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Thursday, December 23, 2021 -- Pray For Persecuted Christians

Pray For Persecuted Christians


For Christians this is a joyous time of year.  We celebrate the birth of Christ with our families in relative peace and safety in a free country. 


But the latest news of nearly 50 Nigerian Christians being slaughtered by Islamists was a stark reminder that our peace and safety is not the norm for many Christians around the world.  Yes, they look forward to the season with joy, but also with fear.  Persecution against believers often accelerates during Christmas.


The fight against Christian persecution has always been a top priority of mine and for American Values since its founding.  I remain extremely grateful to President Trump and Vice President Pence for appointing me twice to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). 


During my time on the Commission, I highlighted the threat that communist China in particular poses to religious liberty all over the world as Beijing is exporting its tools of persecution to other countries. I also made the fight against anti-Semitism a top priority for the Commission.


When I served on USCIRF, I had numerous meetings with Christians from Nigeria who were begging us to recognize the genocide taking place there.  Increasing portions of the country are falling under Sharia law.  The fate of Nigeria will determine the fate of Africa.  That's why USCIRF put Nigeria on the list of the world's worst violators of religious liberty.


Sadly, the Biden Administration is not prioritizing international religious liberty at all.  In fact, the State Department recently removed Nigeria from the list of religious liberty violators.


But here's a fact that many don't realize:  Christians are the most persecuted faith in the world.  According to the Pew Research Center, Christians in 153 countries face varying degrees of discrimination and violence.  And the pandemic has made things worse. 


Yet the persecution of Christians is the least reported on by the media.  When was the last time you saw a story on Christian persecution in the "mainstream media"?


In communist countries, like China and North Korea, the communist leaders are god.  Christians are jailed.  Pastors are censored.  Churches are forced to remove crosses. Pictures of Jesus are replaced with pictures of communist dictators.  Believers are constantly monitored by the police and often worship in secret. 


Throughout the Middle East, where our faith was born, Christians go to church knowing that violence from radical Islamists is a real possibility.  In places like Egypt, Sudan and Nigeria, Christians know that when they walk into church this Christmas, they may not leave alive.


While Christians today are the most persecuted faith, we are the least likely to persecute other minority faiths.  Muslims, for example, are most often persecuted by other Muslims


So, this Christmas season, as we celebrate the birth of the Christ child, please do not forget our brothers and sisters in Christ who huddle in the dark, praying for the day when they can worship as freely as we do.