The persecution of Christians is growing in many parts of the world and doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down.
There has been an increase in violence toward Christ followers in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and Kenya. On Easter, a Muslim jihadist group affiliated with the Taliban slaughtered Christians at a park in Lahore, Pakistan.
The government has ignored the problem. After last week’s Easter attack, the U.S. State Department refused to label the crime, according to Todd Nettleton from Voice of the Martyrs.
“It’s frustrating the State Department has such a hard time really calling a spade a spade and saying ‘hey these are radical Muslim terrorists’,” he said in an interview on TRUNEWS with Rick Wiles.
But killings aren’t the only way Christians are persecuted. There is an increase in harassment and discrimination against Christians in unexpected places.
Nettleton said every time core members of VOM meet, they consider adding the United States to the list of areas they are monitoring
“Every time our board meets, it’s one of the questions they ask,” he said. “It’s one of the things were watching.”
He also claimed there is persecution in Chiapas, Mexico, where groups that call themselves Catholic have kicked evangelicals out of their villages or jailed them. He said the “Catholics” were not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church and had views outside Catholicism.
In Israel, Christians face persecution in the form of discrimination from some far-right groups. He highlighted the fact the harassment wasn’t coming from the Israeli government.
Attorney Justin Butterfield was also on TRUNEWS to discuss a recent First Liberty report, “Undeniable: The Survey of Hostility to Religion in America, 2016 Edition”.
The report documents a growing number of Christians who have experienced attacks.
“First Liberty is the largest law firm dedicated solely to protecting religious freedoms here inside the United States, and in that role we see constant persecution of Christians and people of all faiths, but heavily Christian persecution right here in the United States,” Butterfield said to Rick Wiles during the interview.
Butterfield said the persecution against Christians wasn’t often physical violence, although he did note that was increasing in frequency.
“Its often legal violence, or its a crux on people’s ability to express their faith just out while living their lives,” he said.
Butterfield said First Liberty has documented jobs and housing of Christians being threatened because of their faith.
“One of the incidents we covered in this document is a person who was fired and kicked out of her apartment just because she had a sign that a Bible verse on it,” he said.
In the past year, there have been cases of Christians being fired, refused employment or fined for praying or wearing religious symbols.
Several laws have been passed, and fought in court, which prevent Christian businesses from adhering to their beliefs. Examples include Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, where the retailer objected to being forced to provide insurance coverage for abortion drugs.
There have also been attacks on Ten Commandment Displays and public invocations.
In one case, Barton V. City of Balch Springs, senior citizens were told they would not be given meals at their senior center if they prayed before eating or listened to gospel music.
The hopeful message in the persecution, harassment and discrimination is that more people are becoming believers.
“The Church is growing. God is on the move,” Nettleton said.