Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels,’ was the title of a May 3rd BBC report citing a lengthy interim study ordered by British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and led by Rev. Philip Mounstephen, the Bishop of Truro.
According to the BBC report, one in three people around the world suffer from religious persecution, with Christians being “the most persecuted religious group.”
“Christianity‘is at risk of disappearing’ in some parts of the world,” it noted, and “In some regions, the level and nature of persecution is arguably coming close to meeting the international definition of genocide, according to that adopted by the UN.”
The BBC report highlights “political correctness” as being especially responsible for the West’s indifference. However, the truth is, Jesus said in the “last days”, “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by the nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9. Satan knows his end is near, so it is all out spiritual warfare against Christians and Jews.
Jesus principal warning for the “end of the age” was “Take heed that no one deceives you” Matthew 24:4. Deception will be rife with many false prophets and teachers. Is this not what we are seeing in our day?
Although the BBC report has an entire heading titled and devoted to the impact of “political correctness,” ironically, it too succumbs to this contemporary Western malady. For while it did a fair job in highlighting the problem, it said nothing about its causes — not one word about who is persecuting Christians, or why.
The overwhelming majority of Christian persecution, however, occurs in Muslim majority nations. According to Open Doors’ World Watch List 2019 [WWL], which surveys the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted, “Islamic oppression continues to impact millions of Christians.”
In seven of the absolute worst 10 nations, “Islamic oppression” is the cause of persecution. “For millions of Christians—particularly those who grew up Muslim or were born into Muslim families—openly following Jesus can have painful consequences,” including death.
Among the worst persecutors are those that rule according to Islamic law, or Sharia — which academics such as Georgetown University’s John Esposito insist is equitable and just. Once again, Scripture tells us that in the last days they will call evil good and good evil.
As I have suggested in previous posts, the Final Empire of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2 is a revived but divided fourth Empire (Ottoman Empire) – an Islamic Caliphate which the Antichrist will rule, partially overcoming the Sunni/Shia divide. Also, confirmation is given to Daniel with the terrifying Beast of Daniel 7 with teeth of iron and claws of bronze that devoured everything. Out of the beast grow ten horns – is a revived Islamic Caliphate.
‘Christianity is not permitted to exist’
In Afghanistan (ranked #2) , “Christianity is not permitted to exist,” says the WWL 2019, because it “is an Islamic state by constitution, which means government officials, ethnic group leaders, religious officials and citizens are hostile toward” Christians.
Similarly, in Somalia, (#3), “The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence.”
In Iran (#9), “society is governed by Islamic law, which means the rights and professional possibilities for Christians are heavily restricted.”
Equally telling is that 38 of the 50 nations making the WWL 2019 are Muslim majority.
Here are a few of the more significant quotes from the Bishop of Truro’s report:
– “The persecution of Christians is perhaps at its most virulent in the region of the birthplace of Christianity—the Middle East & North Africa.”
“In countries such as Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Saudi Arabia the situation of Christians and other minorities has reached an alarming stage.”
– “The eradication of Christians and other minorities on pain of ‘the sword’ or other violent means was revealed to be the specific and stated objective of [Islamic] extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines.”
– “There is mass violence which regularly expresses itself through the bombing of churches, as has been the case in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan, and Indonesia.”
– “The single-greatest threat to Christians [in Nigeria] … came from Islamist militant group Boko Haram, with US intelligence reports in 2015 suggesting that 200,000 Christians were at risk of being killed… Those worst affected included Christian women and girls ‘abducted, and forced to convert, enter forced marriages, sexual abuse and torture.’”
“An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence [in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, north-east Nigeria and the Philippines] was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of Church buildings and other Church symbols. The killing and abduction of clergy represented a direct attack on the Church’s structure and leadership.”
– “Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped-out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest. In Palestine, Christian numbers are below 1.5 percent; in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today. Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region.”
Fortunately, the BBC has stopped trying to minimise the spectre of Christian persecution as it did in 2013, when this situation was just starting to reach the boiling point.