World Watch List 2013- Has Christian Persecution Changed?
In less than a month, Open Doors will launch the 2013 World Watch List. We know there will be some changes to the list, both positive and negative, but has persecution changed over the years?
Open Doors was founded in 1955 by Brother Andrew. The ministry’s main focus at that time was ‘smuggling’ Bibles, visiting and ministering to persecuted Christians behind the “Iron Curtain” (mainly Eastern European countries).
At that time, countries in Eastern Europe were some of the most difficult places to be a Christian in the world. Atheist governments would imprison, torture or kill Christians who refused to recant their faith. Many Christians who were not persecuted, were faithful to pray for their brothers and sisters who were in prison….and God heard those prayers.
In November of 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. It was the symbol of answered prayers…many of the countries who were persecuting Christians, were no longer persecuting them- they were free to practice their faith without persecution. Today, Eastern Europe is no longer the top region in the world where Christians are persecuted.
But as the Bible says, persecution isn’t going away. In fact, it seems to be increasing in other parts of the world (like the Middle East).
Today, the area in the world has changed where Christians are being persecuted, and persecution has decreased in certain areas. The tactics of persecution may have changed, but one thing remains the same (the Bible promises us this)- those who are followers of Christ will face persecution.
So with the changes that might come with the World Watch List, thank you for your faithfulness to pray for those who remain faithful in the face of persecution.