Following an unprecedented rise of violence against religious communities and religious minorities, including Christians, the United Nations’ General Assembly set aside August 22 as the “International Day Commemorating the Victims of Acts of Violence Based on Religion or Belief”.
Co-sponsors of the new resolution include Brazil, Canada, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Poland, and the United States. Ironically, five of the nine co-sponsors are on the World Watch List*.
Christians Heavily Persecuted
Numerous sources have reported how Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. In May, the BBC News released a report titled Christian persecution ‘at near genocide levels’. But, this is not new. In 2016, the Center for Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary discovered 240 Christians die each day for their beliefs.
Samuel, of Redemptive Stories, puts it this way: “Christians are martyred every six minutes for their faith. That persecution is often [the] everyday situation for Christians around the world and needs to be vocally addressed around the world.”
Yet, low media interest keeps that story from gaining traction, in addition to a fuzzy understanding of what persecution actually is.
And, rather than nurturing a global Church perspective, some Christians in the West have knotted nationalism with their faith. In doing so, they alienate themselves from their Christian brothers and sisters abroad.
Samuel says, “When I come back to the United States and I interact with people, I feel like they believe that even the Republican anti-abortion Congressman — even though he’s unbelieving — is more their brother than their dear sweet brother that lives in Pakistan. There’s a nation-hood connection that seems to trump our Christian-hood connection.”
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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Bethann Flynn