America’s “War on Christmas” has been raging for over a decade, inciting controversies over nativity scenes, Christmas lights, holiday cards and even Starbucks cups. Everyone from The New York Times to Time has commented on the so-called war, with one side claiming that Christianity itself is at risk, and the other side dismissing the outrage as “histrionics.”
There may or may not be a war on Christmas in America. But there certainly is one in other parts of the world, and it is these wars that should be getting our attention. Open Doors USA calls persecution of Christians “one of the biggest human rights issues of this era,” citing instances of violence, imprisonment and murder in countries around the world. According to Open Doors, in 2018 over 245 million Christians were living in places where they experienced high levels of persecution.
A report published this year by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) found that Christians in Burma, the Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam face the highest levels of persecution. According to a USCIRF commissioner, “Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world,” and that persecution is only intensifying.
Christians around the world are suffering horrific atrocities
What does that persecution look like? It looks like government oppression, mob attacks and churches being burned. It looks like rape and attacks on the elderly. It looks like 11 Christians being killed every day for their faith.
In Syria, where over 800,000 people are Christians, Christian villages have been “hollowed out” by ISIS, according to The New York Times. Most historic churches have been demolished or claimed by Islamic groups. Last September, six Christian children were killed in a bomb attack on a Christian village.
Today, with the recent U.S. decision to withdraw most troops from Syria, 150,000 Christians in Northeast Syria are in danger, along with those of many other faiths, according to Lauren Homer, an attorney with Law and Liberty International.Hundreds have already died as their villages have been bombed.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Scott Arbeiter