Eight of the ten countries where Christians face the worst persecution are Islamic nations, according to Open Doors USA’s 2018 “world watch list,” which attributes the maltreatment to “Islamic oppression.”
And of the top 50 “countries where it is most dangerous to follow Jesus” in this year’s report, no fewer than 36 are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the bloc of Muslim-majority states.
The advocacy organization reports that 215 million Christians – one in 12 worldwide – experience high levels of persecution.
During the reporting period for the 2018 list, it says, 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 were abducted, 1,020 were raped or sexually harassed, and 793 churches were attacked.
The two non-Islamic states among the ten worst persecutors of Christians in the latest report are North Korea – the Stalinist regime has topped the list every year since 2002 and does so again this year; and Eritrea, an authoritarian dictatorship that has ranked in the top ten since 2015, and is in sixth place this year.
The eight Islamic nations in the top ten are, in order of severity of the persecution, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, Yemen and Iran.
Syria has dropped out of the top ten for the first time in five years. In 2014, Open Doors ranked it as the third-worst persecutor of Christians.
Islamic countries account for well below one-third of the total number of countries in the world. Yet they have dominated the top ten of the Open Doors’ annual list of Christian persecutors every year for more than a decade.
Back in 2004, only four of the top ten countries were Islamic. (The six non-Islamic countries on that year’s list were North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, Bhutan, Burma and China.)
The number of Muslim states among the top ten then rose steadily – to five in 2005 and 2006, to six in 2007 and 2008, to seven in 2009. Every year since 2010, either eight or nine of the ten countries listed have been Islamic.
Major trends in Christian persecution identified by Open Doors this year include the rise of religious nationalism, seen especially in countries like India and Burma; and intense persecution in former Soviet Central Asian republics, coming both from nationalist pro-Islamic governments and from societies where Islam is reviving.
The spread of radical Islam is a particularly key factor.
“Islamic oppression is one of the most widely recognized sources of persecution for Christians in the world today – and it continues to spread – aiming to bring many parts of the world under shari’a law,” the report says.
“The movement, which often results in Islamic militancy and persecution of Christians, is expanding in Asia (Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia) and Africa (Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia).”
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Persecution of Christians was always a non-story under Obama. Wonder why.............
What the hell are we fighting for? Ah, just surrender and it won't hurt at all. You just got time to say your prayers. Yeah, while you're waiting for the hammer to fall. (Brian May of Queen)