Persecution in 2009

China Aid Association
Persecution in 2009
Date:           January 2, 2008

International (MNN) ― Persecution will probably continue to intensify in the year 2009, as nations struggle through economic troubles and the Untied States inaugurates a new president.
“I think this is an extremely volatile time, and I think Christians around the world are more and more subject to persecution in the name of false gods and false philosophies,” said Carl Moeller of Open Doors
“Of course we’re not prophets, but we do sense that there will be an increasing amount of tension, an increasing amount of violence against Christians, increasing to a fever pitch in some parts of the world like the Middle East.”
Moeller said the world should particularly watch the countries of Iran, North Korea, Nigeria, and India. Although the violence has thankfully abated in recent days, Christians in Orissa have been suffering severe persecution at the hands of Hindu radicals in the latter half of 2009.
The country of Nigeria is also showing signs of serious religious division. 
“Nigeria…has a very extended line of demarcation religiously between Christians in the south and Muslims in the north, and all along that line. Sort of like a California grassfire, there have been explosions of violence,” Moeller explained.
Free countries are able to support and stand up for persecuted Christians around the world, not only because their citizens have the freedom to do so, but also because many of them have the economic ability to do so. Moeller is concerned that the current economic instability could interfere with this support.
“As governments are increasingly faced, worldwide, with turning inward to domestic issues, their economy, and helping to prop up industries, and to create some sort of stability economically at home, they’re going to be less and less available to turn the world’s attention on totalitarian governments and their treatment of the minority religions like Christians,” he said.
“Frankly, as western governments are less and less able to economically intervene on behalf of those persecuted minorities, or even militarily if the case arose, that’s going to expose more Christian communities to a greater amount of persecution in the years to come.” 
However, Moeller is hopeful that the administration of Barak Obama is willing to work for religious liberty. He anticipates that Open Doors will “have the opportunity to help shape some of that discussion,” he said.
“We believe that there is an openness to that in the new administration,” Moeller said. “If you remember the civil forum that Pastor Rick Warren had, he brought up the question of religious liberty around the world. And Barak Obama had a response that said, ‘We would pursue and support those who will be persecuted around the world and pursue those forces that would persecute them.'”
Moeller is thankful for the Bush administration’s commitment to religious liberty. 
“There’s never been as open and positive an administration towards religious persecution specifically than the Bush administration,” he said. “The Bush administration took a great deal of heat because it took a positive approach, a pro-active approach to promoting Christian rights within the context of persecution around the world.”
Overall, Moeller believes that Christians will always live with persecution because the Bible teaches that persecution will only worsen as time goes on.   
“The Bible tells us that there will come a time that people will kill Christians and persecute Christians and think they’re doing God’s work,” he said. “Around the world, in the Middle East and places like Iran, in North Korea, and in Africa, and in Nigeria, Christians are being killed, and people think they’re doing the work of benefiting society by ridding their culture of the Christians.” 
“So unfortunately, as Brother Andrew likes to say, our work is increasing, because we have many more places around the globe where Christians are subjected to extreme persecution — everything from harassment, denial of basic human rights, all the way to torture and martyrdom.”

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