King's Evangelical Divinity School

19 January 2012

Top 50 Countries for Christian Persecution

Open Doors has published its 2012 list of 50 countries where Christians are most likely to be persecuted (hat tip to Cranmer for drawing attention to this). I found Open Door's list interesting for several reasons. First, although we hear constantly from certain quarters that Israel systematically persecutes Arab Christians, Israel is not on the list. Second, the Palestinian Territories are on the list. Then there's the point raised by Cranmer: that Muslim countries constitute the vast majority of places where Christians are likely to face persecution.

So yes, Christianity is in decline all over the Middle East, but focusing on a Christian exodus from the Holy Land for anti-Israel political reasons while ignoring Muslim persecution and other factors is just silly. For the sake of Arab Christians in the region it's time all of us, regardless of our theological views on some issues, stop beating about the bush and be honest about the persecution of Christians in Muslim lands (and this includes some Christian Zionists who would do well to focus more on the plight of Christians across the Middle East, rather than give the impression of having little interest in Arab Christianity).


Stuart said...

Well said. Totally agree.

Andrew Sibley said...

I agree to some extent Calvin - (greetings from Florida) - but we may note that Messianic Jews find it hard sharing and living out their faith there due to government policies and lack of understanding from other Jews, as well as restrictions for Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem and elsewhere due to the security wall construction. Persecution may not be overtly displayed, but it is no less real.

Calvin L. Smith said...

Of course, MJs suffer for their faith too (though I hope you're not trying to somehow draw some kind of parallel between what MJs in Israel and Arab Christians physically under Muslim rule suffer).

Where in Florida? I'm there day after tomorrow for a week attending (ironically) a symposium on Jewish-Messianic identity.

David Foster said...

Thanks for highlighting this Calvin. I've been trying to understand for years why it is that so much of the Church is obsessed with berating Israel. The evidence just doesn't stack up that Israel are huge persecutors of Christians so the rhetoric is totally disproportionate. Yet if you challenge these views so often you get ad hominem arguments or even abuse!

Dissenters said...

Calvin - I was in Key Largo for a work conference - flew back yesterday. Lovely weather. Andrew s