Jesus told his disciples that the world would hate them because they were his disciples. The Book of Acts records a litany of ways in which the first Christians were persecuted. History records the terrible acts of persecution suffered by Christians at the hands of the Romans.
Throughout history, Christians have been persecuted because of their faith. Now, a new report reveals that the persecution of Christians is on the rise.
The organization Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) has released a new report titled: “Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for their Faith: 2015-2017 Executive Summary.”
The report is lengthy and comprehensive. In the foreword, Archbishop Issam John Darwish writes about the suffering of Christians in Syria at the hands of Islamist extremists. Referencing Jesus’ statement about feeding the poor and caring for the oppressed in Matthew 25, Archbishop Darwish reveals that the UN has failed to provide aid. Other humanitarian organizations have failed to provide aid as well.
Explaining that he and other Christians have opened their homes and cupboards as they seek to care for Christians suffering because of their faith, he concludes:
However, as this “Persecuted and Forgotten?” report describes, these acts of extremism are occurring not only in Syria, but also in neighboring Iraq and various African countries. Nor is extremism the only problem facing our brothers and sisters, and in places like North Korea and China they are crushed by the heavy burden of state repression and intimidation.
Detailing the genocide against Christians happening around the globe, the report is sobering. It’s not just a dry listing of numbers; the report includes stories of broken humanity and suffering, and puts faces to the statistics.
The researchers discovered:
In 12 of the 13 countries reviewed, the situation for Christians was worse in overall terms in the period 2015-2017 than within the preceding two years.
In terms of the numbers of people involved, the gravity of the crimes committed and their impact, it is clear that the persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history. Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution.
As many in the Western world turn a blind eye and deaf ear to the immense suffering of Christians around the globe, that suffering is only going to increase. Eventually, that suffering and persecution will spread to Christians in the West as well.
ACN’s website describes itself as follows:
Aid to the Church in Need is a papal charity of the Catholic Church, supporting the Catholic faithful and other Christians where they are persecuted, oppressed or in pastoral need.
And lists its objectives:
To support and promote the Church, especially in countries where Christians are suffering persecution or discrimination. To further the other charitable work of the Church by providing practical assistance and pastoral care for persons in need, especially those who are living in, or are refugees from, such countries.