Jesus warned that Christian persecution would increase toward the end, and it certainly has. Open Doors publishes its World Watch List of persecution of the Church and it states “Every month –
- 255 Christians are killed
- 104 are abducted
- 180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage
- 66 churches are attacked
- 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned”
A Newsweek article stated
“The persecution and genocide of Christians across the world is worse today “than at any time in history,” and Western governments are failing to stop it, a report from a Catholic organization said.
The study by Aid to the Church in Need said the treatment of Christians has worsened substantially in the past two years compared with the two years prior, and has grown more violent than any other period in modern times.”
Of the ten worse countries that persecute Christians, eight are Islamic. While Islamic peoples flood the western countries, demanding equality under the law, and demanding the use of Sharia Law, they do not allow the same rights to Christians in their countries of origin.
Already, in the United States, Islamic groups are demanding to be ruled by Shariah Law. If Americans are wise, they will reject any such notions. A simple examination of countries under Islamic rule will show the loss of personal freedom, loss of freedom of the press, and loss of freedom of religion. Islam does not allow for the truth and as the Bible declares, ‘it is the truth that sets you free.‘ The recent murder of a Saudi Journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, highlights this problem.
“Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist who has previously criticized the kingdom’s leadership, disappeared after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul Tuesday, according to multiple reports.”
As Christians, we should pray for Islamic peoples for they have been deceived into a false teaching. God created them and loves them as much as us. All they need is the truth. They need Jesus, who said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
As we share this truth, we should be aware that not all will receive it. As John wrote in Revelation about persecution –
“When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were,was completed.” – Rev. 6:9-11
America is one of the last countries in which its citizens are free to practice the religion of their choice but, that freedom is based squarely on the teachings of the Bible and Christianity. Belief in Jesus, the Christ, is based on free choice and not forced on anyone. Under this model, the United States has prospered and is the envy of the nations of the world. We should beware of those who come wanting the prosperity but not the belief that produced it.