International Christian News: Shedding Light on the Persecuted Church

Shedding Light on the Persecuted Church

In a world where faith often faces severe opposition, the global Christian community stands united in its commitment to spreading the gospel. For many believers, this dedication comes at a tremendous personal cost.

Christianity News Daily’s International Christian News section reports on the persecuted church, highlighting the trials and tribulations Christians face worldwide. Our mission is to inform, inspire, and mobilize support for our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.

Where It’s Hardest to Follow Jesus

1. North Korea

North Korea continues to be the most challenging country for Christians to practice their faith. The government views Christianity as a severe threat to its authority. Believers must worship in secret, facing the constant danger of imprisonment, torture, and even death if discovered.

2. Somalia

Christians in Somalia who have converted from Islam endure harsh persecution from the government and extremist groups like Al-Shabab. Identifying as a Christian can lead to immediate death.

3. Libya

Libya’s instability has led to rampant persecution of Christians. Extremist groups and tribal factions often target Christians, leading to kidnapping, torture, and execution.

4. Eritrea

Eritrea is notorious for its strict suppression of religious freedom. Heavy government restrictions on spiritual practices lead to the frequent imprisonment of Christians without proper trials.

5. Yemen

In Yemen, the ongoing civil war exacerbates the persecution of Christians. Conversion from Islam is considered apostasy and can cause death. Believers must practice their faith in extreme secrecy.

6. Nigeria

Nigeria is a focal point of violence against Christians, particularly from Boko Haram and Fulani herders. Attacks on churches are common, and believers often experience abduction, torture, and mortality.

7. Pakistan

The enforcement of blasphemy laws frequently victimizes the Christian community in Pakistan. False accusations can result in mob violence, imprisonment, and even death sentences.

8. Sudan

Despite alterations in the political landscape, Christians in Sudan persistently encounter harsh restrictions and persecution. Harassment, imprisonment, and destruction of churches are common forms of targeting believers.

9. Iran

Iran’s government engages in relentless persecution against those who convert to Christianity from Islam. Raids on house churches frequently result in arrests and lengthy prison terms for their leaders.

10. Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, Christianity is virtually nonexistent publicly. Converts to Islam face the death penalty, and Taliban control increases the danger for any discovered Christians.

11. India

Hindu nationalist groups frequently target Christians in India through violence and social exclusion. Using anti-conversion laws in different states results in the harassment and imprisonment of believers.

Where Christians Face the Most Violence

1. Nigeria

Frequent attacks by Boko Haram and Fulani militants make Nigeria the most violent place for Christians. The faithful are facing a loss of life, the destruction of worship places, and the forced displacement of entire communities.

2. Pakistan

Christians in Pakistan experience violence from extremist groups and individuals. Violent incidents often target Christian communities following accusations of blasphemy.

3. India

Hindu extremist groups in India have been escalating their violence against Christians. Acts of vandalism target churches, pastors face beatings, and believers endure mob violence.

4. Eritrea

Eritrean Christians endure violence from government forces, including imprisonment, torture, and forced labor in harsh conditions.

5. Mali

In Mali, Islamist extremist groups target Christians for violence, including kidnappings and killings.

6. Myanmar

Myanmar’s Christian communities, particularly among ethnic minorities, face violence from both the military and militant Buddhist groups.

7. Bangladesh

Bangladeshi Christians convert to Islam, face violence from extremist groups, and face societal rejection.

8. Central African Republic

In the Central African Republic, the ongoing civil conflict puts Christian communities at risk of frequent attacks by militant groups.

9. Democratic Republic of Congo

Christians in the DRC face violence from various armed groups, including kidnappings and killings.

Where Christians Were Martyred Most

1. Nigeria: 4,118

Nigeria has the highest number of Christian martyrs, with thousands killed by Boko Haram and Fulani militants.

2. Democratic Republic of Congo: 261

Various armed groups in the DRC frequently target and kill Christians during ongoing conflicts.

3. India: 160

Hindu extremist groups in India intentionally target Christians and martyr them due to their faith.

4. Uganda: 55

In Uganda, Christians face martyrdom from extremist groups and local hostilities.

5. Myanmar: 34

Myanmar’s ethnic conflicts resulted in the martyrdom of many Christian believers.

6. Burkina Faso: 31

Islamist militants in Burkina Faso target Christians, which causes many fatalities.

7. Cameroon: 24

Cameroonian Christians face attacks from extremist groups and internal conflict.

8. Central African Republic: 23

The violence in ongoing conflicts often affects Christians in the Central African Republic.

9. Colombia: 16

In Colombia, Christian leaders often face martyrdom at the hands of drug cartels and militant groups.

Locations with the Highest Number of Church Attacks or Closures

1. China: 10,000*

China has the highest number of church closures and attacks, driven by the government’s strict control over religious practices.

2. India: 2,228

In India, Hindu extremist groups frequently attack and destroy churches.

3. Nigeria: 750

Boko Haram and Fulani militants frequently attack and burn Nigerian churches.

4. Nicaragua: 347

In Nicaragua, the government has closed and attacked many churches amid political unrest.

5. Ethiopia: 284

Ethiopian churches face closures and attacks due to ethnic and religious conflicts.

6. Rwanda: 120

In Rwanda, the government has closed many churches, citing safety regulations, but often targeting smaller Christian communities.

7. Sudan: 100*

Sudanese Christians face frequent church closures and attacks by government forces.

8. Burkina Faso: 100*

Islamist militants often attack Burkina Faso’s churches.

9. Niger: 100*

Niger sees frequent church closures and attacks by extremist groups.

10. Angola: 100*

Angolan authorities have closed many churches, citing regulatory issues.

11. Myanmar: 100*

Myanmar’s ongoing conflicts have led to many church attacks and closures.

Nongovernmental Actors Producing Persecution

The U.S. State Department lists several entities of particular concern for their roles in persecuting Christians:

  • Boko Haram and ISWAP in Nigeria (No. 6 on the WWL)
  • The Taliban in Afghanistan (No. 10)
  • Al-Shabaab in Somalia (No. 2)
  • Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham in Syria (No. 12)
  • The Houthis in Yemen (No. 5)
  • The Wagner Group for its activities in the Central African Republic (No. 28)
  • ISIS-Greater Sahara and Jamaat Nasr al-Islam wal Muslimin in the Sahel

These groups handle widespread violence, persecution, and instability, severely impacting Christian communities.

Conclusion: Standing in Solidarity

The persecuted church reminds us of the cost of discipleship and the power of unwavering faith. We must stand in solidarity with our fellow believers, offering prayers, support, and voices as we report their suffering and triumphs. By highlighting their stories, Christianity News Daily aims to inspire action and foster a global community united in faith and compassion.

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