According to an articleby Fox News, the number of Christians killed for their faith in 2013 numbered 2,123, which increased from 1,201 in 2012. The article states: “More than half of those reported killings (1,213) occurred in Syria, followed by Nigeria (612) and Pakistan (88).”
Christian persecution remains a growing concern for many around the world. In the listing of most dangerous countries for Christians, the top rankings are: North Korea, Somalia, Syria and Iraq.
As Paul requests the believers in Colossae in Colossians 4:18, we raise the same cry, “Remember their chains.” As persecution increases, we as the body of Christ should be rallying around our fellow believers in prayer and spiritual support, bringing them always before the throne of God asking for grace and mercy.
The article also stated: “More than 80 percent of people worldwide identify with a religious group, according to 2011 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life. Of those, 2.2 billion, or 32 percent, identified themselves as Christians, followed by 1.6 billion Muslims (23 percent) and 1 billion Hindus (15 percent). The survey also found that roughly 1.1 billion people, or 16 percent worldwide, have no religious affiliation, making that segment the third-largest religious group globally and roughly equal in size to the world’s Catholic population.”
As these numbers continue to average out, and hostilities continue to rise, we encourage you to be ever vigilant in doing all you can to preserve and preach the gospel. Whether through prayer, becoming a ReadyChristian or a ReadyChurch, we encourage you to take practical steps today to strengthen your faith and learn how to develop safety and security for your family and church in violent times.