Two weeks ago, my pastor gave a sermon on the world’s persecuted Christians. His source material came from the ministry called Open Doors; you may have heard of them. Every year they put out a list called the World Watch List (WWL), ranking the fifty countries where it is hardest to be a Christian. Here are the current top ten persecutors:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
Of the ten, North Korea is communist, of course, while all the other nine are Moslem. When I was young it wasn’t clear whether Islam was more dangerous to Christians than communism; now I believe the question has been answered. The only country I did not expect to be on the list are the Maldive Islands, because that archipelago of atolls makes few headlines. Still, they managed to push one of the most notorious offenders, Sudan, down to the #11 spot.
So far in the United States, the only real sign of persecution is in the way our federal government is trying to get Catholic institutions (hospitals, universities, etc.) to pay for birth control devices it opposes. I talked about that at least once in previous messages. However, in several countries on the list (Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Libya), the United States is encouraging the persecutors.
For the past few years, at least since Hurricane Katrina, I have had a nagging feeling that God is not blessing the United States anymore. This could explain why. If we truly are accomplices to the worst enemies of Christianity, God help us (and you know He won’t).