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Christians faced record level of violent attacks in 2023, Open Doors warns


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Christian Post

The international Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors warned in its latest annual report about a dramatic increase in violence against Christians and places of worship worldwide, as nearly 5,000 Christians were killed for their faith. 

Open Doors, an organization that monitors persecution and supports the Church in over 60 countries, released its World Watch List 2024 on Wednesday, documenting trends and ranking the 50 worst countries in the world when it comes to Christian persecution.  

According to the data, at least 13 Christians were killed for their faith per day in 2023, on average, with 4,998 Christians killed in the World Watch List 2024 yearly reporting period that ended on Sept. 30, 2023.

At least 14,766 churches and Christian properties were attacked worldwide during that time, with Open Doors reporting a seven-fold increase in attacks on churches and Christian-run schools, hospitals and cemeteries.

"Attacks on churches and Christian properties sky-rocketed in 2023, as more Christians than ever recorded faced violent attacks," the report states. 

Open Doors warns that more than 365 million (one in seven) Christians face high levels of persecution for their faith.

In an interview with CP, Ryan Brown, CEO of Open Doors U.S., speculated that one of the reasons for the increase in violence against Christians is that the perpetrators feel that they can act without fear of repercussions. While things may differ depending on the country, Brown called on governments in these regions to protect Christians, including through laws they may already have on the books. 

As the leader of the watchdog group noted, Jesus warned Christians repeatedly that they would face hatred and abuse for their faith. 

"It's ironic, but we actually see the fingerprints of Christ all over this," Brown said. "What the enemy would intend for evil actually has the opposite effect. In many cases, it both emboldens and strengthens the church in those contexts." 

"We see our brothers and sisters around the globe in the face of mounting violence, counting the cost and recognizing that the kingdom of God is there," Brown continued. "Their pursuit and relationship with Christ is worth more than the violence that they endure, the persecution that they suffer." 

North Korea was again ranked No. 1 as the country where Christians face the greatest difficulty in practicing their faith. Open Doors says that becoming Christian in North Korea is "effectively a death sentence" because they "will be deported to labour camps as political criminals ... or they are killed on the spot.":snip:

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Jan 18, 2024 #christianity #jesus #bible

Doug Giles joins Eric Metaxas to discuss speaking fearlessly against evil and not being ashamed of God's Word. Metaxas and Giles exhort Christians to not fall into cowardice and to take a stand for their faith.

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