Christian persecution is raging across the globe, with a new report finding an estimated 200 to 300 million Christians worldwide face some form of rebuke for their beliefs. Jeff King, president of International Christian Concern (ICC) and one of the world’s most knowledgeable experts on religious freedom and persecution, told CBN Digital his organization’s recent “2023 Persecutors of the Year” report paints a bleak picture of what believers routinely face.
King said Nigeria stands out in this year’s report, expressing alarm at a lack of action to curb radical and deadly persecution unfolding inside the African nation. “Most Americans have no idea what’s going on in Nigeria, but imagine this: for the last 20 years, probably up to about 100,000 Christians have been murdered,” King said. “Three-and-a-half million Christians, their lands have been taken from them, and the government’s pretty much done nothing.”
He said the 200 to 300 million statistic is truly staggering. “I’ve been doing this for 20-some years and … that’s bigger than the populace of Christians in the United States,” he said of the startling estimate. “It ranges from light [persecution] to the decimation of the church, which is the murder and assassination, and torture.”
While some of this international torture is intense and deadly, King warned that the U.S., too, faces much lighter forms of rebuke — but that this rebuke is necessary to mention. “You see the job discrimination, that exclusion from the public square, the silencing, the firing, the court cases, all that stuff is persecution,” he said.
And while King said he doesn’t want to be an alarmist, he cautioned that the “storm clouds are gathering,” describing the current dynamic in America as “persecution light.” “But people need to wake up, because we are the frog in the kettle,” he said. “And if you just follow the trajectory, we need to do something … we need to raise our voice. We need to shout and we need to cry foul when a foul is being perpetrated against us.” Find out more about the “2023 Persecutors of the Year” report.
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