A recent survey states that awareness on the sufferings of persecuted Christians worldwide have spiked in 2021 among American believers.
According to the recently released survey by Aid to the Church in Need-USA (ACNUSA), 57% percent of U.S. Catholics believe that the persecution of Christians around the world is "very severe." About 67% say that they are "very concerned" about the level of persecution of Christians globally. The increase was a notable spike from the 41% last year.
The survey, also shows that 50% percent of U.S. Catholics "believe that half or more of religiously based attacks around the world are directed at Christians." China, North Korea and Pakistan were among the countries identified where Christians are severely persecuted.
Furthermore, from 47% last year, 52 % of U.S. Catholics now say that the current Pope Francis is "very engaged" on the issue. On the domestic level, 30% believe that their local bishop is "very engaged" and 28 % say their parish is "very involved" with the issue.
"It is heartening that, compared to a year ago, significantly more U.S. Catholics say that Christian persecution around the world is very grave and that the issue has become a matter of concern to more faithful. They also want both their Church and their government to step up efforts to do more to combat the issue," said George Marlin, ACNUSA chairman.
"The poll shows the great need to inform the public regarding specific instances of Christian persecution; the U.S. bishops and organizations like our own must step up our educational and informational efforts," added Marlin.
Conducted on February 2021 by McLaughlin & Associates for Aid to the Church in Need-USA (ACNUSA), the survey aimed to primarily measure the extent of Americans' awareness on Christian persecutions worldwide. On top of this are the "specific measures and policies they want the U.S. and other Western governments to pursue" followed by what they believe as steps to be taken by Christians starting from the church leadership to the individual members.
Writing for Breitbart, Thomas D. Williams, a professor of Ethics with a degree on Philosophy and Theology, said that despite reports by Christian persecution watchdogs, there had been a "widespread ignorance in the West of the extent and vehemence of global Christian persecution."
Williams cited several reasons for this including the lack of or zero coverage from mainstream media which plays down large scale persecutions, outright denial of its reality by those who are living comfortably, and the unhelpful descriptions or labelings from sites like Wikipedia which has a dedicated entry for the term "Christian persecution complex."
"Defining [Christian persecution complex] as 'a belief, attitude or world view that Christian values and Christians are being oppressed by social groups and governments,' the article never asks if this oppression is actually occurring but starts from the presupposition that such a belief must represent an irrational 'complex,'" Williams commented on the Wikipedia entry.
As of 2020, over 340 million Christians are facing "high levels of persecution," said World Watch List 2021 as published by Open Doors.
This is backed by previous reports where the conclusion boils down to this, that "persecution of Christians today is worse than any time in history in terms of the number of people involved, the gravity of the crimes committed, and the impact of the hostility."