Thanksgiving Blessings and Remembering the Persecuted Church
As we embrace family and friends during this Thanksgiving weekend, remember to pray for and help your brothers and sisters that suffer for their faith — as if you yourselves were suffering! (Matthew 25:36; Hebrews 13:3)
Numerous countries are now expecting to see the near-total eradication of their Christian populations yet it is rarely reported in the news. Now, more than ever, Christians need to come together and be strong in the face of such violence and evil.
In raw numbers, the level of abuse is appalling with an estimated 600,000 Christians suffering serious persecution in 2016 alone. For some this means imprisonment and torture, for others it means being driven from their homes and forced into refugee camps where they are victimized further.
And whereas firm numbers are hard to gather, roughly 100,000 Christians worldwide, between 2015 and 2017, have lost their lives to religious intolerance. Click onto our World Prayer Map above to track hot spot regions that are violent toward Christians.
North Korea is ranked as the most oppressive place in the world for Christians. Entire Christian families are imprisoned in hard labor camps, where unknown numbers die each year from torture, beatings, overexertion and starvation. Those who attempt to flee to South Korea through China risk execution or life imprisonment.
In Syria and Iraq, the situation is especially dire. The Chaldean Bishop Antoine Audo of Aleppo, Syria reports a drop from 1.2 million to just 500,000 Christians in a 5-year span. As ISIS, Hezbollah, the Assad Regime and dozens of smaller factions of Islamic militants all vie for control, Christians face constant threats of abuse and even massacre.
Islam is not the only offender. India has also seen large spasms of anti-Christian violence with the rise in 2014 of the right-wing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, led by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. China too has cracked down on Christian clergy and Christian symbols in a new push to make sure obedience to the Communist state is first priority. Read more
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