Persecution on the rise
- by Ashleigh Hooker
- March 24, 2022
In August 2021, the Taliban took control of Kabul and seized power in Afghanistan. Life for Christians in the majority Muslim country had already been difficult, but the return of the Taliban made public expression of faith even more dangerous. In 2021, Afghanistan replaced North Korea as the country experiencing the highest level of persecution in the world, according to Open Door’s World Watch List for 2022.
Persecution of Christians around the world continues to grow. The Watch List reported that last year, 5,898 Christians were killed for their faith, over 1,000 people more than the previous year. The bulk of these deaths were in Nigeria with 4,650 Christians losing their lives at the hands of Islamic groups Boko Haram, Fulani militants and Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
The Watch List also highlighted other kinds of persecution around the world:
- 6,175 believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned
- 5,110 churches and other Christian buildings were attacked
- 3,829 Christians were abducted
These statistics are rarely reported in the media.
Through generous donors, Anglican Aid has been supporting people in northern Nigeria who have been affected by attacks, with food and building materials to help them rebuild their lives.
This Easter, Anglican Aid is launching our Persecuted Christians Support Program. To some extent, this isn’t new. We’ve already been supporting church partners in places where Christians are suffering persecution like Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, and Pakistan.
But we are sharpening our focus in this area of ministry and establishing networks in other countries to support persecuted Christians through prayer, advocacy and humanitarian assistance. For example, we are partnering with the Anglican Diocese of Vitoria to support Afghan Christians who fled the Taliban last year and re-settled in Brazil.
Right now, we are looking for people to pray with us. It takes God’s empowering Spirit to help our brothers and sisters to endure. You can sign up here to receive a regular e-mailed prayer update for persecuted Christians. The prayer points will come from our partners on the ground. Please join us in praying!
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