The following is a list of countries where persecution of Christians is dominant:

Comoro Islands
Equatorial Guinea
North Korea
Saudi Arabia
Sri Lanka
Tibet (China)
United Arab Emirates

In Afghanistan where Muslim rule is dominant, Women are not allowed to attend schools or hold jobs. Men are bound to strict Islamic code and are required to wear beards. Those who are not Muslims are denied freedom of assembly, and open profession of their own faith is likely to lead to death. In Algeria, the Islamic Salvation Front marches through towns, slitting the throats of those who do not live up to their idea of Islamic Fundamentalism. Muslims have bad memories of atrocities commited by previous "Christian" colonists making them want to destroy anything associated with Christianity. Many times, Christian girls are forced to marry Muslims and Christian families live in constant intimidation. Although Azerbaijan claims to give religious freedom, the majority of the population is becoming more Islamic and anti-Christian. Many Christians fled after the 1989 massacre. Now, many Christian churches are closed and few would feel safe attending them. Bangladesh also wants freedom of religion and does not condone persecution of anyone, but they cannot control it on a village-by-village level. Christians are not allowed to drink from local water wells. They have to walk (possibly) miles to the nearest river to drink, and even that may make them sick. They are robbed and beaten constantly, even by their own family members. Their rights to their land have been taken away by the villagers and no one is allowed to visit them. In Bhutan, all public worship and evangelism by non-Buddhists is illegal. Pastor Norbu who preached openly there was arrested and tortured in jail. After finally being released from prison, he died of a heart-attack 10 days later. In Brunei, Christian leaders were expelled in 1991. Christian literature and the celebration of Christmas is illegal. Conversing with Christians is restricted with Muslims. Muslims also control the school systems.

In China, more Christians are detained without a hearing than any other country. There, Christians are 're-educated' in labor camps. Christian leaders are arrested and condemned as rebels. Christians property is stolen, are beaten, and are thrown from their houses by police who give them only one warning. Although freedom of religion was also claimed by Cuba in 1992, still bibles are confiscated, Christians are imprisoned, and their churches destroyed all the time. "Mario Gomez began to show Christian videos in his home almost every day. According to the Communist government, this was a violation of religious freedom. Castro says Cubans are not allowed to learn about Christ in their own homes. Marco was sentenced to 18 months in prison for the crime of 'violation of the home.'"

Egypt's constitution givs preference to Muslims. Christians are not allowed to act politically and are discriminated against in employment. An 1865 Ottoman Empire law keeps churches from being built, rebuilt, or repaired without the president's permission. In 1997, Muslim militants killed 15 Christians in their plae of worship. Mohammed Wagdie Dorrah, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was arrested for encouraging division between Muslims and Christians after already being arrested for converting. He was tortured, beaten, and even hanged by his hands before they let him go. He was later arrested again for refusing to be a spy for the secret police and inform them about the Christain church and other Muslim converts.

In Indonesia, the Muslim government requires every one to carry a card that identifies their religious status. Although the government says it allows everyone to follow either Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, or Hinduism, Muslims still receive preferential treatment. Since 1996, Muslims have burned down over 50 church buildings in which many Christians have died. In 1997, a mob rioted in Banjarmasin. They set fire to a church and when they left, people hiding inside cam out to extinguish it. The mob came back and set fire to it again, and so the people tried to put it out again. This continued on until the military finally came and assisted them in putting out the fire. The mob was gone though. That same mob targeted another church except this time, the fire got out of control burning down, not only 14 churches, but several homes and a large shopping center. Hundreds of people were trapped inside the center and died. There have been many more mob attacks on Christian churches since.

In Iran there are constitutional guarantees of religious freedom but still, the Shiite Muslims are crushing any faith but Islam. The government sends spies to monitor on Christian groups. Christians are discriminated against in education, employment and property ownership. All open witnessing is banned and more murders of Christians (especially religious leaders) are occurring every year. In Iraq, religions are accepted by their level of loyalty to Saddam Hussein's regime. The import of Christian literature is banned and after the Persian Gulf war, Iraq killed certain ethnic groups, including Christians. Tens of thousands were gassed, shot, or forced to leave their homes. In Kuwait, Sunni Islam is the state religion. The government gives financial incentives to those claiming to be Muslim and has even gone so far as to purchase many, many Bibles in order to burn them.Christian worship is allowed only within the Christian community, which has literal, physical boundaries.

Mauritania has to be one of the most restrictive countries. Christian literature and broadcasting is illegal. People who even show a slight interest in the gospel are often arrested and tortured. By law, those who claim to be Christians face the death penalty.

In Pakistan blaspheming Mohammed is a crime punishable by death. Many who have been acquitted of such charges have been murdered by mobs after they were released. In 1997, Pakistani police started rumours that Christians had destroyed a Koran and littered it's torn pages in a Muslim mosque. A mob of 30,000 Muslims rained blows down upon the Christian villages. Nearly 15,000 Christians lost their homes and property. In the Philippines "a 10-year-old Filipino girl was beaten to death by her father after she professed Christ. Before she died, she held the bloody dress she was wearing when she was beaten and told the missionary, 'I just want Jesus to know that I was willing to bleed for him.'" Similar to other countries, persecution of Christians is regular there. In Saudi Arabia, missionaries face jail, expulsion, or execution for ministering. Unlike other countries like the United Arab Emirates, they do not allow even foreign Christians to worship there.

In North Vietnam, only 9 churches are legally allowed to be open. All other Christians must worship "illegally". Those worshipping illegally face harrassment, beatings, imprisonment, torture, and death. Even those worshipping legally are not safe from harrassment and beatings.

The worst of all, I'd have to say though, is Sudan. The Sudanese government has declared a "holy war" on the Christians and other non-Muslims. Not only have they took part in the false imprisonments, tortures, and murders of Christians but they have hurt the most people with their imposed famines. The government refuses food and medicine where the famines happen. The government has even sold thousands of children, some as young as 6, into slavery. During the years of this holy war "nearly 3 million African Sudanese have been killed, over five million displaced internally, another 1 million forced into refuge in neighboring countries."


The Persecution of Christianity Worldwide

The word "of" in this case has a double meaning.  Above is a list of the first meaning; countries which persecute Christians.  But there is also a second possible interpretation--those countries where Christianity is dominant and persecutes other ideological and religious views.  Frequently, the "other views" are actually different forms of Christianity.

There have been many examples of this throughout history.  Listed are a few:

Nazi Germany.  Like it or not, the churches, Catholic and Protestant alike, encouraged the persecution of Jews

The Crusades.  A series of for-profit attacks on Middle East Islamic groups between the 1100's and 1300's.  While not a country, the Church wielded its power on the level of a government.

England.  The Anglican Church expelled many smaller Christian sects, the Puritans included, during the 1600's.  These smaller sects moved to...

The United States.  A country whose founding members were members of the extremist Puritan sect.  The Puritans arrived and almost immediately began to move against the Native Americans and their "pagan" religion--a tradition which has continued up until modern day in some backwater areas of the country.  Specific examples range from witch trials to the Ku Klux Klan.

As time goes by and Christianity loses numbers, it has lost much of its power to oppress--currently Christianity has total control only in smaller, less advanced areas of the world.  As cities advance, religions lose their ability to dominate society.

Despite Christianity's tradition of oppression, keep in mind that this neither proves nor disproves the validity of Christianity.  It does, however, show that Christianity is equally as guilty of oppression as any other religion of its size, be it Islam, Buddhism, or Judaism.  

As part of an effort to help other readers in considering the source of the materials presented in this node (especially in case one or more of the cited sources ceases to be available in the future), I tried to find out a bit about the sites cited by the above writeups.

BigHoliday cites two sites, CASMAS and Chalcedon. The first is best described by the following quotation from their page:

"The Coalition Against Slavery in Mauritania and Sudan (CASMAS) is a human rights, abolitionist movement started by activists from Mauritania, Sudan and the United States on March 5, 1995. The mission of CASMAS is to bring together abolitionists/human rights groups from Mauritania, South Sudan and North America to collectively fight for the eradication of institutionalized and chattel slavery and other forms of human rights violations in Africa, especially in Mauritania and Sudan."

Chalcedon is a Calvinist Christian organization, which lists among its purposes the following commitment:

"Chalcedon is committed to recovering the intellectual foundations of Christian civilization. We do this in two main ways, negatively, we expose the bankruptcy of all non-Christian (and alleged but compromising Christian) systems of thought and practices. Positively, we propose an explicitly Biblical system of thought and action as the exclusive basis for civilization. Only by restoring the Christian Faith and Biblical law as the standard of all of life can Christians hope to re-establish Christian civilizations."

I can't resist quoting this, as well--it really isn't related at all, but it's listed first of "five great ways to show your kids you care":
  • Teach them that they are natural-born sinners subject to the wrath of a Holy God, and call upon them to trust in Jesus Christ alone for their salvation from eternal punishment in hell.

BaldGhoti's writeup cites Nextext, a site which makes educational texts available online, and the Catholic Encyclopedia on New Advent, which describes itself thus:

"New Advent is a Catholic website, featuring the Catholic Encyclopedia, the Summa Theologica, and a collection of the Church Fathers."

BaldGhoti's points do not serve to establish the point s/he attempts to make, that Christianity is exactly as guilty of persecution as other religions of comparable size. However, they can be used to suggest that Christianity has not been blame-free throughout its history. The largely historical nature of the examples chosen (with the partial exception of Native American persecution--partial only because it seems to have been more pronounced in days happily gone by) serves to weaken the more salient point that modern-day Christianity is still involved in persecution--additional examples could be of assistance here.

On the other hand, BigHoliday's writeup seems unconcerned with making distinctions between the actions of individuals, churches, and governments. Also, it presents a good deal of anecdotal evidence, often the hallmark of a weak argument. Still, it's important for present-day policymaking that these sorts of issues enter the public consciousness.

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