General Synod backs day of prayer for persecuted Christians around the world

Jul 10, 2024 by

from The Church of England:

The Church of England’s General Synod has endorsed a motion from the Diocese of London highlighting the plight of the persecuted Church, and calling for the creation of a day of prayer for Christians who face oppression and violence around the world.

A background paper highlighted the plight of millions of Christians worldwide facing high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith. In North Korea, where Christianity is illegal, believers risk imprisonment, torture, or execution. Similarly, in parts of the Middle East like Iraq and Syria, extremist groups like ISIS have targeted Christians, leading to mass displacement and atrocities.

In China, the government imposes strict regulations on religious practices, frequently raiding and demolishing unregistered churches. Sub-Saharan Africa also sees severe persecution, with Nigeria’s Boko Haram attacking Christian villages, churches, and schools, resulting in countless deaths and abductions. In Pakistan, blasphemy laws are often misused to unjustly imprison Christians and incite mob violence against them.

A 2024 report by ‘Open Doors’ concluded that 317 million Christians face ‘very high or high levels of persecution’ across its ranking. This equates to 1 in 7 Christians worldwide. Geographically, it found that one in five Christians face persecution in Africa and two in five Christians face persecution in Asia. The top five countries are: North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Eritrea and Yemen.

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