For years, a Christian Bookshop had operated relatively freely. Customers could browse for Christian books and purchase the materials with little consequence. In 2019, however, the bookstore was raided by authorities. Citizens who had made purchases online from the shop were suddenly questioned by police, even when purchases were made a decade earlier. The owner of this bookshop was sentenced to seven years in prison for operating an “illegal business.” Their story is a familiar one all over the world. The bookstore raid would have been impossible without widespread digital surveillance. Today, governments and extremists can monitor believers without their consent and, in extreme cases, attack Christians.
According to last year’s data reporting*, persecuted Christians around the world were victims of terrible violence.
- 5,898: Christians were killed for faith-related reasons.
- 5,110: churches and other Christian buildings were attacked.
- 4,765: believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned .
- 3,829: is the number of Christians abducted for faith-related reasons.
- Over 360 million Christians living in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination.
Our own Salvationist brothers and sisters in Indonesia are among these statistics of Christians killed and buildings destroyed. In addition to these numbers which reflect the violence Christians experience around the world, persecution takes other forms:
- Today’s technology has increased surveillance capabilities in places where Christians are persecuted. It has encroached on the religious freedoms of Christians and other religious minorities.
- In many countries around the world, Christians have literally been displaced and become refugees, driven from their homes by persecution.
Let’s take time to pray for our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering under oppression and persecution. Pray for the following:
- Miraculous deliverance from unjust treatment
- Healing: physical, emotional, and spiritual, for those who have suffered persecution
- Protection under laws, (local, national, and global) to decrease the opportunity for oppression
- Peace and endurance for those currently experiencing persecution
*All statistics gathered during the 2022 World Watch List reporting period, October 2020-September 2021.
Stories and information taken from Open Doors website https://www.opendoorsusa.org/