Open Doors World Persecution Watch List 2014 (new – VIDEO)

The World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. First of all, the list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in the entire country. The focus is on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons.

The 5 countries in which Christians are persecuted the most are:

  1. As in the last 12 years, North Korea is #1 as the state where Christians are persecuted the most. Tens of thousands of Christians are imprisoned, gruesomely tortured and have to do forced labor.Being discovered as a Christian in Kim Jung Un’s  North Korea is virtually the same  as a death sentence.
  2. Somalia – Christians do not have the right to live in Somalia. Islamic extremists are insisting that  the country remain a Moslem country, with not room for Christians and Christian churches. A believer in Christ who is discovered has to fear for his life.
  3. Syria – Before the civil war, the country was  regarded as a place of peace for Christians in the middle east. But with the war, many militant islamic  groups have come from abroad and joined the so called free syrian army. Christians are being targeted, attacked, threatened, abducted and killed.
  4. Iraq – Hundreds of thousands of Christians have fled the country and attacks on churches and their people continue. Even in the Kurdish regions, in the north, once a refuge for Christians, aggression towards Christians is on the rise.
  5. Afghanistan – There is not a single ‘official’ church building in the country. Moslems who become christians face massive persecution by relatives and government officials. The goal of islamic extremists is to expel or kill all Christians.

You can find more info. on the persecuted Christians  at http://www.opendoors.org

World Watch List 2014

World Watch List 2013

Created by Open Doors, the World Watch List (WWL) is a ranking of 50 countries where persecution of Christians for religious reasons is worst. The list covers persecution of Christians of all denominations in an entire country and focuses on persecution for their faith, not persecution for political, economic, social, ethnic or accidental reasons. VIDEO by Open Doors USA

World Watch List 2012

The top 10 countries where the persecution of Christians is most severe… The church around the world is facing times which are unprecedented in many ways. For the tenth year in succession, the Open Doors World Watch List is topped by North Korea, and in places as diverse as Libya, North Korea, Pakistan and Burma, significant events are shaping society. But despite the many hardships, the body of Christ continues to grow.

Find out more about our World Watch List by visiting the Open Doors website: http://www.opendoorsuk.org/countries VIDEO by Open Doors UK & Ireland

As persecution increases, so does the distribution of Scripture

biblia 7

If you live in the West you might think the Church is in decline, but more printed Bibles were distributed by United Bible Societies last year than ever before. 32.1 million Bibles were distributed across the world in 2011 – an increase of 11.2% over 2010.

Total Scripture distribution, 2009-2011

It is the first time that the number of Bibles distributed by Bible Societies has exceeded 30 million in a single year. And these figures do not include Bibles in other formats, such as audio or digital, which are rapidly growing in importance and will soon become the main channels for Bible distribution.

The biggest growth was seen in Africa and the Americas, where 3.6 million more Bibles were distributed last year than in 2010. Bible distribution in Europe and the Middle East rose by a modest 2.7%, but fell by 4.2% in Asia Pacific.

The majority of the Bibles we distributed were in the world’s major international languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili.

biblia 6Report from Christian Today. Photo credit www.unitedbiblesocieties.org

The United Bible Society has reported a sharp increase in the number of Christian Scriptures distributed in some of the countries where believers suffer the highest levels of persecution. Statistics suggest that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world and Baroness Warsi made headlines recently when she warned that Christianity could be wiped out in the Middle East.

However, recent figures released from Bible Societies around the world indicate that more Christian Scriptures were distributed than ever before in 2012. Global Scripture distribution rose from just over 381 million in 2011 to more than 405 million in 2012; an increase of 6%. Of the 405 million distributed, 32.1 million were whole Bibles, which matched 2011’s record-breaking year of Bible distribution.

Surprisingly, the highest increase was in Syria, which is facing huge humanitarian crises as a result of ongoing conflict across the country. Despite this, over eight times more Scriptures were distributed by the Bible Society, through a network of church volunteers, in 2012 than 2011; 163,000 in total last year. „Christians in Syria are under enormous pressure and are in great need of encouragement,” said Mike Bassous, General Secretary of the Lebanon Bible Society, which oversees Bible Society work in Syria. „Staff in Syria are working hard to produce enough Scriptures to meet these needs.”

There has been a similar substantial increase in the distribution of Scripture in Iraq, which borders Syria to the east. Although only 330,000 Christians remain in Iraq, following a mass exodus of believers as a result of increasing persecution, more than 66,000 items of Scripture were distributed in 2012, a 57% increase on the previous year.

Similar reports are coming from countries such as Egypt, India, Laos and Nigeria, which, along with Syria and Iraq, and among those suffering some of the highest levels of persecution according to Open Doors.

United Bible Societies Director General Michael Perreau says that he is greatly encouraged by the continued growth in demand for Scriptures, particularly in countries where Christians are under increasing pressure. „With rising persecution of Christians in certain parts of the world, and increasing secularisation in others, it is encouraging and heartwarming to see that God’s Word is more sought after and cherished than ever before,” he observes. He noted that there has also been „a huge boost” in digital access to Scripture, which is particularly helpful in countries where it is dangerous to read printed Christian literature.

Mr Perreau asked that Christians around the world would pray for the protection and blessing of those who undertake the dangerous task of distributing Scriptures in persecuted countries, and for everyone who encounters God’s Holy Word.

Iraq: Christians under fire

It’s been 10 years since the US invasion. Hundreds of thousands of Christians have left the country. Many are finding refuge and a new life in neighbouring nations, while others have chosen to stay and face the danger for the sake of the Gospel. The Voice of the Martyrs Canada’s Greg Musselman contributed to this important program. You’ll meet some amazing followers of Christ who are paying the price to advance God’s Kingdom in this ancient land.

From Christian World News/The Voice of the Martyrs Canada VIDEO by VOM C Length 28:30

 

Iraq: The Shrinking, Yet Advancing Church! 18 minute documentary with Christian converts

Photo: mlive.com  2010: An Iraqi man is consoled by friends at the scene of a car bomb attack in front of a Syrian Catholic Church, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Islamic militants held around 120 Iraqi Christians hostage for nearly four hours in a church Sunday before security forces stormed the building and freed them, ending a standoff that left dozens of people dead, U.S. and Iraqi officials said.

On the surface, it appears that the church is on the verge of extinction in Iraq but, as you’ll see from this report, God is working in a powerful way within this ancient land! We will introduce you to some followers of Jesus who have refused to leave the country, even though the majority of Christians have fled this war- torn land in recent years – people who are committed to the cause of Christ like the Vicar of Baghdad, Andrew White; house church planter, „Deborah”; and „Rebekah,” whose husband was murdered by militant Muslims. You’ll be inspired by their courage and resolve to advance God’s Kingdom! Also, you will have an opportunity to hear first-hand the stories of Muslim converts to Christianity who have suffered as a result of their decision to leave Islam. This 18- minute documentary will help you better understand what our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing during this crucial hour. From The Voice of the Martyrs Canada.

Islam Expert Warns Christians May Completely Disappear From Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt

The Christian Post reports:

The mass exodus of millions of Christians from one part of the Islamic world to another as the result of persecution by Muslims has reached epidemic proportions, says a Middle East and Islam expert. In fact, Christians may completely disappear from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt, warns the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Photo to the right from Christian Post: Syrians run from an explosion at the Al Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria March 8, 2013.

„This matter of Muslim persecution of Christians is a humanitarian crisis at this point,” said Raymond Ibrahim in a recent interview with Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch. Ibrahim is the author of the recently released book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.

„We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world, much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian, came into being,” he wrote. „The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: ‘The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.’ In our lifetime alone ‘Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.'”

Ibrahim said that current reports from Islamic regions support this warning.

„Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators,” he pointed out. „The 2010 Baghdad church attack, which saw nearly 60 Christian worshippers slaughtered, is the tip of a decade-long iceberg.”

Ibrahim pointed out that 10 years ago, at least one million Christians lived in Iraq.

„Today fewer than 400,000 remain – the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, when countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading,” he wrote.

The same pattern has developed in Syria, Ibrahim said. „Entire regions and towns where Christians lived for centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings, all in compliance with mosque calls telling the populace that it’s a ‘sacred duty’ to drive Christians away.”

Some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled Egypt, their native country, soon after the „Arab Spring,” he further lamented. Reports of attacks and evictions by al-Qaida linked Muslims perpetrated on Christians and especially the Coptic Orthodox Church appear commonplace.

Christians are not only fleeing countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Egypt, but also „black” African and „white” European nations with Muslim majorities, according to Ibrahim.

As many as 200,000 Christians fled Mali after an Islamic coup last year. According to reports, Ibrahim said, „the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” especially in the north „where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out … there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, churches and other Christian property have been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded, Ibrahim wrote.

He gave several other examples of the humanitarian crisis and said that none of the reports come as a surprise to those „following the plight of Christians under Islamic persecution.”
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/islam-expert-warns-christians-may-completely-disappear-from-iraq-afghanistan-egypt-95556/#MmSMKt18wedspc2p.99

Christians are being driven out of Iraq

photo via www.examiner.com

Here is another country doing whatever it takes to achieve 100% Isalmic faith within its borders. Read, also, how Morocco is trying to achieve similar results here- Morocco considers death penalty for apostasy.

The story on Iraq is being reported from http://www.mnnonline.org:

iraqChrist followers in Iraq date back to the first century A.D., making it one of the oldest Christian communities in the world. But today, Christianity in Iraq is under serious threat. Similarly, the wetland marshes, once teeming with flora and fauna, were drained to desert over a decade ago.

What’s more, it seems this attitude is part of a growing trend. Open Doors minister-at-large Paul Estabrooks explains, „The Christians are being told, ‘We want a Muslim-only nation. We do not want any Christians here.’ This is similar to what is going on today in northern Sudan.”

As a result, Christians in Iraq continue to be targets of violent attacks. „When the Iraq war began, Muslim extremists in Baghdad targeted one whole community called Dara, where the Christians lived in Baghdad.” Estabrooks notes, „Today, just about every one of those Christian families has been driven out of the subdivision in which they lived.”

While the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 may have been a victory for coalition forces, ongoing changes in leadership have been a disaster for Iraqi Christians. Estabrooks says, „As each attack against Christians occurs in recent weeks and days, there are more and more concerns that Christians will continue the exodus.”

Reports from Open Doors field workers indicate anti-Christian sentiment is only growing. „From a city like Mosul, armed men shot a Christian right in front of his home. Another one had a bomb thrown in his yard.” In 2003, there were more than one million Christians in Iraq. A decade later, only a third of this number remain.

The saddest part of this story, says Estabrooks, is the loss of history. Christians have been part of the fabric of Iraqi society since the beginning. During the 7th century, Islam took over and the Christians were hard-pressed, but they survived. That’s what makes this modern day „religicide” a travesty. „Even though they were second class citizens at the time, they were able to survive through the challenges and the pressure of that era (7th century Islam). Now, even these denominations are saying, ‘If more and more Christians keep leaving or get killed, then there will be no Church left in this country.'”

However, there are some church leaders who are not content to sit quietly while the violence decimates their homes. Louis Raphael Sako, the newly-elected Chaldean Catholic patriarch of Iraq and Syria, urges Christians to stay. „We must stay. This is our history. This is our cultural heritage. When we leave, everything will leave with us.” As he reads the field reports, Estabrooks echoes that sentiment. „There’s a sense in which the Salt and Light Christians [bring] must remain there. This is the appeal Christians are making to us for our prayers on their behalf.”

Does intercessory prayer make a difference? It must, says Estabrooks. „It is the only recourse we really have other than giving awareness to the international community of this kind of ‘religious cleansing’ that seems to be going on.”

According to the Open Doors 2013 World Watch List materials, there are only an estimated 330,000 to 350,000 Christians left in Iraq. There were more than 1.2 million Christians in the early 1990s. Many of the believers have fled to Jordan and Lebanon, or to the northern Kurdish region of Iraq. Iraq is ranked No. 4 on the list of the worst persecutors around the globe.

Despite the doom and gloom of this story, it does include a bright note. Dreams and visions of Christ are commonly reported throughout the Middle East and North Africa as the rise of Islam continues. Even as the reports of „religicide” pour in, there are people who are accepting Christ as Savior. Mentoring these new Christians falls on the shoulders of the few church leaders who are left.

The Open Doors ministry in Iraq is coming alongside this remnant and providing trauma counseling, biblical training for church leaders and Muslim-Background Believers, distribution of Bibles and Christian literature, community development projects, and working with Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) in Kurdistan.

Remember the comparison we made at the beginning of this story? Recently, an Iraqi civil engineer came back to the wetlands and organized a careful breech of the dams that diverted the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates. Within months, the desert landscape was teeming with life, seeds sprouting from a dry land nearly abandoned to war.

So it is with the seeds of the Church in Iraq.

Join the Christians of Iraq in praying for unity of the Church – Week of Prayer Starts January 18

iraq

Mission News Network reporting:

Iraq (MNN) – Yesterday saw the deadliest violence in Iraq since late November. Despite the uptick, Open Doors USA says believers are coming together in Baghdad. Starting tomorrow, Christ-followers from 14 different denominations will gather for a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

It’s modeled after Christ’s petition in John 17:20-21 – „that they all would be one.” Get your friends to join you in praying for the Church and Iraq and throughout the Middle East.

Read more on the Global Persecution Watch Page

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Chuck Missler – Roots of War Profiling in the Middle East

Middle East

As diligent Bible students, most of us are familiar with the emergence of the empires that were profiled in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7; the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman empires. However, many of us are probably a little hazy about the tide of events subsequent to that period.Find out what is really going on in the Middle East.In this comprehensive overview of India, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and Israel, Chuck covers the background of each country as well as their military strengths, political agendas, historical roots, religious affiliations and what role they each play in Bible prophecy. Uploaded by maksimu. You will need to set aside time to watch this video, as it is 3 hours long.

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Chuck Missler – ROOTS OF WAR PROFILING THE MIDD…, posted with vodpod

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