New statistics on growing persecution against Christians
For thousands of years, Christians have been persecuted for their faith. With the growth of secularism, Christians face the same form of persecution through a differing worldview. This trend, shown in a poll performed by Pew Research Center, presents itself in the U.S. Secularism also makes a noticeable difference in Europe.
A recent report by the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination against Christians shows that Christians in secular environments are facing more intolerance and discrimination than any other religion worldwide. Practicing Christians, unlike cultural Christians, hold an unknown minority within Europe.
In 2021, OIDAC reported over 500 anti-Christian hate crimes in the region. These numbers present a decrease from the 2020 report, which shows about 1,000 anti-Christian attacks.
However, in both reports, OIDAC understands that “due to finite resources and the general underreporting of hate crimes, we can reasonably maintain that the actual number of cases is much higher.”
The anti-Christian hate crimes in 2021 were directed at practicing believers. In the same year, Christian communities experienced 14 physical assaults and four murders. Less serious crimes range anywhere from stolen property to beatings with a baseball bat.
While 2020 proved an increase of hate crimes from many years prior, 2021 showed that there has either been a major decrease in anti-Christian hate crimes, or these crimes are going unreported at a larger rate than usual.
In a recent study conducted by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, results showed that only a 10th of hate crimes are reported in Europe. OIDAC has every right to believe the numbers for reported anti-Christian hate crimes are fewer than reality.
An interesting proponent of anti-Christian thinking will always be the increase of secularism. Commonly found in OIDAC’s report, governments and major corporations often shut down the speech of Christians in support of secularization along with upholding the views of the LGBTQ+ community and other minorities that disagree with the Christian worldview.
Leading away from statistics, Christians around the world will continue to face persecution. Jesus guarantees the increased trend of sin. He tells Christians this world will be worse than the days of Noah by the time he returns and receives his kingdom.
Believers who are actively facing hatred and prejudice can rely on the Word, knowing that continued struggle will be rewarded when Christ returns in glory. More than this, brothers and sisters in Christ can look to the Scriptures for how they will endure suffering on Christ’s behalf.
I specifically think of Paul and his sufferings that he lists in 2 Corinthians 11-12. Boasting of his weaknesses, Paul recognizes how God’s grace is made perfect in weakness. Paul joyfully suffers at the hands of those who deny Christ because he knows he’s doing something right by glorifying God and fulfilling his mission. He was stoned, slashed, whipped and beaten almost to death. He was denied by his own people, encountered danger from those he spoke to and faced the psychological pressure of his anxiety for all the churches’ spiritual welfare. Even so, Paul continued to rejoice in the saving knowledge of his Lord.
Statistics on reported crimes may waver throughout the rest of the speck of eternity this world has, but Christ remains faithful and his Father’s grace sufficiently prevails.
DuVall is the opinion editor for the Liberty Champion. Follow him on Twitter