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Digital persecution is on the rise, the WWL 2020 shows. Asia Bibi’s release was one of the the good news.
The spread of violent Islamic militancy across Sub-Saharan Africa and South-east Asia, and the rise of Christians targeted by organized crime in Latin America, are some of the trends of the 2020 Open Doors WWL.
Growing pressure on Christians in China, Algeria, Burkina Faso, according to the 2020 Open Doors World Watch List. Christians face severe persecution in 73 countries.
August 22 is the International Day commemorating the victims of acts of violence based on religion or belief. More than 4000 Christians were killed in 2018 because of their faith.
“If Prime Minister Modi wins again, the persecution of Christians in India will continue to grow”, says Vijayesh Lal, General Secretary of the Evangelical Fellowship of India. Voting will finish on May 19.
A Hindu extremist practice of turning animistic villagers against Christians has intensified in Jharkhand, as general elections are underway through May.
The Pope congratulated Morocco for what he considers to be a good coexistence between Muslims and Christians. The country ranks 35th in the World Watch List.
There has been an serious increase in persecution of Christian communities in China in the last months.
According to World Watch List, released today by Open Doors International, 4,305 people died in 2018 because of their Christian faith. Christian persecution has drastically increased.
Six countries sign an agreement to create the “Coalition for Happiness”. Among its members, there are countries where Christians are increasingly persecuted: the United Arab Emirates, Mexico and Kazakhstan.
How will we react if God calls us to take a step of faith which could have drastic consequences?
Military Police used excavators and dynamite to destroy the Golden Lampstand Church. “This might be a new pattern against any independent churches”, Christian advocacy groups warn.
Intolerance against Christians is highest in Central and Southeast Asia, after North Korea. The situation worsens dramatically in Africa. In Europe, two people were murdered bacause of their faith last year.
Around 1800 people from 160 churches gathered throughout Spain to pray for the persecution of Christians. “There are no closed borders, prisons or doors when we pray”.
“It is a well-planned conspiracy against the Christian community”, pastor Johnson Sathyanathan, president of the Synod of Pentecostal Churches of Coimbator, says.
Other shipments of Bibles at Port Sudan have also been detained over the past two years. “It is difficult to get Bibles in the country”, a church leader says.
The UN Security Council holds an emergency meeting. “Dialogue and understanding is the right and moral way forward”, says World Evangelical Alliance.
The government often uses this accusation against converts instead of the charge of apostasy, in an attempt to avoid international scrutiny.
One minor was held for 25 days, another is still in custody, along with five adult volunteers.
According to Open Doors, 215 million Christians suffer “high, very high or extreme persecution”. North Korea continues at the top of the World Watch List. Africa is the region in which more Christians are killed because of their faith.
The situation of Christians in North Korea does not seem to have improved during this past year.
Syria, Central African Republic, Egypt, Iraq, and Vietnam are also among the “countries of particular concern.” For the first time, Western Europe is in the list as a place that “deserve monitoring.”
The regime claims Billy Graham told a North Korean newspaper Kim Il Sung was “God” who “rules the human world.” Voice of the Martyrs says the controversy is an example of why religious figures should not travel to the isolated country.
Assemblies of God pastor: “There is no security, our non-Christian neighbours insult us almost daily, and we are scared.”
“We can be the voice of those who cannot cry out by themselves”, the Director of Open Doors Spain says in an interview. “Nigeria is the country where most people have died because of their faith.”