The devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic is still being tallied, both in terms of lives and livelihoods lost. In addition to the millions of dead, the millions more who’ve been infected (including some who face long-term physical damage), there’s the psychological and emotional harm of extended isolation and the millions who face financial ruin. In the midst of all of that, we are now learning of another, less obvious, but just as deadly fallout from the pandemic.
Each January, Open Doors, an organization committed to “serving persecuted Christians worldwide,” releases their World Watch List. The list documents the 50 countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian, highlights global trends in religious persecution and provides unique insights into the global persecuted church.
In many ways, the 2021 report resembles those of previous years. North Korea is still at the top of the list, followed by Afghanistan. As in previous years, the list is dominated by either communist governments or overwhelmingly Islamic countries. Christian persecution in these countries may take the form of discrimination, restrictions on religious practice, imprisonment, violence, or killings. The persecution may come at the hands of the state or at the hands of private actors with the state looking the other way.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet and Roberto Rivera
From BreakPoint. Reprinted with the permission of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or distributed without the express written permission the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. “BreakPoint®” and “The Colson Center for Christian Worldview®” are registered trademarks of The Colson Center for Christian Worldview.
John Stonestreet is the President of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, and co-host with Eric Metaxas of Breakpoint, the Christian worldview radio program founded by the late Chuck Colson. He is co-author of A Practical Guide to Culture, A Student’s Guide to Culture and Restoring All Things.