Congressional Hearing: Christians Worldwide Being Targeted for Their Faith

SmithWASHINGTON — Christians are the most persecuted group in the world, but most in the West don’t identify with the persecuted Church, a Congressional hearing before the House Foreign Affairs Committee contended this week.

Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) opened the hearing by outlining various reports of Christian persecution in Syria, Egypt, Iraq and Nigeria. He told the story of Habila Adamu, a Nigerian businessman who was shot for his faith in November 2012.

“[M]asked gunmen armed with AK-47 entered his home. They told his wife to leave, as they were here to ‘do the work of Allah,'” Smith explained, noting that moments later the men asked Adamu if he was a Christian and why he had not accepted Islam.

“I am a Christian. We are also preaching the gospel of the true God to you and to other people who do not yet know God,” Adamu replied to the gunmen.

“Habila, are you ready to die as a Christian?” then men asked. “I am ready to die as a Christian,” Adamu replied.

“They asked him again, ‘Are you ready to die as a Christian?'” Smith relayed. “[Adamu] replied, ‘I am ready,’ and before he had closed his mouth, a bullet ripped through him.”

Adamu miraculously survived. Smith held up a photo to show where the bullet had exited the Christian’s body.

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Elliott Abrams, Commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), also spoke at the hearing. He highlighted the prevalence of Christian persecution in countries such as Iran, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria, Vietnam, Sudan, Central Africa Republic, North Korea,  Egypt, Indonesia, Burma and Nigeria.

“To a disproportionate extent, Christians in many of these nations signify the ‘other,'” he said. “They often are members of ethnic or language minorities, or are viewed as linked to the West and Western interests. In many of these nations, Christianity also represents an alternative source of authority, thereby posing a direct threat both to tyrannical governments and extremist private actors.”

John Allen Jr., the associate editor of the Boston Globe and the author of the Global War on Christians, remarked that Christian persecution is often “wrapped in a blanket of silence, not only by the secular media but even within Christian churches themselves.” He said that most of the world’s 2.3 billion Christians are poor and under oppression, and look nothing like most American Christians.

“The truth is that the typical Christian in today’s world is not an affluent American male pulling up to church in a Lincoln Continental,” Alllen stated. “It’s a poor black woman and mother of four in Botswana, or a poor Dalit grandmother in Orissa.”

“The Pew Forum found that Christians suffered some form of harassment, either de jure or de facto, in 139 countries between 2006 and 2010, the largest total for any religious group,” he said. “The finding means that Christians are at-risk in two-thirds of all nations on earth.”

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  • Alex Dhanvate

    For me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. Philippians 1:21.
    I thank God for all Christians for we the opportunity to share God’ Love.
    They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.John116:2.

  • Oyishoma Emmanuel

    I pledge alligence to the lamb. With all my heart. With all i am. I will seek to honor His command. I pledge alligence to the Lamb.
    If it takes dying for my faith n what i believe in, i certainly am ready. Nothing on earth, not even a so called extremist can make me alter that. To live is Christ. To die for Him is an honour.

  • Aman Singh Bhar

    The persecuted disciple is the norm. From Stephen in Acts to the prophets in Revelation. If we’re fortunate enough to be spared, we best be found sharing the burden of those who are suffering for the sake of the King.

  • Karate Kathleen

    I hope and pray I will always follow the way of the Lord, no matter what. and I mean NO MATTER WHAT, so it’s scary. But I know there are only 2 ways in life: God’s way or the devil’s way. I know I want to be with God, so I hope I will be able to make it through whatever happens in the future.

    I remember a song: “There’s only 2 roads in life for you to choose from. Which one are you gonna take? One path leads straight to destruction, the other to the white pearly gate.”