WASHINGTON, DC, May 1 – The persecution of Christians is not limited to the middle east. A new report by the human rights group, China Aid, shows that a tidal wave of brutal religious oppression is sweeping across Communist China. Its 2014 Annual Report of Religious and Human Rights Persecution in China issued just days ago revealed that there was a 300% increase in the cases of religious persecution last year.
“Although the Chinese persecutors might be described as tame compared to the atrocities of the jihadists or so-called ‘holy warriors’ in Arabia and Africa, the China Aid report suggests that Christians have become a target of choice on a global scale,” according to Dan Weber, president of the Association of Mature American Citizens.
The statistics confirm that notion. David Curry, president of Open Doors, which keeps track of nations based on the severity of persecution, has reported that the targeting of Christians worldwide reached historic levels in 2014 and that this year things may get even worse. Open Doors estimates that there are some 100 million Christians around the world who are in fear of their lives just because they believe in Christ.
“In regions where Christians are being persecuted as central targets, the trends and issues we track are expanding,” Curry said.
It is interesting to note that North Korea tops the list of the world’s worst oppressors, but it is the massacres perpetrated by extremist Islamic terrorists that are cause for the greatest concern, Weber noted. “The abuses in China and North Korea are alarming but in some Middle Eastern countries, there are few, if any, Christians left. Radical Muslims with distorted views of their mission in life have used extraordinarily cruel and vicious means to wipe out whole Christian communities. They’ve beheaded men, women and children in great numbers. Women are raped and sold off as sex slaves.”
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria [ISIS] and the terror group, Al-Shabaab, have openly stated their intent to rid the lands they seek to control of Christians either by murdering them or forcing them to renounce their faith. They’ve even reached out to Europe using terror and the threat of terror to create havoc in Paris, Rome and elsewhere in the Christian world.
Individuals on both the right and the left have expressed concern. The conservative evangelist Reverend Franklin Graham said he is concerned about the rapid spread of the anti-Christian movement and what could happen in the United States. He criticized the “conspicuous” silence of our political leaders
Earlier this month 12 Christian refugees from Libya were thrown overboard and drowned by Muslim extremists. Liberal columnist Kirsten Powers wrote about it in her column in USA Today. She, too, was critical, singling out President Obama for remaining “mute” on the incident. At a joint news conference after a meeting with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Powers noted that Mr. Obama “failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested? When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.”
Weber concluded that while the rise of Christian persecution is gaining greater attention, there is a need for western countries, including the U.S., to view the problem as a matter of foreign policy. “We need a serious solution to a grim problem. We need to encourage our leadership to take appropriate action to preserve and protect religious freedom at home and abroad. The Founding Fathers considered the right to worship enough of a national security issue to make it a key part of the first amendment in our Constitution. We need, as a nation, to take it seriously enough to make it a priority of our foreign policy.”
NOTE TO EDITORS: Dan Weber is available for telephone interviews on this issue. Editors/reporters may contact John Grimaldi at 917-846-8485 or [email protected] to set up a call.
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