Thursday, 10 October 2013

The "unreported catastrophe of our time"

On October 5th the Spectator ran an article about something the Church has long been praying about, and doing its best to draw attention to, the persecution of Christians. Now figures have been released that tell us on what scale this is on.

According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.

In effect, the world is witnessing the rise of an entire new generation of Christian martyrs. The carnage is occurring on such a vast scale that it represents not only the most dramatic Christian story of our time, but arguably the premier human rights challenge of this era as well.

The article makes disturbing, but necessary reading. You can access it here.

We need to make praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ one of our priorities and support such organisations as the Barnabas Fund or Christians Against Torture (the Welsh site is here).

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