Christian persecution on rise: North Korea, Muslims to blame

Once again, Open Doors, the nonprofit that tracks and reports religious persecution around the world, finds in its 2020 World Watch List that it’s increasingly dangerous — fatal, in many instances — to claim Christianity as a faith, particularly in North Korea and in Muslim-dominated countries.

Once again, of the top ten anti-Christian countries of the world, eight slots go to nations with predominantly Islam populations.

And once again, the news of Islam’s radical tendencies will very likely fall on deaf Democrat ears.

In 2017, Pew Research Center found this: “Republicans and Republican leaners … are more likely than Democrats and those who lean Democratic to say they are very concerned about extremism in the name of Islam, both around the world (67% vs. 40%) and in the U.S. (64% vs. 30%). In addition, a December 2016 survey found that more Republicans than Democrats say Islam is likelier than other religions to encourage violence among its believers (63% vs. 26% of Democrats).”

See no evil. Hear no evil. Speak no evil.

But that hardly takes away the evil. Or some politically uncomfortable truths.

Among those truths? Each and every day, and on average, eight Christians in the last year were killed; 23 raped or sexually harassed; 182 churches and 102 homes and businesses belonging to Christians attacked, burned or destroyed; and 309 Christians jailed — all of that simply for the crime of following Jesus, Open Doors reported.

Also among those truths: “Today,” Open Doors wrote, “more than 260 million [Christians] face persecution for their faith” — “an increase of 15 million” “in only one year.”

Also among those truths: Islam is to blame for a good chunk of the Christian persecution.

For the 19th consecutive year, North Korea is the world’s Number One persecutor of Christianity. Of course, atheist dictatorship North Korea persecutes all religions — save those that worship the communists’ dear leader as god.

The next biggest persecutors, though, do so because they’re Muslim and their religion cannot tolerate diversity.

In order, they’re Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran and India. In all, Islam is either the state religion or predominantly practiced religion — except for India. Hinduism dominates there, followed by Islam. Eritrea, meanwhile, has a large Christian population, but they’re increasingly subjected to attack from the Islamic regime.

“Christians who aren’t members of state-approved churches are considered agents of the West and threat to the state,” Open Doors reported. “From June to August 2019, more than 150 Christians were arrested in [two cities]. … This extreme pressure and state-sanctioned violence are forcing some Christians to flee Eritrea — often called ‘Africa’s North Korea.’”

News from the other anti-Christian hot spots of the world is similarly grim.

On Pakistan, Open Doors wrote: “An estimated 700 [Christian] girls and women abducted each year are raped and then forcefully married to Muslim men in the community, usually resulting in forced conversions.”

On Afghanistan: “An Islamic state by constitution, the country does not permit any faith other than Islam to exist. … Those who are discovered to be Christians may be sent to a mental hospital … beaten or even killed by family members, or members of Islamic extremist groups.”

On Libya: “Migrant Christians who have been arrested and detained while trying to reach Europe often end up in one of the overcrowded detention centers around Tripoli … [where] they are forced into heavy labor in the agricultural sector or pushed into prostitution.”

On Somalia: “Islamic militants have intensified their hunt for people who are Christian and in a position of leadership. … Christians in Somalia remained so vulnerable to attacks by Islamic militants that in the interests of security, Open Doors could publish no specific examples of persecution.”

Following Jesus shouldn’t be so dangerous — or fatal.

And maybe it wouldn’t be if so many in so many positions of power and influence didn’t turn blind eyes to the truths of the roots of the persecution. Yes, Democrats, that means you.

After all, it’s impossible to cure a problem without first acknowledging the source of the problem.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley. Listen to her podcast “Bold and Blunt” by clicking HERE. And never miss her column; subscribe to her newsletter by clicking HERE.

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