CHRISTIAN MARTYRS ARE GROWING THE CHURCH IN NIGERIA

The death toll for Christians in Nigeria continues to rise to catastrophic proportions as the nation seems helpless or unwilling to stop bloodthirsty Islamic radicals targeting Christians in the region. Despite the Islamic terrorists group’s violence, thousands are coming to Christ according to Todd Nettleton of Voice of the Martyrs.

“Thousands of Fulani are following Jesus Christ. So this traditionally Muslim tribal group, ethnic group, thousands of them have left Islam behind and are now following Jesus Christ. So the church sees that and that tends to bridge some of these gaps, Nettleton said.

I have previously reported how the vicious Fulani Herdsmen reportedly marauded through Christian villages wearing camouflage and brandishing AK-47s, and burned down as many as 160 homes, leaving a trail of at least 39 murdered Christians in their wake.

Nigerian President Muhammed Buhari condemned the massacre of Christians on Twitter, calling them “vile, evil and satanic” and agreeing that the attacks seemed “clearly calculated” against Christians.

But despite President Buhari’s words, it appears the government has done little to stem the violence against Christians. Local religious leaders have even called for the president to resign, accusing him of leniency on the terrorists.

Another jihadist group Boko Haram—the vicious Nigerian jihadist army pledged to ISIS—orchestrated a deadly attack by disguising themselves as “preachers” and inviting Christian villagers to a service where they then massacred 45 congregants.

Earlier this year, Boko Haram violently abducted 110 schoolgirls from their village. Of those, five girls were killed while captive before 104 were ultimately released. Fifteen-year-old Leah Sharibu is still their prisoner because she refuses to bend to her captors’ demands that she renounce her Christian faith and convert to Islam.

The violence against Africa’s Christians is spreading beyond the borders of Nigeria, and if no action is taken, will likely continue to sweep across the continent. In the natural this looks catastrophic which it is, but rest assured God is using it for His purposes.

In a recent deadly bus attack in Kenya the Al-Shabaab terrorists forced passengers to recite an Islamic oath and those who identified as Christian were mercilessly executed. Do these terrorists think this does the cause of Allah any good? Is this the God you would want to serve?

American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has gone directly to the United Nations, delivering a critical written submission asking for intervention for Nigeria’s Christians and warning of the grim outlook if action isn’t taken.

The least we can do is get our churches praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ in both the Middle East and Africa. Pray that they may understand what God is doing in each of these countries and cooperate with Him, to accomplish His purposes.

 

MARK OF THE BEAST: MICROCHIP IMPLANTS?

End-Times Scholar: Microchips Are Scary Next Step to Control Population

A technology growing in popularity allows computer chips to be implanted under the skin. It brings to mind the “mark of the beast” prophesied in Revelation 13:16-17. For the first time in history, technology has made it possible.

Christian activists, including conspiracy theorist Mark Dice, the author of a book titled The Resistance Manifesto, make the link between chipping of humans and the biblical mark of the beast prophesied to be a future requirement for buying and selling.

It will be very attractive to governments in order to control people and their finances. Moreover, they can put a positive spin on its implementation. It has so much potential for good that it is almost inevitable that governments will want to use this,” Rabbi Pinchas Winston, a prolific end-of-days author, said. “They can’t afford prisons and policing anymore for the expanding populations. Rather than put someone in prison, they can make it impossible to exit their home. If they identify a criminal, they can remotely shut down their car, deny them access to money and food. A lot of people will be deterred from non-compliance with the law.

The process is relatively simple. An identifying integrated circuit device or Radio-frequency identification (RFID) transponder encased in silicate glass approximately the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the skin using a device similar to a syringe. Local anaesthetic is used during the procedure. The use of sub-dermal RFIDs for domestic and farm animals is widespread and some countries require them to be implanted This was first done by a physician in 1998 and was approved for use in humans by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2004.

Proponents of this new technology claim a myriad of benefits. Some companies currently recommend implantation for their employees for security purposes. Locks and elevators can be paired with sensors so that only specific people can open a door. Computers can use the sensor to identify users when they log on, allowing them to access files and systems specific to them. Using the chip as “biopayment” in place of a credit card is in the developmental stages and could lead to a cashless society. It is also feasible to create a smart gun that will only allow the owner of a gun to fire it. Theoretically, a GPS-enabled chip could one day make it possible for individuals to be physically located anywhere on the planet. The chip can link to an external database containing vital medical information for emergency use. This would be especially useful in cases of dementia or where the patient is uncooperative. It can also be used by law enforcement agencies to identify subjects and track their movements. Both of these applications raise serious concerns about civil liberties.

Folks we are in the “last days”, are you prepared for the coming tribulation spoken of by Jesus and Daniel.

 

A MESSAGE TO ALL PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS

A Coptic Christian church’s worship service turned into a blood bath after a gunman opened fire, killing at least 11 people.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, and many Christians were left wondering if they will ever be safe enough to worship Christ without fearing terrorism.

One young girl, Nesma Wael, was there when the attack happened and wrote a heartfelt message to the world published by BeeCatholic

“After Mass ended, I left the church with my cousin and my mother. My mom wore a cross around her neck, and all three of us were not wearing veils. In poorer neighborhoods, Muslim women often wear veils so they are distinguished from Christian women.

“As we turned into a side street, we saw someone on a motorcycle heading toward the church. The next thing we knew, the man crashed his bike after hitting a pothole. My mother ran up to him to help, reassuring him, as she said: ‘In the name of the Jesus Christ, are you okay?’ He got up quickly and in a blink of an eye he opened fire on us with an automatic weapon he pulled out from under his vest.

“As soon as my cousin and I saw the weapon, we hid behind mom, who shouted at us to run away; the terrorist first shot her in the arm, while she was trying to protect us; as we ran away, she fell down and could not escape with us. The distance between us and the terrorist when he first took out his machine gun was no more than a few feet. My cousin and I ran into a small supermarket, where the sales girl hid us behind the refrigerator; from our hiding spot, we watched the attacker looking for us. When he couldn’t find us he turned to mom again and fired more shots at her.

“All this happened in a few minutes. After the gunman left, we ran to my mother. Many people had gathered, but they all refused to touch my mom, to turn her over, even though she was still alive. I kept screaming for someone to help me, but no one did. I reached my uncle, who came right away.

“An ambulance pulled up, but the emergency workers refused to move Mama into the ambulance until they got permission from the security officials who were out in the streets, hunting for the terrorist, as well as another shooter who had attacked people in front of the church.

“A gun battle erupted, and people fled. My cousin, my uncle and I stayed with my mother. She looked at me, saying: ‘Do not be afraid, I’m with you. Obey your father and take care of your sister.’

“My mother remained laying in the street for about an hour. After the shooting stopped, I went back to the church to fetch my younger sister Karen, who is eight and had remained in church because the service for children had not finished yet—I saw three people I knew laying in pools of blood in front of the church; I knew they had been killed.

“By the time Mom was taken into the ambulance she had died.

I miss my mother desperately—I am happy because she is a martyr and I don’t feel afraid of the terrorists anymore. I was with her at the time of the attack and did not even get injured: it was God’s will to specifically choose her to go to heaven.

“I do not want to leave my country, but I certainly want to find a better chance to live and study, especially since our financial situation isn’t good. My dad, who is 35, works as a driver, but he has no regular work; my mother provided the main source of income for our family; she was a nurse at the Cairo Kidney Center. I hope to become a doctor of nephrology; that was my mom’s dream for me.

This is my message to all the persecuted people around the world: ‘Do not be afraid! Our lives are in God’s hands and we have to adhere to our faith.'”

LOSS OF JOB FOR STANDING UP FOR GOD’S VALUES

Russell Berger, the former CrossFit exec who lost his job after tweeting that celebrating pride is sin, recently gave his side of the story in a lengthy interview on Apologia Radio.

“I think it’s a really sobering and a disheartening example of where we are as a culture,” Berger said to Durbin. “Simply by expressing those views, which again have been pretty standard views for the historic Christian faith over thousands of years, that view is no longer tolerated and in fact it’s a view that’s so divisive and so intolerable that it’s the kind of thing you can’t say and expect to keep your job.”

Berger urged Christians to be prepared, because at any moment the social media “mob” could be turned on you.

Image: Screenshot

“It’s a really powerful and important lesson that all Christians should be aware of. This is a very common and very effective strategy that’s being employed by a certain segment of the LGBTQ community in terms of basically silencing any view that disagrees with their beliefs,” he warned. “You just need to be aware of that and be prepared for that should you make the decision to weigh in on a subject like I did. You have to understand that the pressure will be applied to you, but it will also be applied  to your employer, it will also be applied to your family members, it will be applied anywhere where those who are outraged by what you said think they can harm you. And that’s just the reality of the situation unfortunately.”

Jesus warned us that persecution comes with standing up for Him and God’s values particularly in the “last days”.

Already we are seeing a great falling away in the church as it compromises with the world’s values, once again it was prophesied in Scripture. Many of the large denominations have approved gay marriage and homosexual and transgender church leadership.

CHRISTIANS: TIME TO BE BOLD AND COURAGEOUS

Like never before, Christians are being challenged by God to honour Him by standing up for their belief in Him.

Jennie Finch and Jelene Hinkle are to be commended for their stand which invariably costs from a worldly perspective. I am sure it was not there motivation, but they have built up treasure in heaven which is eternal (Matthew 6:19-21)

Jennie Finch on 'Dancing With The Stars'

Olympic athlete and Dancing With the Stars contestant Jennie Finch refused to perform to a popular new Janelle Monae track, citing her Christian faith and desire to honour God. The song, “Make Me Feel,” is sexually suggestive and was deemed to be a “little too risque” for the athlete.

According to the Kansas City Star, Finch was struggling with the song all through rehearsals until she finally made a phone call to producers saying she was not prepared to dance to such a sexually charged track.

“It’s not what I’m about. I need to follow who I am and stand up for what I believe in,” Finch explained on the hit show.

United States defender Jaelene Hinkle (19) and midfielder Carli Lloyd (10) and defender Kelley O'Hara (5) celebrate.

Last year, a Christian soccer star, Jaelene Hinkle, withdrew from the United States Women’s National Team after the team decided to swap out their normal jerseys for LGBT Pride jerseys in international matches.

Hinkle withdrew from the United States soccer roster in June citing “personal reasons.” This came at a time where she was called to play in international games versus Sweden and Norway.

United States defender Jaelene Hinkle 19 and midfielder Carli Lloyd 10 and defender Kelley O’Hara 5.

Hinkle’s resignation from the team came two weeks after the U.S. men and women’s national teams announced that they would be wearing LGBT pride jerseys in support of the June pride month.

“LAST DAYS” RISING RADICAL ANTISEMITISM

‘Quiet purge’ of Jews, ‘Islamist radicalisation’ denounced by French politicians and celebrities

More than 250 major French personalities including politicians and actors have signed a manifesto denouncing a “new antisemitism” in France marked by “Islamist radicalisation” after a string of murders of Jews. The text was published on Sunday in several newspapers.

‘Quiet purge’ of Jews, ‘Islamist radicalization’ denounced by French politicians and celebrities

Radical Islam in France. (AP Photo/Laetitia Notarianni)

France’s half-a-million-plus Jewish community is the largest in Europe but has been hit by a wave of emigration to Israel in the past two decades, partly due to the emergence of virulent antisemitism in predominantly immigrant neighbourhoods.

“In our recent history, 11 Jews have been assassinated – and some tortured – by radical Islamists because they were Jewish,’’ they say.

The signatories condemn what they called a “quiet ethnic purging” driven by rising Islamist radicalism particularly in working-class neighbourhoods. They also accused the media of remaining silent on the matter. “French Jews are 25 times more at risk of being attacked than their fellow Muslim citizens,” adds the manifesto.

“We demand that the fight against this democratic failure that is anti-Semitism becomes a national cause before it’s too late. Before France is no longer France,” reads the manifesto co-signed by several politicians from the left and right including ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy, former Prime Minister Manuel Valls and also celebrities like actor Gerard Depardieu and singer Charles Aznavour.

 The latest attack to rock France took place last month when two perpetrators stabbed 85-year-old Holocaust survivor Mireille Knoll eleven times, before setting her body on fire. Her brutal death sent shock waves through France and prompted 30,000 people to join a march in her memory. Condemning the “dreadful” killing, President Emmanuel Macron reiterated his determination to fight antisemitism.

 

OHIO PARENTS MAY LOSE CUSTODY OF 17-Y-O CHILD FOR NOT SUPPORTING GENDER TRANSITION

An Ohio court is set to determine Friday if the parents of a teen girl, who identifies as a boy, should lose custody because they object to hormone treatments and a “gender transition” process on medical and religious grounds.

God is already judging America. Moreover, He has His prophets (e.g. Jonathan Cahn) clearly demonstrating it’s God’s judgement and that it will escalate unless the nation repents and stops sinning. Whilst there has been some positive moves under Trump, same sex marriage and transgender issues involving children, as reported here, do not augur well for the church. Increased persecution is imminent, and Jesus prophesied “great falling away” will follow.

CNN reported Tuesday on a Hamilton County court’s ongoing proceedings involving the parents of a 17-year-old girl — neither of which can be named per court instructions — who want the court to intervene in order to stop her from receiving hormones and therapy. The treatment was recommended by a “medical team” working with the teen and who considers such treatment a “life-or-death situation.”

The parents, however, want custody of their child because they believe that by allowing the grandparents to have custody “it would simply be a way for the child to circumvent the necessity of parents’ consent,” said Karen Brinkman, their attorney, according to court transcripts. Brinkman contended that given the mental state of the teenager, she is in no position to make such a life-altering decision.

The parents, she continued, “have done their due diligence contacting medical professionals, collecting thousands of hours of research,” and believe that the administration of hormones are not a “medically necessary form of treatment” and that it “would do more harm than good.” Not all of the details surrounding the case have been made public.

“If the judge rules in favour of the ideologically driven gender clinic, the ability of all parents to protect their children of any age from all aspects of this social and medical experiment will take a tremendous hit,” said Michelle Cretella, president of the American College of Paediatricians in an interview with The Christian Post Wednesday.

She noted that such a delusion is a disorder of the mind; that gender dysphoria is distinctly unlike a disease of the body like diabetes, asthma, or cancer; and that no long term evidence exists showing that encouraging a child’s delusion prevents suicide.

Furthermore, she stressed, “there is no evidence that any gender dysphoric child’s suicidal feelings are due to parents’ refusing to go along with the delusion. It is more likely that whatever has caused the child’s depression and suicidal thoughts is also triggering the gender dysphoria.”

The CNN report presumes the maleness of the girl and employs the pronoun “he” throughout the entirety of the piece. Medical experts from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Centre, which has been working with the teenager, testified in court that the father’s refusal to call the child by her chosen name and the parents’ rejection of his daughter’s gender identity have caused her to have suicidal feelings. CNN also featured the words of Dr. Michelle Forcier for supporting commentary, who is a professor at Brown University and longtime LGBT activist paediatrician who works with children as young as four who think they are transgender, though she is not involved in this specific case.

“If your child had asthma and was turning blue, you wouldn’t deny them their albuterol inhaler or say ‘let’s wait,’ ” Forcier said. “If this were cancer or diabetes, we wouldn’t be having this conversation, but people get funny when it comes to medical care when gender is involved, and that’s harmful.”

Cretella made a point to tell CP that Forcier’s remarks are “unscientific.” “A child suffering from gender dysphoria has a fixed belief contrary to physical reality. This is a delusion,” she said, and “a delusion is not any person’s ‘authentic self.'”

 

“Since there are no long term studies regarding the use of puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones in young children and teens, this entire enterprise is, by definition, an experiment upon a minor — and a dangerous one at that given the life-long permanent side effects.”

In November of 2016 the teen contacted a crisis chat service to say she did not feel safe in her parents’ home and alleged that her father told her to commit suicide because she was “going to hell anyway.” Her lawyer said in court that her parents’ decision to enroll her in Catholic school where she had to wear dresses and go by her birth name contributed to her trauma and increased suicidal ideation.

The teen also said she was forced to sit in a room and listen to Bible readings for over six hours at a time, according to the complaint; the parents had reportedly stopped the mental health counselling she was receiving and opted for a Christian alternative.

PERSECUTION OF CHRISTIANS INCREASING IN CHINA

An evangelical megachurch was destroyed by Chinese Communist authorities late last year in the country’s northern Shanxi province, sparking fears among Christians that the persecution they suffer will soon get worse.

China Aid said that Chinese military police detonated explosives inside Golden Lampstand Church in Linfen, destroying the $2.6 million house of worship, which was owned by the Christians who worshipped there.

A demolition crew broke apart the remaining pieces of the church after the explosion with diggers and jackhammers.

Lampstand’s head Pastor, Yang Rongli, had previously spent seven years in prison on charges of assembling a large crowd to disturb traffic order, and has been under police surveillance since his release in October 2016.

Describing the demolition, the pastor was quoted as saying that at first, police surrounded the church.

“Patrol wagons guarded the church. Workers smashed the church’s glass. At this point, excavators are digging into the church, but we are not allowed to enter or watch.”

“The village head and the police from the local police station warned all the believers against entering the church. Now, we really have no idea what is going to happen.”

The order to demolish the church reportedly came from China’s top officials, who control the military police.

“The repeated persecution of Golden Lampstand Church demonstrates that the Chinese government has no respect for religious freedom or human rights,” said ChinaAid President and founder Bob Fu.

“ChinaAid calls on the international community to openly condemn the bombing of this church building and urge the Chinese government to fairly compensate the Christians who paid for it and immediately cease these alarming demolitions of churches.”

The Guardian reports that a Catholic church in the neighboring province of Shaanxi was also demolished in a similar fashion last month, which is stoking fears among Christians that the widespread crackdown on churches continues in full force.

As many as 1,200 crosses have been removed from churches in Zhejiang province since 2015, with officials arguing that many of the demolitions have been down to building code violations.

A local pastor, who asked not to be named, said that he saw “more police than I could count” at the site, preventing worshippers from approaching.

“My heart was sad to see this demolition and now I worry about more churches being demolished, even my own,” he said. “This church was built in 2008, there’s no reason for them to destroy it now.”

The Associated Press noted that the evangelical megachurch had a congregation of 50,000, and had been targeted by police on a number of occasions. Officials reportedly hired thugs to smash the church and take its Bible during the crackdown in 2009, when Rongli was arrested.

Christians have protested against church demolitions, with a video captured in Shanxi in August showing a clash between Catholics and government representatives who were using bulldozers to destroy church property.

As mentioned in my last post, approximately 215 million Christians now experience high, very high, or extreme levels of persecution; that means 1 in 12 Christians live where Christianity is “illegal, forbidden, or punished,” according to Open Doors researchers.

 

 

DANGEROUS VEIL OF DECEPTION IN THE LAST-DAYS GENERATION

One warning in Scripture about the last generation is that they can only hear things that “tickle their ears” or make them feel good (2 Timothy 4:3-4). It is hard to imagine a generation that better fits that description than the one now emerging. This group has been conditioned to reject, and even be offended by, anything that challenges the humanistic propaganda they have been fed through education, entertainment and the media. Previous generations have had their own fits of worldliness and carnality, but never have we seen the kind of violence and outrage that the emerging generation displays toward ideas that challenge their safe spaces and comfort zones. Such a “safe place” mentality could not be a more dangerous place, and this will ultimately lead to the most terrible consequences of all.

Is there anything we can do to help those in such eternal jeopardy? Yes, we can do what Jesus exhorted His followers to do at the end of this age:

  1. STAND UP: We must be bold with the truth and not be affected by how our boldness and clarity will offend many today. It will bring accusations and persecution, but this is an honor and glory for all who follow the King. Find one thing Jesus said or did for which He was not attacked. He said that His followers would be treated the same way. He told us to expect the same if we abide in Him and speak His truth. We are told that all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12). Therefore, we should be alarmed if we are not getting accused, slandered and persecuted. Stand up!
  2. LOOK UP: If we know that God approves of us, then we should not care what anyone else on earth thinks. The apostle Paul wrote, “For if I were still trying to please men, I would not be the servant of Christ” (see Gal. 1:10). If we have seen the King on His throne, how can we be impressed with or fear any man? The fear of man, or seeking the approval of men, is the No. 1 factor that will compromise or nullify our service to the King. Look up to Him, not down at men.
  3. REJOICE: “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10c). If our joy is centred in the Lord and His approval, not man’s, we will be strong in the faith and for the truth. Never let anything steal your joy in the Lord. If we have the true and holy fear of the Lord, then we will not fear anything or anyone else on earth. Therefore, to live in the holy fear of God is the greatest liberation from the shackles the world would try to put on us. The only hope for the emerging generation to be free from the shackles of fear and conformity is to see the bold strength of those not bound by it—those who do not live in the fear of man or anything. Their King’s perfect love casts out all perverted, evil fear. Extract from article by Rick Joyner in Charisma Media 22/01/2018

 

ONE IN TWELVE CHRISTIANS EXPERIENCE HIGH LEVELS OF PERSECUTION

Open Doors released today its 2018 World Watch List (WWL), an annual ranking of the 50 countries where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus. Approximately 215 million Christians now experience high, very high, or extreme levels of persecution; that means 1 in 12 Christians live where Christianity is “illegal, forbidden, or punished,” according to Open Doors researchers. When did you and your church pray for our persecuted Christian brother and sisters? I confess my dereliction of duty in this regard.

Kim Jung-un’s country hasn’t moved from the No. 1 spot on the list for 16 years in a row. “With more than 50,000 in prison or labor camps, such a ranking is little surprise for the totalitarian regime that controls every aspect of life in the country and forces worship of the Kim family,” Open Doors reported.

But rivaling it this year is Afghanistan, which ranked No. 2 by less than a point. North Korea’s total score was 94 (on a 100-point scale), pushed above Afghanistan’s 93 by a 0.6 difference in their violence rating. In the other five categories measured—private life, family life, community life, national life, and church life—both countries received the worst scores possible.

The rising persecution in Afghanistan “is a tragedy considering the efforts being made by the international community to help rebuild Afghanistan are failing to ensure freedom of religion,” stated Open Doors USA President and CEO David  Curry. “Reports of violence and human rights atrocities from North Korea are pervasive, while the situation faced by Christians in Afghanistan may be underestimated. It is hard for Westerners to imagine a second country could nearly meet the levels of persecution seen in North Korea, but Afghanistan has reached that level this year.”

Afghanistan has almost always been in the top 10, marked the fifth worst overall over 25 years of Open Doors research. Over the past several years, the majority-Muslim country has been inching its way up from No. 6 in 2015 (81 points) to No. 4 in 2016 (88 points) to No. 3 in 2017 (89 points).

Where Is Persecution the Most Violent?

Trailing a few spots behind at No. 5, Afghanistan’s neighbour Pakistan recorded the most violence against Christians last year. The country also scored the highest in church attacks, abductions, and forced marriages, according to Open Doors.

It also recently drew the ire of President Donald Trump, who last week cut off  Pakistan’s military aid over frustrations with alleged Pakistani assistance given to terrorists in Afghanistan. The same day, the US State Department announced the addition of Pakistan to a new “special watch list” of governments or entities that “engage in or tolerate” severe religious freedom violations, yet aren’t bad enough to be named a “country of particular concern.”

Nigeria (No. 14), where Boko Haram operates, and the Central African Republic (No. 35) ranked second and third for violence. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom has recommended that the State Department add Pakistan, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic to its list of “countries of particular concern.” (So far, they have not been added.)

What’s the Biggest Threat to the Persecuted Church?

Rounding out the top 10, following North Korea and Afghanistan, are Somalia (No. 3), Sudan (No. 4), Pakistan (No. 5), Eritrea (No. 6), Libya (No. 7), Iraq (No. 8), Yemen (No. 9), and Iran (No. 10).

It’s not a coincidence that all of these countries—except North Korea and Eritrea—are predominately Muslim. In fact, “Islamic extremism remains the global, dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list,” Open Doors stated.

The Islamist movement is “the part of Islam which embraces a clear political agenda for bringing nations under Muslim domination and shariah law,” according to Open Doors. The movement has three parts: individuals and networks that use violence to advance their political goals; those who reject any system based on non-Islamic law but who aren’t violent; and those who interact with society by voting or campaigning for Islamic law.

The Islamist movement manifests itself in Muslim-majority countries by trying to radicalize society, and in Muslim-minority countries by radicalizing Muslim communities,” Open Doors stated.

One example: “Every day six women are raped, sexually harassed, or forced into marriage to a Muslim under threat of death due to their Christian faith,” Open Doors reported. This number is likely low, since it includes only reported incidents. It also points to the double persecution—for both their gender and religion—that Christian women face in much of the world.

The majority of the countries on the list saw an overall increase in persecution from 2016 to 2017 (30 of 50). Five of the six countries where persecution increased the most were majority-Muslim, with the notable exception of India, which moved from No. 15 in 2017 to No. 11 in 2018.

What’s the Newest Threat to the Persecuted Church?

“Radical Hinduism and Indian nationalism are driving factors in the increasing levels of unrest and instability Christians face,” Open Doors reported. “In 2014, India scored only 55 points, while during the 2018 reporting period, [WWL] researchers assigned 81 points to the nation—one of the fastest and most intense increases seen.”

India’s Hindu nationalism has been growing since the election of nationalist Narendra Modi to prime minister in 2014, and was highlighted by the election of nationalist president Ram Nath Kovind last summer.

Under Modi, religious freedom violations against Christians—such as social exclusion, abuse, and imprisonment—have spread unchecked. In 2017, Open Doors counted more than 600 persecution incidents, though “most cases actually remain unreported, so the true number is much higher,” the organization said. (At the same time, Compassion International’s 589 Indian centers serving 145,000 children were shut down without explanation.)

India’s religious nationalism has swelled over its borders, spilling into neighbouring Nepal and catapulting that country onto the list—and halfway up it, at No. 25. In October, Hindu-majority Nepal took aim at evangelism by criminalising religious conversion; the Pew Research Center has noted increasing social hostility there as far back as 2015.