Global Persecution Report: ‘Christians Are the Most Persecuted …and It’s Accelerating’

Global Persecution Report: ‘Christians Are the Most Persecuted …and It’s Accelerating’ by Jennifer Wishon for CBN News

Religious persecution plagues countries around the world and the problem is only getting worse. Now, an annual report by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) gives us a clear picture of the world’s top offenders.

Burma, Central African Republic, China, Eritrea, Iran, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are where people of faith face the most aggressive and violent forms of persecution.

Gary Bauer, one of the nine commissioners on USCIRF, is particularly concerned about China’s inclusion on the list because of the influence it wields.

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“So here’s a rising power. It’s economy is growing bigger and bigger each year, its military is expanding. It’s got worldwide ambitions and every place it reaches it’s bringing these values of persecution along with them,” he tells CBN News.

So called “tier two” countries of concern include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, and America’s NATO ally Turkey.

Turkey, of course, made international headlines for holding American Pastor Andrew Brunson hostage for nearly two years before releasing him last fall.

“One of the things the commission is really focused on is not only when there are governments perpetrating violence but when governments are tolerating the perpetration of violence,” USCIRF Commissioner Anurima Bhargava told CBN News after release of the report.

This report is unique in that the nine commissioners on USCIRF aren’t burdened by diplomacy. Unlike many State Department accounts, these observers are free to tell it like they see it.

“We believe as a commission that no person of whatever faith they are should have to fear within their house of worship,” says Commissioner Tony Perkins.

For the world’s Christians, the situation is especially dire.

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