Tuesday, 13 February 2007
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A major area of intense persecution today is in the "10/40 Window" where 97 percent of the world's least evangelized people live. This rectangular area extends from West Africa across Asia, between the 10th and 40th parallels north of the equator.  

There are 1.6 billion Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists living in this window, and in some countries the Church has almost been eliminated as a result of Islamic oppression. The Christian population there is less than 2 percent, a small but precious minority.  

Another area of intense persecution is Latin America. Christians in some of Latin America’s countries face much hardship because of their faith in Christ.    

Latin America

 

Work in this area is often done under very dangerous circumstances. Christians in Colombia and Peru are caught in the crossfire of warring factions. In Mexico Christians are expelled from villages and denied community privileges. In Cuba the atheist government puts much pressure on Christians who are often falsely accused of crimes.

 

Africa

 

The rapid expansion of Islam is greatly challenging the Church in Nigeria, southern Sudan, northeastern Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. In Eritrea Evangelical churches have been banned and by March 2005 more than 500 Christians were in prison under deplorable circumstances. The Church needs to reach out in love to neighbours and not retaliate when provoked.

 

Middle East

 

As the Islamic revival spreads, the Church in this area is declining. Due to the pressure on Christians, many opt to immigrate. Each Christian that leaves the area contributes to the erosion of the Christian testimony there. Christians need encouragement and equipping to rise to the occasion.

 

Persian Gulf

 

There is tremendous pressure on Christians in this region. Should Muslims convert to Christ, they face ostracism, beatings, torture and death.

 

Turkic Region

 

Here too it is extremely dangerous to be a Christian. Several believers have faced imprisonment and in some cases torture for their faith in Christ. There are serious limitations on believers in these countries. A few martyrs have paid the ultimate price in this region.

 

Asian Subcontinents

 

Extremist Hinduism and Buddhism are posing grave challenges to the Church. In India and Sri Lanka Christians face attack and misinformation campaigns. In Bhutan it is illegal to be a Christian.

 

Southeast Asia

 

Christians are facing increased pressure. Islam and Communism are aiming to limit the growth of the Church. There have been several attacks on churches and individual Christians. In some areas the assembly of the faithful is illegal. Dozens of church leaders are imprisoned.

 

Far East

 

Despite intense persecution, the Church in China is growing rapidly. There is a great lack of Scriptures as well as trained leaders. When Christians in North Korea are discovered they are sent to labour camps to face horrifying conditions. Many simply disappear. 

 

 
 
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