Scratching the surface of persecution
Unfortunately, the persecution of believers in these five countries only scratches the surface. In more than 60 countries around the world (including influential nations such as China, India, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Russia, Iran, Syria, Nigeria and more), Christians are targeted for their faith by extremists; rejected and attacked by their communities, villages and even families; and hunted down by the state.
These five countries are, however, a strong starting place for this urgent conversation. In North Korea, bringing human rights to the front burner could eventually release 300,000 Christians from a life of tyranny. If the isolated country were to open up, it could free an estimated 50,000 Christians imprisoned for their faith in the country’s inhumane penal system. In Pakistan, protecting religious freedom would mean that 4 million people could actually live, contributing to the greater good—instead of just surviving.
Research continues to show that in places where religious liberty is embraced and protected, economic liberty is also elevated. Open Doors USA CEO David Curry has noted that religious liberty should be the central issue in the race for the White House—“whether you’re looking at it through the lens of immigration or the lens of terrorism.”
Religious freedom across more than 60 countries would see the hearts, energies and imaginations of hundreds of millions of people released and multiplied to their fullest extent—for the Kingdom, both on earth and in Heaven.
As these presidential candidates gather tonight and in the months ahead on the road to Decision 2020, the violence and deaths that happen every day simply because a man or woman has exercised their religious freedom should not only be on the docket—but also take center stage.
The lives of more than 245 million people depend on it.
Persecution of Christians is the issue of our day. Please take action and join us in this fight as we advocate for persecuted believers around the world. For more information on how you can get involved. click here.