CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH
Christians Most Persecuted Religious Group In the World, Study Says
December 29, 2016 — Breitbart.com reports: “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, with around 90,000 killed for their faith in 2016, the director of a leading religious study group has said.
Massimo Introvigne, Director of the Centre for Studies on New Religions (Cesnur), told Vatican Radio that around half a billion Christians in the world are unable to express their faith completely freely, while around 90,000 – one every six minutes – died for their faith in the past year alone.
Referring to statistics from the Centre for the Study of Global Christianity, Mr Introvigne said around 70 per cent of Christians murdered in 2016 died in tribal conflicts in Africa. These deaths were included, he said, because very often they involved Christians who refuse to take up arms for reasons of conscience.
‘The other 30 per cent, or 27,000, were killed in terror attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or government persecution,’ he added…” (Jesus stated in Matthew 24:9: “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” The latest reports confirm that Christians are hated and persecuted in 130 nations. See the next three reports.)
Report: 90,000 Christians Killed for Their Faith in 2016
January 1, 2017 — Breitbart.com reports: “During the year 2016, some 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith around the world, according to a new study from the Turin-based Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR).
The director of CESNUR and leader of the study, Dr. Massimo Introvigne, told Breitbart News that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, and the numbers of those affected are staggering.
Christians are targeted primarily for two reasons, Introvigne said, ‘first because their proclamation of peace disturbs more belligerent groups; and second, because their social teachings on life, family and poverty are opposed by powerful forces.’
While in the past century, atheistic communist regimes were the greatest persecutors of Christians, Introvigne added, the geopolitical landscape has changed considerably since then and the actors have changed as well.
While ‘Communism’s last salvoes’ are still responsible for some ill-treatment of Christians, Introvigne told Breitbart, ‘Islamic ultra-fundamentalism’ has taken its place as the number-one agent of persecution…”
‘Worst Year Yet’: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Hardest to Be a Christian
January 12, 2017 — ChristianityToday.com reports: “For the third year in a row, the modern persecution of Christians worldwide has hit another record high.
But the primary cause, Islamic extremism, now has a rival: ethnic nationalism.
Thus, Asia increasingly merits concern alongside the Middle East, according to the 2017 World Watch List (WWL) released today by Open Doors…
The annual list examines the pressures faced by Christians in five spheres of life (private, family, community, national, and church), plus levels of religiously motivated violence, in order to rank the top 50 countries where ‘Christians face the most persecution.’…”
Migrant Stabs Christian Woman Because She Was Reading Bible
January 1, 2017 — Breitbart.com reports: “An Afghan migrant attacked a woman at an asylum centre in Austria because she was reading a bible.
The attack took place in the town on Timelkam in the state of Upper Austria. The attacker was a 22-year-old migrant from Afghanistan who became annoyed that the 50-year-old woman had been invited by Christian residents to read the bible.
Austrian paper Kronen Zeitung says he ran into the kitchen where the woman was talking and attempted to stab her in her upper body. Her thick winter coat protected from serious harm, however she fell and injured her ear due the force of the blow.
Police arrived at the scene and arrested the migrant. He admitted he had overreacted, although he told police this was due to ‘personal problems’. He also stated that he had never seen the woman before the attack.
There have been numerous incidents of Christians coming under attack in migrant centres across Europe.
One charity said that over 700 Christians have been attacked in German asylums homes since May 2016, with the majority of perpetrators being Muslim…”
Christian Woman In China Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Holding Bible Study
January 3, 2017 — ChristianToday.com reports: “A Christian woman in China has been sentenced to three years in prison for holding a Bible study after being accused of ‘gathering a crowd to disturb public order’.
China Aid reported that Ma Huichao was sentenced on Friday at a court in the western Xinjiang region of the country.
She had been taken into police custody along with four other Christians when officials claimed that their Bible study met without government approval, and stood trial in mid-November.
China Aid added that Ma’s lawyer, Li Dunyong was disallowed to plead innocent on her behalf, and Ma received a three-year prison sentence beginning on 30 December…” (“Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” – Revelation 2:10, 11. See the next report.)
Evangelical Pastor Sentenced To Over Two Years In Prison In China
January 6, 2017 — ChristianToday.com reports: “An evangelical Christian pastor in China who has been detained for more than a year has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
House church pastor Yang Hua, also known as Li Guozhi, was sentenced in Guizhou province on a charge of ‘divulging state secrets’, according to persecution watchdog China Aid.
Police raided his Huoshi Church in December 2015 and arrested Yang after he tried to stop officials from confiscating the church computer hard drives.
His lawyers later filed a suit stating he had suffered torture while in prison.
Bob Fu, president and founder of China Aid, condemned his treatment: ‘This is nothing but purely barbaric religious persecution. We urge President Obama and President-Elect Trump to unequivocally condemn this brutal act,’ he said.
Last June Yang wrote to his wife from prison urging her to place her full trust in God…”