I have a new post up on Ignitum Today on the 7 Reasons Christianity is the Most Persecuted Religion in the World…
Last night, I asked my family what percentage of religious persecution in the world they thought was directed at Christians.
They guessed about 30%. After all, they said, Christians are about one-third of the global population so that would make sense, right?
When I told them it was closer to 80%, they initially refused to believe me. Safe in our prosperous, post-Christian Australian culture, it seemed almost absurd. Yet, we have daily, horrifying proof of this reality.
From Northern Iraq to Nigeria, from China to India, the cries of Christian suffering pierces the heavens: “A voice was heard in Ramah, wailing and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be consoled, because they were no more.” (Mt 2:18)
In all this, our own hearts cry out asking why. Why is this happening? Why do Christians suffer so much persecution today? Why have there been more martyrs to the faith in the 20th Century than the preceding 19 put together?
In his book The Global War on Christians: Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution John Allen cites the work of German scholar Thomas Schirrmacher, an Evangelical Christian human rights activist. Although Schirrmacher acknowledges the deep complexity of this global tragedy, he shows that there are some significant socio-political reasons Christians are so disproportionately persecuted.
He gives 10 points but I think we can summarise them in six — with one more reason which is by far the most important.
1. Christianity, Catholic, Evangelical and Pentecostal, is growing dramatically in the what is often called the Global South. Such growth is only possible because Christians actively evangelise, sharing the gospel of salvation with others. This missionary zeal is seen as a threat and directs attention towards Christians.
2. Christianity is growing rapidly in some of the most dangerous areas of the world, particularly in some parts of Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, and even in the Middle East. In these volatile areas, any disruption of the fragile status-quo is potentially disastrous and Christians are suffering because of it…