Open Doors Reports Escalation of Church Persecution in 2005

Pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ.

(AgapePress) – Dr. Carl Moeller, president of Open Doors USA says there was a noticeable increase in persecution of Christians throughout the world in 2005. That international ministry has released a review of persecution against believers worldwide across the last year.
The Open Doors review found that there was an increase in persecution of Christians in such countries as North Korea, Indonesia, and Eritrea. Dr. Moeller says many believers in the U.S. and other free nations are largely unaware of the oppression and hostility faced by fellow believers in many parts of the world. He feels some of the countries most hostile to the Christian faith are simply not “on the radar screens” of many in the church.
For instance, the ministry leader notes, “Eritrea doesn’t make the news very often because it’s not either an ally or an enemy of the United States; but it is a country where millions of people are subjected to a Marxist-influenced government that is drumming up fear in a war with Ethiopia.” For Christians in Eritrea, he explains, the difficulty with the government is “primarily that it refuses to acknowledge any religious expression apart from four permitted religions and denominations.”
Also, in Eritrea 26 pastors and 1,700 evangelical church members are currently imprisoned, and some have been tortured by government military forces, Moeller points out. Meanwhile, in other nations on Open Doors’ watch list, the violence and systematic harassment and maltreatment of Christians either carried out or tolerated by government authorities is similarly egregious.
In North Korea, an estimated 400,000 Christians face daily persecution, including torture in prison camps. That is one reason why that country topped Open Doors’ world watch list of countries where persecution is most severe in 2005. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, more Christians were killed and churches burned, and three Christian women were arrested for running a program for children.

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