All posts tagged: persecution of Christians

Is Christianity being criminalized around the world?

Several faith leaders in Ireland are suggesting that the government is trying to criminalize Christianity after its health minister, Stephan Donnelly, signed a ban outlawing church services. But it was more than just a ban, in the process, the Irish government made it a criminal offence for a church to hold in person services, with leaders and even those attending a service facing potential jail time of six months. It is one thing to fine someone, but it is entirely a different matter to imprison them. Whether it was intentional or not, the government basically criminalized Christian activity. In an interview with Premier Christian News, John Ahern, who pastors All Nations Church in Dublin, Ireland, said: “This ongoing lockdown is indefensible. The government passed a law that criminalises religious gatherings so to either organise or to attend a religious service has now become a criminal offense in the Republic of Ireland, and for myself as a pastor the situation’s become untenable. I cannot in good conscience continue in this situation, knowing and seeing the damage …

Venezuelan believers had crosses carved in their backs and were forced to eat pages of the Bible

Four Christians in Libertador, Venezuela were horribly attacked on February 16, 2021 at a drug rehabilitation center being operated by the House of Restoration, a church in the city. According to a report by Open Doors, the group was assaulted by eight hooded members of a local drug gang associated with the Communist regime of President Nicolás Maduro Moros. When the regime’s socialist policies resulted in the utter collapse of the country’s economy, Maduro’s government reportedly linked up with drug lords to ensure additional revenue. Though none of the church members were killed all required hospitalization. The attackers brutally beat the believers, stabbed them, forced them to eat pages out of the Bible, carved large crosses on their backs with knives and broke ribs and limbs. In addition, members of the attacking group also pronounced curses on the believers and the church. In an interview with Premier Christian News, Dr David Landrum, a spokesman for Open Doors noted: “The cutting of crosses into the bodies of these young Christians, and the forced eating of pages of the Bible is deeply disturbing.   …

Persecution: What do you really believe?

Most people reading this are completely free to follow any religion, and to change their minds any time. We are free. We are so free that some believers have a hard time explaining what they believe, and maybe some struggle to understand what they believe. That is the price of freedom. I remember going to church, when I was a boy; my whole family went to church, and I had no choice. When I became an adult, I decided what I believed, and who I was. That was a big adjustment for me. In some places in the world, it’s very important to know what you believe. A person can be prosecuted, and even killed for believing the “wrong” thing. “Wrong” is an idea from the government or some powerful organization. We may be going in that direction in the comfortable free countries. READ: Varvel: Why ‘The View’s’ Joy Behar finally apologized to Mike Pence If you are a Christian, how do you feel about the accusation that you are mentally ill? In the U.S. …

OpenDoors reports a 60% increase in the number of believers who died for their faith in 2020

According to OpenDoors annual report, there was a 60% increase in the number of Christians who died for their faith in 2020 over 2019. This was a largely led by a dramatic rise in the number of Christians murdered in Nigeria by Islamic extremists. OpenDoors reported that 4,761 Christians died for their faith last year with 2,200 of them taking place in Nigeria. Several have been warning of a potential for a Christian genocide in the African nation. It also appears that the violence directed at Christians in Nigeria is spreading into neighbouring countries. This has been part of an overall increase in the persecution of Christians around the world noted by OpenDoors, an organization dedicated to helping persecuted Christians around the world. In their report, OpenDoors added that governments have also been using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to come down on Christians. They are not only trying to stop churches from meeting, while allowing similar secular events to continue, but in some areas of the world, they are purposefully cutting back aid …

Preparing for the end times

When the warden for All Saints’ Radford church in Nottinghamshire showed up at the church on Sunday, July 26, 2020, Lorraine Smedley discovered that vandals had painted upside down crosses and swastikas on the church building. The Nottinghamshire police referred to it as a “hate crime.” Across the English Channel in France, reports indicate the number of attacks against Christian churches in that country has increased nearly 300% in just 12 years according to the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe (OIDACE), a Venice-based organization. OIDACE reports that in 2018, the French government officially stated that there were 275 attacks, fires and vandalism, against churches in that county. That number had climbed to 1,052 attacks by 2019, representing a 285% increase. Recently, there was an arson attack on a 500-year-old Cathedral in Nantes, France on July 18, 2020. Unfortunately, this is only the tip of the iceberg because these simply represent threats and attacks against physical structures. In 2018, the French government reported that there were 2,000 hate crimes against Christians. Though …

Last words: Never give up your faith in Jesus

You have probably never heard of Kande Mudu, 27, but the Apostle John mentioned Kande in his vision of the end times found in the book of Revelation. Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) recently reported on what happened to Kande, a Christian living in Khunti district in Jharkhand state located in the North East corner of India. CSW is an organization that monitors religious freedom in 20 countries. According to CSW, Kande and his wife Bindu became Christians in 2016, and they along with their two daughter were the only Christians in the small village where they lived. On June 7, 2020, a mob of armed Hindu extremists started pounding on the door of the family home around 8 PM. They eventually broke down the door and dragged Kinde out of the house. They then started beating him with their weapons and Kinde was killed when an assailant slit his throat. Kinde’s body was discovered later that night on a deserted road. This was not the first time the family had been assaulted because of their …

Good News for a Persecuted Christian

What does it cost to be a Christian? A pastor in Myanmar, also known as Burma, was kidnapped by an armed rebel group, and after a year had passed with no news, most people assumed he was dead. More than a year after his capture, the pastor was returned to his family. He had been captured with another man, and the article does not mention what happened to him. Possibly that second man paid with his life for being a follower of Jesus. These two good men, our brothers, are an example to us all. We were told by Jesus “Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” (Luke 14: 33) READ: Myanmar pastor presumed dead returns home more than a year later

Church in Germany Credit: Bernard Blanc/Flickr/Creative Commons

Bad News for Organized Religion

Where I live, we are a few days away from an election. A few night’s ago, we had a leader’s debate, with all the usual personal attacks and petty bickering. The reaction today is that no-one won the debate, and the voters haven’t changed their minds about how they will vote. It was all a required exercise before the vote, with no results. In all the arguments, there is a story about someone who preached a sermon at a Baptist church. I wasn’t there for the sermon, but apparently he talked about sexuality and morals, and he described some similarities between homosexuals, and pedophiles who molest children. I don’t know what he said, but someone found a record of the sermon, and noted that the preacher is a candidate in the election. That has produced angry demands to fire the candidate, and he has apologized. The debate last night included angry words about “homophobia” but I predict that preacher will win his local election by a landslide. People in his small-town region don’t have a …

For the first time, India, the second largest country in the world, has entered the top ten list of countries where Christians face the worst persecution. Credit: Piviso/Flickr/Public Domain

‘Shocking’ jump in number of Christians facing persecution in 2018

According to figures released by Open Doors, the persecution of  Christians took a massive jump last year stating that 30 million people were added bringing the number of Christians vulnerable to persecution to 248 million, a 13.9% increase over 2017. Open Doors described this year-over-year increase in persecution as “shocking.” But it is part growing trend of Christian persecution seen around the world seen in recent years. Five years ago, Open Door only had one country on its severe persecution list and in 2018, there are now 11. Part of the 2018 jump is due to increased persecution of Christians in two of the world’s largest countries, China and India. In fact this past year India joined the top ten list of most dangerous countries for Christians for the first time. This was primarily due to the rise of persecution of Christians by radical Hindus, who believe it is non-Indian to join other religions. The change in China has been equally dramatic as it jumped from 43 spot in 2017 to 27th in 2018 as …

Red Square, Moscow Credit: Matt Shalvatis/Flickr/Creative Commons

How to be a Persecuted Christian

Are you a Christian? If ‘yes’ do you know that you will be persecuted? The Bible is very clear about that “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). “Will be.” I recently followed the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. And yes, it is dangerous for me to say that, but note that I live in Canada and I don’t want to pick sides in someone else’s argument. What I noticed was that accusers and the accused were like soldiers on the front line, and they could be sacrificed for the benefit of greater powers. I am sure the dispute was more intense because the U.S. was a few weeks away from mid-term elections, at the time. So much was at stake. I could say more, but I am now in dangerous territory. This is safe for me; I have often traveled to the U.S. and I am always impressed by the large numbers of good people that I meet …