Persecution of Christians Accelerates Dramatically in 2010

Posted: January 6, 2011 in End times, Islam, Open Doors
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The lastest from OPEN DOORS concerning the persecution of Christians throughout the world.  Every year they compile a list of top ten nations which persecute Christians   Its worth posted as OPEN DOORS has shared it.

“Today’s release of the listing shows North Korea at No. 1 for the ninth year in a row. Moeller notes there were no surprises on this year’s list. However, “The biggest thing that we learned from putting the list together this year is that the entire level of persecution globally is accelerating at a really dramatic rate.”

Last year, Iran was No. 2 followed by Saudi Arabia at No. 3. Several countries might climb up on the list, including Pakistan (No. 14 in 2010) and Iraq (No. 17 last year) due to increased persecution over the past 12 months.

Moeller says, “Eight out of the top ten countries on our World Watch List this year are Islamic countries where Islamic extremism has gained the upper hand.”

That can be troubling in places where there are sympathetic leaders. A case in point is Tuesday’s assassination of the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab province. A government official says Salman Taseer was assassinated by his own security guard because he spoke out against the country’s controversial blasphemy law. “It is horrible to imagine the kind of social situation that would justify or at least give an excuse to an extremist in the very bodyguard of the governor of the state of Punjab to assassinate him on the basis of the governor’s opposition to these blasphemy laws.”

Taseer put a spotlight on Pakistan’s controversial law in November when a Christian woman, Asia Bibi of Punjab province, was sentenced to death for blasphemy. He believed the law was being misused for the purpose of targeting minorities.

His thoughts about the law were correct, and Moeller agrees. “One of the worst situations that Christians throughout the Middle East face are these ‘blasphemy’ laws. It’s typified by the United Nations Resolution defending the rights of Islam to not be defamed. Quickly said, ‘defamation of religion’ in that context means someone converting to Christianity.”

The backlash over Taseer’s November statement was immediate and deadly. And it’s ongoing. Moeller says, “We’ve had a report from one of our contacts on the ground in Pakistan that a national strike is being called again by Islamic extremists to support these blasphemy laws and to continue to hold this woman, Asia Bibi, as an example, to hold the government to carry out her execution.”  

Major attacks on Christians occurred during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. In Egypt (No. 20 last year), at least 21 Christians were killed in a bomb blast on New Year’s Day outside Saints Church in Alexandria. There were also killings of Christians in Iraq and Nigeria (No. 27 in 2010).

As the tension simmers over an articulated strategy to eradicate Christianity, Moeller says the World Watch List’s release is an important tool in a Christian response. “The first thing we can do is to pray.  Secondly, though, we can use our voice. Again, the World Watch List is a great tool for us to speak to countries that are sensitive to religious liberty. And lastly, this World Watch List also tells us the areas that need our help the most. Many Christian refugees are fleeing their homes, and we’ve got to be there supporting them.”

The World Watch List ranks countries according to the intensity of persecution Christians face for actively pursuing their faith. It is compiled from Open Doors’ indigenous contacts, field workers, and persecuted believers based on answers to questions covering various aspects of religious freedom

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