Ethics & Religion
March 28, 2019
Christian Persecution Rising Abroad
By Mike McManus
Juliet, a 15-year-old Christian girl in Nigeria, was orphaned recently
when her parents were killed for their Christian faith.
Christian persecution is rising particularly in China, India, and
Nigeria, according to Release International, a British charity which has
followed this trend for 50 years. The context of the persecution differs
by region. The attackers range from militant Islam in Nigeria, Communism
in China and militant Hinduism in India.
The massacre of 50 innocent Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand shocked
the world recently. However, more than 120 Christians were gunned down
or killed with machetes over the past three weeks by Muslims. Did you
"see that reported in mainstream media?" asks David Virtue, a Christian
Twelve 12 Christian villages were wiped out by Fulani tribesmen,
resulting in 200 Christians dead. In the Philippines, Muslims bombed a
Roman Catholic cathedral, killing 20 people and wounding dozens more.
Virtue reports that to date in 2019, there have been 453 Muslim attacks
in which 1,956 people have been murdered. In 2018, a total of 4,305
Christians were murdered by Muslim attacks across the world. If the 2019
pace continues, 12,000 Christians will be killed this year - nearly
three times the deaths of 2018!
But if a Jew or a Muslim or a black is killed by a white nationalist, it
is breaking news on TV and across the world.
Is that fair? Of course not.
In Nigeria, Fulani militants killed up to 6,000 Christians in north and
central Nigeria in the first six months of 2018 and drove 50,000 from
their homes (numbers calculated by Release International, which differ
somewhat from numbers quoted above.) Fulani militants, who are Muslim
herdsmen, are attacking Christian villages in the north of the country.
"The tactics they are using appear to be well coordinated and planned,"
asserted Andrew Boyd, a spokesman for Release International. He believes
that they are a "much more serious menace than Boko Haran," which has
gotten more visibility for its killings.
One tactic the Fulani employed was to fire shots at night and then lie
in wait with machetes for men, women and children who emerge from their
In India Christian persecution is sparked by Hindu nationalists who are
on the rise. They see no place for Muslims or Christians in India - and
have become emboldened since 2014 when the government of India Prime
Minister Narendra Modi assumed power.
There has been a rise of attacks on pastors and prayer meetings. Why?
The governments of several Indian states have passed "anti-conversion
That makes it illegal for a Muslim to become a Christian!
One pastor told Release he was thrown off a moving train for carrying
Bibles in a rucksack. His attackers yelled, "These people are spoiling
our religion!" By being thrown to a platform from a moving train, his
skull was fractured, shoulder bone and ankle broken and several teeth
were knocked out. However, the pastor continues to preach the Gospel.
Release International is providing Bibles in local languages to replace
those the militants destroy and is giving vital legal aid and support to
pastors who have been arrested.
Andrew Boyd of Release International said the United States could make a
difference: "The United States is so important. When the U.S. declares a
country of particular concern the world sits up and takes notice. Your
role really matters when it comes to religious persecution. You give out
a message that the world is watching."
The Open Doors World Watch List reports that Christian women "often face
double persecution" for their faith and gender. Its examines the 50 most
difficult countries in which to be a Christian and reports that every
month 255 Christians are killed, 104 are abducted, 66 churches are
attacked, 160 Christians are detained without trial and imprisoned and
180 Christian women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into
It estimates that 215 million Christians live in countries with "high
levels of persecution." That represents one in 12 Christians worldwide.
Much of this persecution comes from Islamic oppression, which is
spreading in Asia (Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia) and Africa
(Egypt, Nigeria and Somalia). It is also growing in Central Asia in such
countries as Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
What can be done to reverse these trends?
Consider financial support of such organizations as Open Doors and
And pray for persecuted Christians daily.
Copyright (c) 2018 Michael J. McManus, President of Marriage Savers and
a syndicated columnist. To read past columns, go to
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2019: Column 1965: Protecting Girls from Suicide
Eight Reasons To Marry
Ten Myths of Marriage
The Ministry of Marriage 911
The Message by Eugene Peterson
Green New Deal
Christian Persecution Rising Abroad
Gun Control Laws Needed
The Worst Valentine:
Pornography: A Public Health Hazard
Sextortion Kills Teens
Cohabitation: A Risky Business
same sex marriage,
abortion and infanticide,