise” Christians to halt their activities but, if the Christians failed to take heed, the group would take firmer action. Pray for Christians in Sri Lanka who face opposition from their neighbours, and ask God to protect them from further violence as they seek to maintain their witness (Acts 4:19-20). Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Fri, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Since General al-Sisi became President of Egypt in June, Christians in the country have felt the pressure upon them ease off somewhat. However, a convert from Islam, Bishoy Armia Boulous, previously known as Mohammed Hegazy, remains in prison. He was rearrested on 4 December 2013, charged with defaming Islam after he fi led a public lawsuit to change the religious affiliation listed on his national identification card from Muslim to Christian. Please pray that there will be genuine religious liberty for Christians from a Muslim background as well as those born into Christian families. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Thu, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Lift up in prayer Christians living in Minya, Egypt whose homes were attacked on 5 August by local Muslims. The violence broke out after Muslims learned that believers in Yaacoub planned to build a new church. Opposition to construction of church buildings is one of the most common reasons behind anti-Christian attacks Scores of Egyptian churches were attacked following the removal of Mohammed Morsi by Muslims in Egypt. Restrictions on the building of churches, a cause of hardship for Christians for many years, were lifted in Egypt’s recent new constitution. Pray that the assailants will be brought to justice and that the plans for the local church building will continue. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Wed, Oct 2014 00:00

    • Give thanks that ten Egyptian churches destroyed in anti-Christian attacks last year have now been reopened. Around 60 churches across Egypt were attacked by Islamists in the summer of 2013. The assaults were provoked by the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. Although the current Egyptian government has promised to rebuild all the damaged churches, most of the Christians have not yet received aid and some are worshipping in ruined buildings. Pray that the rebuilding process will continue and that the Lord will protect His people in Egypt, especially while they are still meeting in damaged buildings. Subscribe to the prayer points rss feed Tue, Oct 2014 00:00

    © Barnabas Fund 1997 - 2014 All rights reserved.
    Barnabas Fund & Barnabas Aid are registered trade marks