Western societies, including many people within the United States, appear unaware of the growing persecution of Christian believers throughout many of the world’s nations. According to the Christian relief group, Open Doors, this persecution persists in 60 nations. The persecution includes violence against Christians in many Middle Eastern and Near East countries, such as Pakistan, Iraq , Egypt, Afghanistan and Iran.
In Pakistan, Christian churches were burned, and believers have been arrested and charged with the dubious allegation of “religious blasphemy.”
In Saudi Arabia, possession of Bibles and Christian tracts can be legally prosecuted in that strict, fundamentalist, Muslim nation.
In Nigeria, Christians have been murdered and kidnapped by radical Islamic terrorists.
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Some of the worst oppression of Christians occurs in the Communist nation of North Korea. This nation is ruled by a cult-like dictator who permits no religious practices and subjects Christians to harsh forced labor and imprisonment.
While the Western world has failed to effectively act to counter these reprehensible acts, the new administration of President Trump has the leverage to expose and counter this religious persecution.
The Trump administration can and should use foreign aid as leverage with nations that receive massive amount of funding, including Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Pressure should be exerted to influence these countries to protect their Christian minorities and to halt systematic arrests of believers on dubious grounds.
The United States can utilize the United Nations and the Voice of America to highlight and condemn this systematic religious persecution. This horrible situation requires positive action by the United States.
Tim Seale, Miami