Report: Global Christian Martyrdom Doubled in 2013


Persecution Credit Andrew DunnWASHINGTON, D.C. – The number of Christians killed for their faith doubled in 2013, according to a newly-released report on the international persecution of Christians.

Each year, Open Doors USA releases its World Watch List (WWL), in which it outlines the top 50 most dangerous places to live as a Christian. In this year’s report, the organization documents 2,123 known murders of Christians, compared to 1,201 deaths in 2012.

Syria had the most martyrs in 2013—1,213—with Nigeria accounting for 612 murdered Christians, 88 in Pakistan, 83 in Egypt, 16 in Angola, 15 in Niger, 11 in Iraq, 9 in CAR and 8 in Colombia.

North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen were listed as the ten countries most hostile to Christianity, with North Korea remaining at the top of the list for the 12th year.

In North Korea, an estimated 50,000-70,000 Christians are believed to be held in concentration camps, prisons or prison-like conditions, as even possessing a Bible can be cause for imprisonment or other punishment in the country. In Somalia, “Islamic leaders and government officials publicly reinforce that there is no room for Christians, and there is a strong drive to purge Christianity from [the country].”

The organization notes that persecution increased in countries labeled as “failed,” meaning “a weak state where social and political structures have collapsed to the point where government has little or no control.” Six of the top ten countries were considered “failed,” namely Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen.

Open Doors USA also outlines that the preponderance of persecution is occurring due to Islamic extremism, with the African Sahel belt being recognized as the most violent region in the world. In a number of Middle-Eastern and African countries, Christians are the minority.

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“Often completely unaddressed in the West is the fact that Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world,” said Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. David Curry in a press release announcing the new report. “Countries on the WWL, such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East and North Africa are targeting Christians: imprisoning, punishing, and even in some cases, murdering people who choose to express privately or publicly their Christian faith.”

“The 2014 WWL is a wake up call to Americans to become more aware of these atrocities and restrictions on religious freedom,” he added.

Dr. Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, director of Strategy and Research for Open Doors International, agreed. He stated that the numbers released in the report should awaken Christians to the plight of their brothers and sisters around the world.

“It is our intent through the WWL to encourage more people and organizations to carefully study the needs and stories of persecuted Christians, and as a result deepen the passion to pray for them,” Boyd-MacMillan stated. “The WWL is more than a set of numbers. It must also be seen as a human document, reflecting millions of sad but also amazing stories of strong faith.”

The organization is now urging Christians to take five minutes each day to pray for the persecuted church, and to encourage five friends to do likewise.

Photo: Andrew Dunn


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One Response to Report: Global Christian Martyrdom Doubled in 2013

  1. Jesus Christ was crucified for us and was totally innocent of sin. Jesus came to earth to redeem our sinful soul from eternal hellfire by cleansing ALL of our sins and sin nature with His Precious Blood He shed on the cross of Calvary. All we have to do is believe He did this and ask for His Blood Cleansing and He will make us a child of His if we believe and confess our sins ( in prayer) believing that in faith Jesus will do this. If we do this theHoly Spirit will enter us and make us a child of God. Our life WILL change when Jesus who is not seen to our eyes,comes into our soul when we ask for forgiveness . We become BornAgain Children of God almighty. We have to grow in Christ by attending Sunday School to learn how to ACT and LIVE the way our Father wants us to be. We attend an Independent Baptist Church to fellowship with our other brothers and sisters in Christ. I say Independent Baptist Church because we followGods leading, not the leading of a baptist convention. We pray strait to God Almighty when we pray. We don’t need an earthly mediator because Jesus is our Heavenly Mediator sitting in Heaven listening to our prayers.
    n. We can come BOLDLY to the Throne of Christ in prayer! God Almighty knows EVERYTHING that this earths population does to us. If we get beheaded we will wear a crown in heaven. We will be in Heaven “Forever” to be with Jesus in our mansion He has prepared for us! We can NEVER loose our Salvation! Christ died ONCE for all. Amen!

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