Syndicated with permission of Micha El Sawdy
by Micha El Sawdy
It was reported last month by the BBC that Christian persecution in certain parts of the world, and especially in the Islamic world, is at “near genocide levels.” Iraq’s Christian population is said to be “close to extinction” because of the radical Islamist threat that believers have been facing there for years. And Christians are said to be facing “extreme persecution” in Iran, North Korea, China, Egypt, Turkey, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, parts of Africa, and many other muslim-majority nations.
A century ago, the population of believers in the Middle East was 20%, but it has today dwindled to under 4%. There are many more alarming statistics which I highlight in my books.
Here in America, if you hold a Biblical worldview you have become public enemy number one. We are absolutely loathed for our strong stances against abortion and LGBT “Pride.”
After reading many articles recently about Christian persecution around the world being largely ignored by the mainstream media, I feel that it is once again time that I shine a light on the increasing threats that believers are facing across the globe.
In both of my books, I addressed Christian persecution; but it was in my first book, “The Signs of Our Times: 12 Biblical Reasons Why This Could Be the Generation of the Rapture,” that I devoted an entire chapter to the latter-day sign pointing to Christ’s imminent return. Rather than repeating much of what I wrote in the book in this article, I thought that I would share a few pages from that chapter…
(Excerpt from pages 23-28 of Chapter Two: CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION)
The Islamists commit scores of terror attacks against us “infidels” during their “holy days.” During the first day of the Islamic month of Ramadan, in 2017, followers of the so-called “religion of peace” murdered over two dozen Christian churchgoers in Egypt. 28 Coptic Christians lost their lives in that attack, and another 25 were wounded.
A bus was traveling to a church south of Cairo, when three four-wheel drive vehicles pulled up alongside and opened fire. When the bus stopped, ten gunmen wearing fatigues and face masks exited their vehicles and approached the passengers of the bus who remained alive. Then came the life or death question…
“Are you Christian?”
When the passengers answered “Yes,” the Islamic terrorists distributed a pamphlet of Quranic verses which explained Ramadan. The attackers then ordered the Christians to recite the “Shahada” from the pamphlet, which is the Muslim profession of faith. When our brothers and sisters in Christ refused, and said, “No. We were born Christian and we will die Christian,” the terrorists opened fire at close range and murdered those who refused to convert to Islam.
The Coptic Christians only make up 10% of Egypt’s population of 92-million, and that is still 10% too many for the Islamic nationalists. The Muslims murdering Christians in Islamic nations are not all members of terror groups like ISIS, rather they are regular everyday adherents of Islam. Their “holy book” instructs them to strike terror in the hearts of unbelievers (Christians and Jews), and to “slay” us wherever they find us.
Any Christian who says that “we are all children of God,” and “Islam is a religion of peace,” needs to say those words while looking into the eyes of a Coptic Christian. It is my humble opinion that the Copts would strongly disagree with you.
Nine out of the Top Ten worst countries for Christian persecution are Islamic nations. They are Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Eritrea, Libya, Iraq, Yemen, and Iran. African nations like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Central African Republic, may not be Muslim-majority (like much of the continent) but that hasn’t stopped Islamist groups from bringing their oppression and terror to Christians in those nations as well.
Asian nations, such as Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Maldives, have shown that Islamic persecution of believers is not exclusive to the Middle East. Also in Asia, there is another alarming form of Christian persecution – and that is “government-led persecution.” The number one offender in this category, and the number one most dangerous country in the world for a Christian to live, is North Korea.
Public worship has been forbidden there. The Christian population, of around 300,000, are forced to hide their beliefs and fellowship. At least 50,000 Christians are wasting away in prison or labor camps for their Faith. Open Doors USA says that “it is illegal to be a Christian in North Korea, and Christians are often sent to labor camps or are killed if they are discovered.”
I would be arrested for carrying a Holy Bible on the streets of North Korea, and for simply saying “God bless you” or “Merry Christmas.” Believers, who have been fortunate enough to escape the hell of living under Kim Jong Un’s dictatorial regime, give horrific accounts of forced starvation – forced abortion – crucifixion of believers over fires – and Christians being crushed under steamrollers.
There is another government-persecutor in the Asia region, who should be much higher on the list, and that is China. The Chinese government regularly orders the demolition of churches, perceiving the Christian Faith to be a “threat” to the Communist government. Some Chinese believers in the country have been ordered to remove images of Jesus Christ, and to replace them with pictures of President Xi Jinping.
In 2018, Xi cemented his position as China’s dictator – possibly for life. The Chinese parliament voted to eliminate the term limit for the Presidency, paving the way for Xi to serve indefinitely. Spokesmen for the President have issued statements that you would expect to hear in a “Last Days” Christian film about the AntiChrist.
One of Xi’s officials, Qi Yan, has said that “Many rural people are ignorant.. They think God is their Savior. After our cadres’ work, they’ll realize their mistakes and think: we should no longer rely on Jesus, but on the party for help.” Another official close to the President made a similar statement, saying, “Christians are ignorant, and need to be taught to worship the state. Not God.” Under Xi’s leadership, thousands of Crosses have been forcefully removed from churches, hundreds of churches have been destroyed, Christian pastors have been arrested, and the Holy Bible has even been banned.
In early 2018, Chinese Christians were unable to find the Holy Bible listed on their country’s biggest online retailers. If you searched the word “Bible” on Amazon, Taobao, Jingdong, or Dang Dang, you would receive a “no results” response – according to the South China Morning Post. Search analytics revealed a large spike in the keyword “Bible” on March 30th; but by April 1st, the analytics showed “0” searches. The data proved that the government began censoring the word on the internet.
Before being banned online, the Holy Bible was prohibited in China’s commercial brick-and-mortar stores. It was only available for purchase in church bookstores. The texts of all other major faiths in China, such as Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, and Taoism, are all available to purchase in stores and online.
An atheist blogger for the website “Patheos” actually took issue with the Bible-ban. He wrote, “The Chinese policy adds fuel to Christians’ persecution complex, and no one can say that, in this case, they don’t have a valid, even important point.”
One of the most surprising countries on the World Watch List would have to be India. I’m sure many think, like I once did, that India is made up of hippie Buddhists and Hindus. Unfortunately, that is not the reality. In recent years, a disturbing trend has been forming in Hindu and Buddhist nations – radicalism.
In India, Hindu nationalism has grown rapidly since the election of Prime Minister Narendra Modi (in 2014). Under Modi, religious freedom violations against Christians have spread unchecked. In 2017, ODUSA discovered more than 600 persecution incidents; though the group added that “most cases actually remain unreported, so the true number is much higher.”
Nextdoor to India, Hindu-majority Nepal has criminalized conversion to Christianity or Judaism. Buddhist nationalism has led to a dramatic and violent rise in hostility toward Christians in the countries of Sri Lanka, Bhutan, and Myanmar.
2018 was the 26th year that Open Doors USA published the World Watch List. Over the past 25 years, only 3 countries have ever topped the list: North Korea (2002 – 2017), Saudi Arabia (1993 – 1995, 1998 – 2001), and Somalia (1996 – 1997). The Top 10 nations over the 25-year span are North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Afghanistan, Maldives, Yemen, Sudan, Vietnam, and China. These nations truly fulfill Philippians 3:18, being “enemies of the Cross of Christ.”
A three-year research study, reported in 2016 and conducted by an International Catholic Charity (Aid to the Church in Need), found that Christians comprised 75% of those persecuted for their “religion” globally. The study revealed that Christians are not only more persecuted than any other faith group, but they are also experiencing the very worst forms of religious persecution. In 2016, a Christian was murdered for their Faith every 6 minutes. Christians have been martyred for their beliefs more so than any other Religious group over the past two decades.
In the Middle East region, the only safe haven for believers remains the Holy Land of Israel. And while the Western world has not yet seen Christian persecution reach the violent levels of the Middle East and Asia, I believe that we are leaning more so in that dangerous direction year after year.
Under the Obama administration, especially following the U.S. Supreme Court decision to essentially legalize Gay Marriage, Americans who held Biblical worldviews were under constant attack. Believers had been taken before courts, fired from jobs, fined, had businesses shut down, and were even imprisoned – simply for refusing to violate their Faith.
Apparently, in the minds of liberal Americans today, Freedom of Speech and Expression should apply to everyone… except Christians. When we publicly express our Faith, or take a stand against something which the Holy Bible has deemed immoral, we are told to shut up and are shouted down as “bigots.” Yet, when someone publicly expresses anti-God, anti-Christian, anti-Israel, anti-American, or Biblically-hostile beliefs, they are applauded for exercising their controversial “Freedom of Speech.” This is gross hypocrisy, plain and simple.
There are over 10 more pages on the subject in that chapter of my book, covering many more persecution incidents in the Islamic world – Christian businesses being sued or shut down for not catering to same-sex weddings – persecution of Christian youth in schools and colleges – the hardships that Canadian Christians have been enduring under Justin Trudeau’s Liberal leadership – and more.
I have also devoted a few pages of the first chapter in my second book, “EVEN MORE Signs of Our Times,” to the subject. So, if you want to read more, you can get either of the books in paperback, ebook, or audiobook formats today.
I hope that you will all share this information with your family, friends, and churches, on social media or by getting them copies of the books. If you would like to purchase multiple copies of either of my books for your church or a charity, email me at [email protected].com for bulk discounts.
We believers in the West are not yet enduring the deadly persecution that our brothers and sisters in the Middle East have been facing; but if the hardcore liberals and Islamists in the Democrat party have their way, we may very well be soon. Share this article far and wide to ensure that it never has to come to that, and pray for the safety of our persecuted brothers and sisters across the world.
May they, and all of you, stand firm in the Faith until our Lord comes to rapture us all out of this wicked world and generation. Marana tha.
READ MORE ABOUT CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION IN MY BOOKS
“For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ.” – Philippians 3:18
“Jesus said, Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so they persecuted the prophets which were before you.” – Matthew 5:10-12
“Jesus said, Then shall they deliver you (Christians) up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and you shall be hated of all nations for My Name’s sake.” – Matthew 24:9
“And I saw the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the witness of Jesus, and for the Word of God…” – Revelation 20:4
“And when He had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God (Holy Bible)…” – Revelation 6:9
Micha EL Sawdy is a Holy Bible-believing Conservative Christian, and the Founder and Author of BiblicalSignsInTheHeadlines.com
All views expressed by the author belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Little Bytes News.
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