Paying in Blood: The Global War on Christians

Breakpoint pngThis past week Breakpoint posted an important series by Eric Metaxas and John Stonestreet. Here’s the opening of the first article:

We’re at war. Or at least, war is being waged on our brothers and sisters in Christ across the globe.

Sometime in November, the North Korean regime publicly executed eighty people in seven cities across the country. In each instance, a crowd was forced to watch as ten people, their heads covered with white bags, were tied to stakes and machine gunned to death.The “crimes” for which these people were put to death were “watching or illegally trafficking South Korean videos, or involvement in prostitution, [or] possessing a Bible.”

That’s right. Possessing a Bible.

While what happened last month was horrific, it should not come as a surprise. North Korea “enjoys” the dubious distinction of being the “most hazardous nation on earth in which to be a Christian” for eleven consecutive years.

That’s according to Open Doors, an organization that monitors persecution of Christians around the world.Daily_Commentary_12_02_13

There’s another reason why the executions shouldn’t come as a complete surprise: we are in the midst of what John L. Allen has called a “global war on Christians.”

That’s the title of his new book. In keeping with the subtitle–-“Dispatches from the Front Lines of Anti-Christian Persecution”-–Allen provides snapshots of the suffering of Christians around the world.

And nowhere is that suffering more pronounced than in North Korea. There, the regime engages, in Allen’s words, “in systematic barbarity against Christians and other perceived dissidents reminiscent of the world’s most appalling human rights violations, such as Auschwitz, Treblinka, and the killing fields of Cambodia.”

An estimated one-quarter of the country’s Christians are behind bars. There, “as many as 70 percent of these prisoners are ‘severely malnourished,’ and ‘torture, rape, and public executions are common.’ ”

For those who aren’t behind bars, life in this police state/mass cult is just as bad. In a scene that hearkened back to the early church in the Roman Empire, pastors who refused to participate in the personality cult built around the ruling Kim family experienced their church bulldozed with them in it.

Continue reading part 1…

Click on the following to read the rest of the series:

An Ironic Ecumenism: The global War on Christians (part 2)

Christians in the Muslim World: Growth and Persecution (part 3)

Are We up to the Task? The Global War on Christians (part 4)