Wednesday, July 17, 2013


From The Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life: The Arab Spring has increased government restrictions upon religious freedom in the Middle East and Africa. This study examined restrictions which have their roots not only in governmental hostility, but in social hostility as well. The report has a separate section dealing with these restrictions in detail.  While the study focused on religious persecution in general, this link provides ample evidence of the targeting of Christians in particular. One such example was the recent beheading of a Catholic priest and two other Catholics by Syrian jihadist rebels. From Touchstone Magazine.

Also from Touchstone Magazine: The Krygyzstan government is formulating restrictive new laws on the freedom of religious expression and activity. Krygyzstan is an Islamic country which used to be part of the Soviet Union. The article reminds us that when the Soviet Union fell, various ministry leaders warned that the window of opportunity to bring the gospel to the former Soviet empire would be of short duration. That window now seems to be closing. The article has a link to its source, a report from Forum 18, an organization which monitors religious oppression.

From Christianity Today: The militant Muslim group Boko Haram wants to impose Shariah Law in Nigeria. Previously, it has targeted government buildings. But in 2009, it changed tactics and began targeting Christian churches. This has prompted responses from the government and Christian groups which could limit religious freedom even further. Some Christians have even engaged in reprisals.

And now some good news from The Institute of Religion and Democracy blog: The New York City Council passed a resolution supporting NYC schools allowing churches to meet in schools during non-school hours. The Federal Government and some local NYC politicians have tried to prevent churches meeting on school property. The article acknowledges that anti-Christian discrimination in the U.S. doesn't rise to the level of persecution Christians face in other countries. Yet there is an increasing intolerance directed toward Christians which should cause one to fear outright persecution in the future, in Europe, and in the U.S. Here is a report outlining discrimination against Christians in Europe put out by The Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe. Indeed, the Pew study cited above states that European governments are more likely to label Christian groups as sects than the Middle Eastern and North African governments. That same report has a separate section documenting increasing restrictions on religion in the U.S. 

Even in the face of incredible government persecution, the Church in China has grown exponentially. This article, also from the Institute on Religion and Democracy, quotes Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, as claiming that the military crackdown at Tienanmen Square was a turning point for the Chinese church. After the crackdown, many intellectuals and professionals turned to Christ.


Dr. Claude Mariottini said...

Thank you for linking my blog to your blog. My blog address has moved. New address:

I hope you will update my blog address in your blogroll.

Claude Mariottini

Mr. Guthrie said...

I have updated the address. Thanks for the information.