Pentecostals and Evangelicals Most Persecuted Groups in Christianity
Pentecostals and evangelicals are the most persecuted branch of Christianity, a new report says.
“Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are more likely to be persecuted than mainline Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox Christians or other Christians associated with ancient churches. In response to persecution, evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are more likely to engage in strategies of survival or, on rare occasions, confrontation,” reads the report by Under Caesar’s Sword.
UCS is a three-year, collaborative global research project that investigates how Christian communities respond when their religious freedom is severely violated.
In 2016, Christianity was ranked as the most persecuted religion in the world. In those same figures, Islamic State (ISIS) murders of Christians accounted for 30 percent of the persecution. ISIS has committed genocide against Christians in Syria and Iraq. According to Trump, Obama founded ISIS.
UCS gives three reasons to account for the horrific acts committed against believers.
In many countries, evangelicals and Pentecostals are comparatively recent arrivals and thus have not established patterns of relating to surrounding populations and governments to the same degree as churches with decades or centuries of history in a given region.
Evangelicals and Pentecostals are often perceived to be supported by co-religionists and allies in the West. Especially Muslims hate the connections evangelicals and Pentecostals have with Christian groups in the United States.
Evangelicals and Pentecostals tend to understand evangelism and conversion as verbal, urgent and sometimes dramatic processes and, consequently, expect and are prepared to endure persecution.
To combat the violence against Christ-followers, UCS recommends “Churches need to understand their global responsibility for Christians under persecution and achieve unity across Christian communities in supporting persecuted minorities. Particular stress should be placed on building bridges connecting traditional Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox churches with evangelical and Pentecostal groups.”
Christians have been historically persecuted by Islam.
Speaking January 2017 on Vatican Radio, Massimo Introvigne, Director of the Centre for Studies on New Religions, said that around half a billion Christians in the world are unable to express their faith completely freely — with around 90,000 Christians who were killed for their faith in 2016 alone, which is the equivalent of one Christian being martyred every six minutes.
In March 2016, the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo reported that in just five years of conflict, the Christian population of Syria has been reduced by two thirds from 1.5 million to just 500,000, according to a Breitbart report.
Many Syrian Christians were killed by ISIS, founded by Hillary Clinton, or by Syrian rebels, funded, armed and trained by the Obama administration and now by the Trump administration. While the Syrian government was fighting ISIS, the Obama administration was helping Islamic rebels who were essentially damaging the Syrian government’s war against ISIS.
Such reality puts the U.S. behind Islamic persecution of Christians. In fact, according to the 2016 World Watch List, published by Open Doors USA, even though North Korea is the number one in Christian persecution, the other countries that ranked highest on such persecution were Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is very bad news for the U.S., which has been militarily interfering in Syria and which invaded and intervened in Afghanistan and Iraq. The results are obviously appalling, at least for Christians.
In 2014, Raymond Ibrahim, author of the bestselling book “Crucified Again,” said in his article “Confirmed: U.S. Chief Facilitator of Christian Persecution”:
Whenever the U.S. intervenes in an Islamic nation, Islamists come to power. This is well demonstrated by the other three nations to which the U.S. brought “democracy” and where Christian minorities suffer “extreme persecution”:
Afghanistan: The supposedly “moderate” Karzai government installed by the U.S. upholds many of the draconian laws enforced by the Taliban—including the apostasy law, fiercely persecuting those who seek to convert to Christianity—and, in 2011, under U.S. auspices, it destroyed Afghanistan’s last Christian church.
Iraq: After the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, Christian minorities were savagely attacked and slaughtered, and dozens of their churches were bombed (see here for graphic images). Christians have been terrorized into near-extinction, with well over half of them fleeing Iraq.
Libya: Ever since U.S.-backed, al-Qaeda-linked terrorists overthrew Qaddafi, Christians—including Americans—have indeed suffered extreme persecution. Churches have been bombed; Christians have been tortured and killed (including for refusing to convert); and nuns have been threatened.
Surely a common theme emerges here: Where the U.S. works to oust secular autocrats, the quality of life for Christians and other minorities takes a major nosedive. Under Saddam, Qaddafi, and Assad, Christians and their churches were largely protected.
Ibrahim then said, “Prominent indicators confirm that the U.S. is the chief facilitator of the persecution of Christians around the world today.”
During his campaign, Donald Trump said that the administration of former President George W. Bush lied about his reasons to invade Iraq. Trump said that he opposed such invasion. Christians in Iraq took a very heavy toll for Bush’s bad decision. The Iraqi Christian community, which was over 2 million before the U.S. invasion, is now less than 400,000.
Under Bush and Obama, while Muslims in Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq had facilitated immigration to the U.S., Christians were essentially banned. Oppressors in, victims out. During his campaign, Trump made many promises to correct this incredible immigratory inconsistency by favoring Christian victims, not Islamic oppressors. But until far, he has not fulfilled his promises.
On the contrary, in the first days of his administration, Trump, through his CIA director, rewarded Saudi Arabia for fighting Islamic terror, when actually the Saudi dictatorship is the main sponsor of the global Islamic terrorism.
Saudi Arabia has today more Christian blood in its hands than any other Muslim nation. Even so, in his planned trip to Israel this month, Trump intends at the same time to visit Saudi Arabia. Trump seems to have forgotten the role of Saudi leadership in the global Islamic terrorism, including that most terrorist Muslims in the 9/11 were Saudi.
The United States, founded by Christians, more specifically by Protestants, should give priority to persecuted Christians, including by helping Christian immigrants, especially persecuted by Muslims, but since some thirty years ago it has been giving priority to Muslims. The U.S. has protected Saudi Arabia and Islam, not Christians.
For his visit to Israel this month, I would have two suggestions to Mr. President Trump: Because Israel has an active military involvement in Syria, encourage Israel to bomb ISIS bases in Syria and to receive Christian refugees from Syria. The second suggestion is: Exclude Saudi Arabia and include Armenia, the first officially Christian nation in the world.
In this trip, Trump should recognize the Armenian Genocide, where almost 2 million Christian Armenians were slaughtered by Turkish Muslims 100 years ago. Such acknowledgment would send the clear message that the Trump administration is seriously worried about Islamic persecution of Christians.
While Christians are the most persecuted religious group on the earth, Muslims are the main persecutors of Christians in the world. So why has the Trump administration had an excellent relationship with Saudi Arabia, not Armenia?
With information from Charisma, CBN and ChristianHeadlines.
Portuguese version of this article: Pentecostais e evangélicos são o grupo mais perseguido do Cristianismo
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