Thursday, April 19, 2012

Christian Persecution: The Top 50 Offending Countries

Christianity Today’s Liveblog reports that Christian human rights advocate Gao Zhisheng is still alive. This good news has been confirmed by relatives of Gao who were permitted to visit him in prison recently. For background information on Gao, here is a paragraph on him I wrote in 1/11:

Chinese Christian lawyer and human rights activist Gao Zhisheng has defended the rights not only of Christians but of other religious groups as well, such as the Falun Gong. For this, he has been arrested by the Chinese government and undergone torture that even he cannot completely describe. His family and associates have also undergone incredible persecution. Here is an article from Christianity Today Liveblog which quotes a letter from Gao describing what he has endured. CT Liveblog also links to a forward to a book written by Gao describing the humanly unendurable persecution he, his family and his associates have undergone. If this article doesn't motivate you to pray for persecuted everywhere, your heart must indeed be very hard.

Here is list of the 50 countries were Christian persecution is the most severe. (From World Watch List , HT: Gene Veith) China is number 21. Four “allies” of the United States, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan are in the top 10. As I was working on this post, I saw that the top Muslim leader in Saudi Arabia has stated that all Christian churches on the Arabian Peninsula must be demolished (From the Washington Free Beacon, HT: Jesus Creed).


Derek C said...

Well, yes (with the US diplomats. China, not so much).

Because of...

All that to say, I believe the work our diplomats do (regardless of administration) is a lot harder than we think. I thought Ms. Ling was out of line to speak on something she only knows about superficially. I've made the same mistake myself and recognize grace can go a long way. Thinking and living redemptively is a good thing, but harder to do than we think.

BTW, enjoyed your blog and like your comment policy (good call).


Mr. Guthrie said...

I'm glad you enjoy my blog and like my comment policy. Feel free to comment anytime. I'm not sure I would call the knowledge of the author of the CT article superficial. She certainly has access to those who are involved in the situation.

For anyone reading this, here is the article Derek is referring to:

Derek C said...

Fair point. I probably should have said that her perspective/knowledge is limited. :-)

Mr. Guthrie said...

In this situation the way to live redemptively is to follow Heb. 13:3, "Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering"(NIV). You don't give the benefit of the doubt to a government that is guilty of such atrocities against its people and who has persecuted Chen and his family, and who is ratcheting up its persecution against other family members. While you can praise some diplomats on the ground, you cannot give the benefit of the doubt to those higher up in the state department for wanting to do what they can to appease the Chinese government. Chai Lin may not be in China now, but it is obvious that her background provides her with contacts with those helping Chen.