Persecution of Christians is the “premier human rights issue of the early 21st century, as well as the most untold story about global Christianity in our time,” Boston Globe reporter John Allen stated in prepared remarks on February 11, 2014. Addressing a House Committee on Foreign Affairs hearing, Allen and other panelists ominously delineated Christianity’s threatened state around the world.
- “[I]t is absolutely the case that Christianity is the most widely persecuted religion in the world today,” observed the submission from human rights advocate Benedict Rogers of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
- The Pew Forum cited by reporter Allen, for example, found for Christians in the years 2006-2010 “some form of harassment, either de jure or de facto, in 139 countries” or two-thirds of all nations, “the largest total for any religious group.”
- Christians, meanwhile, were the only religious community at risk in all 16 of the worst religious freedom countries identified by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
- Terrorist attacks on Christians worldwide also jumped 139% in the years 2003-2011 according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.
While Middle Eastern persecution of Christians “is perhaps the most acute,” Rogers noted, Christians today are “facing threats from a wide range of sources in almost every corner of the globe.”
As an “alternative source of authority,” USCIRF commissioner Elliott Abrams analyzed, Christianity presents a “direct threat both to tyrannical governments,” whether “secular or religious,” and “extremist private actors.”