Whilst we can freely worship in our churches, safely read our Bibles and even say Grace at dinner with our families – many around the world simply can’t.
96five’s Alex Mile spoke with Tim Reid, from Open Doors Australia on Sunday Celebration to discuss the persecution of the church around the world and what can be done to help.
Open Doors Australia has recently released its World Watch List, a ranking of the 50 most dangerous countries to be a Christian. Topping the list is North Korea followed by Afghanistan before Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan round out the top 5.
As Reid explains the persecution stems from a number of sources depending on where Christians are located.
“(in) North Korea the persecution comes from the government there trying to stamp Christianity out of any form of life whether it be private or public. (Alternatively in Afghanistan it’s) Islamic extremism and tribal groups trying to expel any other kind of faith they perceive as a threat.”
The oppression also takes different forms ranging from suppression to imprisonment to mob lynchings. Reid also tells of how the most violent place to be a Christian is Pakistan where brutal attacks have left many believers abducted or dead.
The 2017 list has seen a number of major positional shifts which include India where the situation has deteriorated greatly thanks to Hindu extremism and tight legislation by both state and national governments. Positively though, oppression in Syria has reduced thanks to a loosening of Islamic State’s stronghold.
In an effort to help curb the growth of Church persecution, you can help by praying as well as generating awareness with your friends and family who may not know about this expanding issue.
If you’d like to financially support the work of Open Doors Australia, that can be done here.
Listen to the full interview above.