Last year, over 90,000 Christians were horribly slaughtered for their faith. This is a level of persecution that has not been seen since ancient times, and according to one major Christian rescue group, 2017 is going to be even worse:
Violent persecution of Christians is set to increase in 2017, warns Release International. The greatest area of concern is the Islamic world, where persecution is increasing from both the state and Islamic militants.
There are also worrying trends in India and China. In India, recorded attacks from Hindu militants have increased dramatically, and in China, pressure is building on unregistered churches, according to Release’s annual Persecution Trends report.
‘Around the world Christians face an increasing array of violent persecutors. These include the brutal Islamic State in the Middle East, heavily armed militants in Nigeria and Hindu extremists in India,’ warns Release Chief Executive Paul Robinson.
‘Our report on the likely trends of persecution in 2017 is a wake-up call to take our prayers and practical support for our persecuted family to a new level.’
Conflict in Syria and Iraq continues to force tens of thousands, including Christians, to flee their homes. The historic churches, which have maintained a faithful witness for nearly 2,000 years, now face the loss of up to half their members. Some church leaders warn of a wholesale exodus of Christians from the lands of the Bible.
In 2017 the refugee crisis in the neighbouring regions is likely to continue. One focus will be Kurdistan in northern Iraq, which is now home to nearly two million internally displaced people.
Despite losing ground in both Syria and Iraq during 2016, Islamic State (IS) and its supporters look set to continue targeting Christian communities. Escaping Christians have described how IS has tortured, sexually abused and even crucified those who refuse to renounce their faith. (source, source)
I would add in addition to the countries mentioned on this report, persecution is going to become exponentially worse in the West. Between the Islamic invasions and the rise of a new neopaganism in response, Christianity is becoming unwanted in many of the lands it has inhabited since antiquity. It does not matter where you live any more- if you are a Christian, no place is safe.
Do not be discouraged by such reports, but take heart and persevere in the Faith to the end. As Christ said to His disciples,
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Matthew 24:37)
Our Lord and Savior then says
Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” (Matthew 24:42-44)
Nobody knows the exact time that Christ will return. However, the fact is that we are to be observant, keeping watch and always ready.
As we here at Shoebat.com have been continually advising, please be a wise virgin, with a full lamp of oil and an extra flask or two at hand. There may come a time in the not too distant future when you may have to stand for Christ and there will be no man to support you. Be ready.