Christians are suffering more persecution around the world than those from any other religion. In very broad brush terms it can be stated that in the West the main culprits are secular left ideologies, and their various laws designed to give special rights to homosexuals and Muslims, while taking them away from Christians.
And in the non-West, the main source of persecution is secular statist regimes and Muslim-majority regimes. So radical secularism and radical Islam are a common factor in so much of the persecution of Christians around the world. And this persecution continues to get worse and worse.
As to the West, I have documented countless cases of how various anti-vilification, anti-discrimination, and equal opportunity laws are being used to harass and silence Christians. The main beneficiaries of such laws are homosexuals and other sexual revolutionaries, and Muslims.
One recent report looking at the situation in Europe confirms all this. The headline is ominous: “Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, expert says”. The article begins: “In all, 15 European countries currently have laws on the books that effectively restrict the freedom of religious practice and speech of Christians, according to testimony at the annual meeting of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), May 22 in Tirana, Albania.
“Dr. Massimo Introvigne, an Italian sociologist and author said that Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, with one Christian being killed out of religious discrimination every five minutes, particularly in Islamic or Communist countries like North Korea.
“OSCE is the world’s largest security-oriented intergovernmental organization. ‘The most dangerous areas,’ Introvigne said, ‘are those which limit the conscientious objection of Christians who do not want to cooperate in abortion, the sale of abortifacient pills, or the celebration of same-sex marriage. In Europe, we have identified 14 laws that are likely to negatively affect the religious liberty of Christians in 15 countries,’ he said. ‘Fortunately, Italy is not among them.’
“In 2012, his group reported 169 rulings made in courts around Europe ‘that we judged to be dangerous to the freedom of Christians.’ Introvigne is the head of the Observatory on Religious Liberty established last year by the Italian Foreign Ministry and Mayor of Rome Gianni Alemanno.
“He highlighted laws which ‘limit the freedom to preach through the misuse of laws against so-called “hate speech”; those which restrict the freedom of religious education and parents’ rights to educate their children, and those which place restrictions on the use of religious symbols.’
“Introvigne warned that the ‘logic’ of anti-Christian legal discrimination in Western countries could easily lead to more violent outcomes. ‘Naturally, it would be a mistake to place homicidal violence against Christians occurring in some countries of Africa and Asia on the same plane with legal and administrative discrimination against Christians in Europe,’ he said. ‘But in terms of religious liberty, the logic of the inclined plane applies. Where discrimination becomes normal, the transition to violence is never far away,’ he concluded.
“At the 2011 conference, Introvigne said, ‘Between the 1st and the 20th centuries there were 70 million Christian martyrs and 40 million of them were in the last century’.”
Of course most of these martyrdoms, especially the more recent ones, have occurred in either communist countries or Islamic countries. A number of new books on persecution all agree that Islam is especially guilty of mass persecution of Christians.
For example, the new book Persecuted by Marshall, Gilbert and Shea puts it this way: “The most widespread persecution of Christians today takes place in the Muslim world, and it is spreading and intensifying.” I urge you to consult the volumes I list below. Some of them I have already reviewed, for example:
While sometimes the main thing we can do for persecuted brethren overseas is pray for them, as well as apply pressure through diplomatic means, home-grown persecution is something we can do much more about. We need to work against all the anti-Christian legislation which is being passed, and seek to revoke some of these really bad laws.
The various religious vilification laws, hate-speech laws, and so on are especially objectionable. But so too is much of the anti-discrimination and equal opportunity legislation. Our Christian freedoms are being stripped away from us on a regular basis and if we do not speak out, things will only get much worse.
For further reading:
Hefley, James and Marti Hefley, By Their Blood: Christian Martyrs from the Twentieth Century and Beyond. Baker, 1994.
Ibrahim, Raymond, Crucified Again. Regnery, 2013.
Marshall, Paul, Their Blood Cries Out. Word, 1997.
Marshall, Paul, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians. Thomas Nelson, 2013.
Moeller, Carl and David Hegg, The Privilege of Persecution: And Other Things the Global Church Knows that We Don’t. Moody, 2011.
Shea, Nina, In the Lion’s Den. Broadman & Holman, 1997.
Shortt, Rupert, Christianophobia. Rider, 2012.
Folger, Janet, The Criminalisation of Christianity. Multnomah, 2005.
Limbaugh, David, Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity. Harper, 2004.
Wildmon, Donald, Speechless: Silencing the Christians. Richard Vigilante Books, 2009.