Outside of their day-to-day comings and goings, people are far too often oblivious to what’s taking place in the world. Sadly, many Christians are like this as well with some attending church, coming home and not paying any attention to the things of God or even their own faith until the following Sunday.
While America carries on that routine, there are many people who are being killed each month due to their faith in Christ. Christian churches and properties are destroyed. Others are arrested with some put in prison and even beaten or raped due to their faith.
Joining Crosstalk to discuss this issue was David Curry. David is the president and CEO of Open Doors, a nonprofit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians in over 60 countries.
Not only does David think that most Americans don’t know about persecution happening to Christians worldwide, he also believes most Christians in America don’t even know. He feels that people don’t want to know because if they don’t know, their senses won’t be assaulted. Adding to this is the fact that the media pays little attention to it. From a media perspective it can seem episodic, with an incident here and there, so people think if they’re not hearing about it on CNN, then it’s not happening. Unfortunately it is occurring and in pernicious ways throughout the world. Government may be at the heart of the problem while at other times it may be due to extremist groups. Whatever the cause, David believes there are about five or six major factors driving persecution.
Open Doors ranks about 60 nations as the most difficult places on earth to be a Christian. One is North Korea where people worship the current leader as well as those of the past. They imprison people for owning Bibles, they’ve killed people for talking about Jesus and there are no open and free churches in the entire nation.
The good news, according to David, is that there are 400,000 followers of Jesus in North Korea. The church of Jesus Christ is there and still surviving although we also know there’s at least 70,000 that are in labor camps because of their faith.
In China, David noted that there are elements of the government that understand the importance of the Christian church due to its moral component. Also, in the northwest part of the country they’re facing the problem of controlling radical Islamic elements.
David went on to comment about the vigilante-style ‘justice’ of Islamic extremism showing up in Germany and Pakistan, the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church on November 6th, the numbness of modern Christians to the persecuted church, comments from Crosstalk listeners and more.