(ThyBlackMan.com) Of the 40,000-plus practiced religions around the world, no following has been more persecuted than those of the Christian faith. Christians have been targeted to the point of being martyred for their beliefs dating back to early Rome in the first century of the Christian era and continue to this day. Early Christian persecution began at the hands of the Jews and Romans, who controlled most early centers of Christianity during the Roman Empire. While persecution of Christians may be expected in authoritarian dictatorships, what is truly abhorrent are the abuses being suffered by followers of Christ in supposedly free countries.
Even though the North Korean Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, the communist dictatorship uses churches only as showpieces to the world. In reality, Christians in North Korea face the death penalty for merely possessing a Bible, and their family members face lifetime prison sentences.
A 2009 U.S. State Department report reveals a two-year-old child was given just such a sentence when his parents were caught with a Bible. The report also details an estimated 70,000 Christians are incarcerated in North Korea where they face harsh conditions, including physical mistreatment that includes forced labor, sexual violence and torture.
People who have successfully defected from North Korea report educational materials are anti-religion, and textbooks portray Christian missionaries are evil people who commit atrocities such as rape and murder. Victims who have survived prison and escaped North Korea report that Christian prisoner were worked hard without proper food, beaten, subjected to constant verbal abuse and made to endure uncomfortable physical positions for hours on end.
The CCP, standing for the Chinese Communist Party, has ruled mainland China since 1949 and has a history of committing unspeakable human rights violations of Christians as well as others. The CCP escalated its persecution of Christians in 2022 as they demanded strict allegiance to Chinese President Xi Jinping and clamped down on churches and online religious content.
U.S.-based non-governmental organization ChinaAid reported the CCP to be using unfounded charges of fraud to financially restrict the Christian movement and using China’s “Measures for the Financial Management of Religious Activity Venues” as an excuse to jail Christian clergy. While incarcerated, religious prisoners often face the unspeakable fate of forced organ harvest. The China Tribunal, an independent body initiated by the U.N. International Coalition to End Transplant Abuse in China, found that religious prisoners have been subject to forced organ harvesting in China for decades.
As hard as it may be for many people to believe, there are far too many examples of Christian persecution in what is supposed to be the freest country on earth. Christians and Christianity are under attack in America not only by private organizations, but by the U.S. government itself. The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
However, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation released an internal memo stating the agency had efforts underway to treat Catholics, as a group, as “violent extremists” and to identify them as “potential terrorists.” Left-wing media outlets, like USA Today, report that Christianity is a threat to American democracy. Pastor Phillip Benham was arrested for taking part in a peaceful protest at an abortion clinic in North Carolina that consisted of singing religious songs and praying. When a woman started verbally assaulting the protesters, Benham was arrested when he tried to diffuse the situation by talking to the woman. Behman had to stand trial, where he was acquitted.
Throughout history, acts of violence and harassment have been perpetrated on groups of people and individuals based solely on their religious beliefs. Around the world, Christians have been one of the most targeted groups in all of history, dating back to the life of Christ. This persecution is typically initiated by those in power who feel threatened by anyone who holds a different viewpoint. Followers of Christ have been ostracized, imprisoned, tortured and sentenced to some of the most gruesome forms of execution imaginable. Still, through it all, Christians have stood by their faith and held fast to their commitment to their belief that Christ is their Lord and Savior.
Staff Writer; Charles Dickens