2023 was a terrible year for Christians

Henry

For Christians, 2023 was another terrible year in terms of persecution and oppression. With the numerous wars dominating the news, the situation of Christians is often pushed into the background, even though it is the largest religion worldwide and the one most persecuted.

In the West, the conditions for Christians do become increasingly more intolerant under the guise of tolerance or wakeism. Someone who lives his faith unashamedly faces isolation, sometimes even physical attacks by the intolerant preachers of tolerance. However, this is all minor compared to what Christians in the non-Western world go through.

The region with the worst persecution is the Middle East, which is dominated by Islam. The persecution here is threefold: by oppressive, dictatorial governments, especially where Muslim fundamentalists are in charge; by Islamic terrorists who particularly target religious gatherings with bombings; by the ordinary population who are easily swayed and based on rumors make life unbearable for Christians in their area. It is worrying that more and more Christians who have been living together in communities in the Middle East for centuries are leaving their countries these days due to the unbearable conditions. Thus a dark region becomes even darker.

The country with the worst persecution is, unchanged for decades, the communist North Korea, where no religion is allowed and only the leader must be “worshipped”. Christians in particular, as sham agents of the West, are seen as a threat to the atheistic order and are barricaded in torture camps.

Also in the rest of the Far East, the situation for Christians has weakened. While a few years ago there was still a tremendous growth of conversions and new churches in China, with the communist government hindering this less and less, now under the dictator Xi Jinping, especially since new legislation on religion came into force in 2018, there is more pressure Christians to renounce their faith. China is also using more and more technology to create a totalitarian system like in the famous book 1984 describe, introduce.

In Africa, where on the one hand there is great progress with missionary work, on the other hand the persecution, especially by Islam, is getting worse and worse. Nigeria is one of the worst countries for Christians. Although Christians make up almost half of the population, in the areas where Islam dominates they are killed by horrific terrorist groups such as Boko Haram, as well as churches and gatherings are targeted. The governments in Africa are usually weak and do nothing to protect Christians from persecution. Somalia and Sudan are the worst countries for Christians in Africa and civil wars are also raging here. Islamic terrorist groups also control parts of mainly Christian countries such as Congo and Mozambique and drive Christians from their towns and regions.

Even in Latin America, actually a continent where Christianity is the dominant religion, there are socialist governments such as those in Nicaragua, Cuba and Venezuela that consider Christians as hostile because of their strong moral convictions and make their lives difficult through oppression and discrimination. In other countries, such as Colombia and Mexico, gangs and rebel groups specifically target Christians because they do not fit into the culture of violence and drugs.

The Islamic wave states, which thanks to their new ties with Israel and economic ties with the West are becoming slightly more open and tolerant these days, at least offer a little hope.