The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Worldwide Persecution of Christians

Open Doors has published its latest World Watch List of the fifty countries with the worst records of Christian persecution. As you might expect North Korea's brutal communist regime once again tops the list, as it has for the past dozen years. And although it is joined on the list by a few other communist states (Vietnam, Laos, and China), the vast majority of nations on the list are Islamic nations. In some countries -- for example in the African nations of Kenya, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, and Tanzania -- the large Christian population is persecuted not so much by the government as by Islamist terrorist groups. India is also listed because of the deadly persecution of its Christian population by Hindu fundamentalists. Christians in Myanmar, a nation still ruled by a communist government, suffer persecution by both the government and Buddhist extremists. Buddhists are also largely responsible for the persecution of Christians in Sri Lanka and Bhutan. Colombia, because of the ongoing conflict with the FARC rebels, is the only nation in the Western Hemisphere among the top-fifty.

It is particularly disturbing to note that Iraq and Afghanistan, the two nations for which we have spent so much treasure and spilled so much American blood are listed among the top five.

I've included the list of 50 nations below. Islamic states and those with a majority Muslim population are listed in boldface type. These represent 35 or the 50 nations listed. I suggest visiting the site. The world map provided there is especially telling.

1. North Korea
2. Somalia
3. Syria
4. Iraq
5. Afghanistan
6. Saudi Arabia
7. Maldives
8. Pakistan
9. Iran
10. Yemen
11. Sudan
12. Eritrea
13. Libya
14. Nigeria
15. Uzbekistan
16. Central African Republic
17. Ethiopia
18. Vietnam
19. Qatar
20. Turkmenistan
21. Laos
22. Egypt
23. Myanmar (Burma)
24. Brunei
25. Colombia
26. Jordan
27. Oman
28. India
29. Sri Lanka
30. Tunisia
31. Bhutan
32. Algeria
33. Mali
34. Palestinian Territories
35. United Arab Emirates
36. Mauritania
37. China
38. Kuwait
39. Kazakhstan
40. Malaysia
41. Bahrain
42. Comoros
43. Kenya
44. Morocco
45. Tajikistan
46. Djibouti
47. Indonesia
48. Bangladesh
49. Tanzania
50. Niger

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