Recent reports revealed that more Christians are being killed because of their faith amid the COVID 19 pandemic.
Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more Christians suffer persecution and face death from different parts of the world. During these times when people are restricted to go out, still more believers go through harassment to the point of losing their lives while the number of those who receive Christ as Lord and Savior continues to increase.
Open Doors, a Christian advocacy group just compiled the 2021 World Watch List revealing the most recent statistics on Christian persecutions across the globe. The compilation said there are 340 million Christians suffering from discrimination and persecution due to their faith, The Guardian reported.
According to the report, there are 4,761 Christians who lost their lives because of their faith, a 60 percent rise from the figures gathered for the past year. 90 percent of the reported death cases came from Africa.
The COVID-19 restrictions did not help to lower the numbers yet even added up to the sufferings of the believers. Christians in some countries of Africa suffer discrimination during the COVID-19 aid distribution.
Village heads and committees refuse to give them relief. At times even government officials deprive them of their pandemic aid.
Several countries tightened their rules in distributing supplies in favor of other religions during the lockdown. In Kaduna, Nigeria, Muslims receive a majority of the ration while Christians only receive one-sixth of the portion. The country also recorded 3,800 faith-related deaths which are three times higher than the previous year.
In India, hospitals, schools, and organizations run by Christian faced a hard time during the pandemic. The government blocked the entry of foreign funding that sustains their needs.
The attack carried on by the Hindu nationalist government in India became rampant. The atmosphere of Christian and Muslim harassment has been the norm.
The Chinese Communist Party's campaign to "sinicize" Christianity also created a challenge on believers during the trying times. The government installed facial recognition systems on church surveillance. This meant that online services on state-approved churches are monitored as well as the aid distribution during the pandemic.
In other countries such as sub-Saharan Africa, Christians faced worse challenges as the world combats the coronavirus scare. Islamist militant groups took advantage of the lockdowns and the weakened government rule implementations. This gave believers a 30 percent increase in suffering from violence initiated by the militant groups.
"The increasing persecution of Christians across the world should disturb us all. Freedom of religion is what underpins many other human rights and civil liberties," said David Landrum, Open Doors UK and Ireland head of advocacy. "Oppressive governments know this, and they are exploiting the pandemic crisis to turn the screw on Christians," Landrum added, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Muslim volunteers in Northern Iraq encouraged Christians to return to their homes by repairing destroyed churches and houses. Sudan's new constitution on the other hand now gives freedom of religion to every citizen and no longer specifies that Islam is the state religion.