There are No Safe Spaces for Persecuted Christians In This World

daily_commentary_01_20_17

Some claim that Christianity is a “religion of the powerful.” But try telling that to persecuted Christians!

In America, increasing numbers of people in our colleges and in the media are worried about various “micro-aggressions” and “insensitivities.” So those who find themselves so offended by the words of others can repair to a designated “safe space,” where they can work out their distress with hugs and perhaps coloring books. They probably never heard that saying about sticks and stones.

Meanwhile, these delicate flowers are missing out on the biggest story of injustice in the world. According to multiple agencies, adherents of Christianity—supposedly the religion of the powerful—face far more persecution than followers of any other religion.

Let me give you a few data points about what this means for our brothers and sisters worldwide before telling you what it all means for us. For the second straight year, according to a study from the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, up to 600 million followers of Jesus worldwide are being prevented from practicing their faith, with untold numbers paying the price of martyrdom. While much of the persecution comes from the Islamic State and similar radical Muslim groups, Christians face discrimination from many sources. The Pew Research Center counts 145 countries where Christians face harassment or worse—145!

In Iraq, with the breakdown in order since the Gulf War, the number of Christians has evaporated from about 1.5 million in 2003 to somewhere around 275,000 today. Many were killed; many more have been driven out as refugees. In Pakistan, India, and Myanmar, nationalist religious movements—whether Muslim, Hindu, or Buddhist—have falsely tagged Christians as agents of Western powers and seek to restrict their freedoms.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom notes that China has increased its level of persecution against Christians. Many church buildings have been bulldozed. Pastor Bao Guohua and his wife were sentenced to 14 and 12 years in prison for opposing a government campaign to remove crosses from churches.

It’s no wonder that Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project says, “There are many places on earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be.”

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SOURCE: Breakpoint
Eric Metaxas