For Righteousness' Sake
Leave Your Comment Below
"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:10)
"But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground." (Hebrews 11:35-38 NLT)
For millions, the Truth is an extremely dangerous thing to believe. Every 2 hours a Christian is killed for following Jesus.
"You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra-but the Lord rescued me from all of it. Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution." (2 Timothy 3:11-12 NLT)
1 in 9 Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution. For them, following Christ costs everything.
"A woman in India watches as her sister is dragged off by Hindu nationalists. She doesn't know if her sister is alive or dead.
A man in a North Korean prison camp is shaken awake after being beaten unconscious; the beatings begin again.
A woman in Nigeria runs for her life. She has escaped from Boko Haram, who kidnapped her. She is pregnant, and when she returns home, her community will reject her and her baby.
A group of children are laughing and talking as they come down to their church's sanctuary after eating together. Instantly, many of them are killed by a bomb blast. It's Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka."
Source: Open Doors USA - Serving Persecuted Christians
Over 360 Million People - 1 in 7 Christians Worldwide
How can it be that in 2023, more than 360,000,000 people still face persecution or discrimination because they follow Jesus? To get an idea of the magnitude we're talking about, imagine 3,600 crowded NFL stadiums, brimming with people.
Open Doors released the 2023 World Watch List-the annual ranking of the top 50 countries where it's most dangerous to be a Christian.
Open Doors 2023 World Watch List Has Arrived!
The Top 10 Countries Where Following Jesus Costs the Most
10. SUDAN - Unrest in Sudan has increased following a military coup. Violence and pressure against Christians has worsened.
9. AFGHANISTAN - Following the Taliban takeover, those Christians who have not fled the country have been forced deep underground. If discovered, they face death.
8. IRAN - Iranian house churches are seen as a threat by the Islamist regime. Church members who are caught, are given long prison sentences.
7. PAKISTAN - Pakistan's infamous blasphemy laws are often used to target believers. Christian women and girls are vulnerable to kidnap and forced marriage.
6. NIGERIA - More Christians are
killed in Nigeria than in all the other countries of the world
combined. And the violence is getting worse.
5. LIBYA - In this lawless land, both native and migrant Christians are targeted, kidnapped and even killed.
4. ERITREA - Christians who dare to meet without official permission risk arrest. Over a thousand believers are in jail without a charge.
3. YEMEN - The humanitarian crisis continues. Anyone suspected of being a Christian will be deliberately overlooked for aid and might be expelled or killed by their own tribe.
2. SOMALIA - Islamic militants are intensifying their hunt for Christians and violent attacks are increasing.
1. NORTH KOREA - The most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian. Spies are everywhere. Discovery means death - either by execution or by being worked to death in a labour camp.
Source: Open Doors World Watch List 2023
- 5,621 - Christians were murdered for their faith last year.
- 360 million - Christians around the world suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.
- 2,110 - churches and Christian buildings were attacked last year.
- 5,259 - Christians were abducted last year.
- 80,000 - North Korean Christians were given vital food and aid through Chinese networks.
You can discover where Christians risk everything to follow Christ, trends and developments in Christian persecution, and how you can pray for and stand with our worldwide church family.