A recent list titled ‘Hall of Shame” reveals staggering levels of persecution against Christians across the globe. A Christian persecution watchdog group International Christian Concern (ICC) said that North Korea, Iraq, Syria and Nigeria were the worst state persecutors of Christians. At the same time the report, states that Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, China, India and Egypt were “perennial abusers of religious freedom.”
The list also contains a third category titled, ‘New and Noteworthy’, this category harbors names of countries where “events… indicate declining religious freedom and are cause for alarm.” Countries including US, Russia and Mexico fall in this category.
Another UK-based religious freedom charity Christian Solidarity Worldwide, a UK-based religious freedom charity, in its report stated that that freedom of religion or belief “is largely non-existent” under North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un’s leadership. “Religious beliefs are seen as a threat to the loyalty demanded by the Supreme Leader, so anyone holding these beliefs is severely persecuted,” the report said.
“North Korea’s (DPRK) persecution of Christians has condemned hundreds of thousands of Christians to death over the decades. It is estimated that they currently have 30,000 to 70,000 Christians imprisoned for their faith. Christians not in captivity remain in hiding. DPRK is the world’s worst human rights violator and the most violent
persecutor of Christians,” Hall of Shame read.
Hall of Shame further reads: “In August 2014, ISIS attempted to reestablish the Islamic caliphate based on Sharia law. They gained control of Syrian territory with roughly 10 million inhabitants. Among their more sinister acts was to begin enslaving Christian and Yazidi women. In 2015, ISIS published a pricing guideline for sex slaves, starting with “200,000 dinars for a woman aged 1-9/Yazidi/Christian” and ending with “75,000 dinars for a woman aged 30-40/Yazidi/Christian.”
“ICC estimates that ISIS has taken at least 433 Syrian Christians hostage over the past several years, sometimes demanding as much as $100,000 a head for their return. On September 23, 2015, ISIS brutally executed three of these hostages to pressure the Syrian Church for payment. Today, Christianity in Iraq and Syria is on the verge of extinction as a result of atrocities by ISIS, other militant Islamic groups, and a widespread increase in radical Islamic thought.”
“Although Nigeria’s population is almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims, the Christians in the North and Middle Belt regions face brutal daily persecution for their faith from the Islamic extremist groups Boko Haram and the Fulani militias. Known for the 2014 kidnapping of almost 300 girls from Chibok, Boko Haram is an Islamic extremist group established to turn Nigeria into an Islamic caliphate. Their early attacks featured indiscriminate killing of all Nigerians who opposed an Islamic state, regardless of religious beliefs.
In 2015, Boko Haram declared allegiance to ISIS, but a leadership crisis refocused Boko Haram’s attacks. Today, militants focus almost exclusively on Christians and their communities through surprise bombings and raids,” Hall of Shame says about Nigeria.
The report further said: “Pakistani Christians suffer from rigid job discrimination, potent blasphemy laws, abductions, and forced conversion and marriage, as well as bombings and terror attacks from Islamic radicals. Blasphemy laws usually carry the death penalty, are arbitrarily administered, and are easily falsified. Common motivations for false blasphemy accusations include score settling, financial gain, and religious hatred.
Christian women are targeted for forced conversions and marriage. Peace Foundation Pakistan estimates that 700 Christian women between the ages of 12 and 25 years old are raped, kidnapped, and forcibly converted to Islam every year.”