June 25, 2024

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FRC Report: Many In Western Countries Feel Emboldened To Go After Christians In The Public Square

Thursday at the second annual International Religious Freedom Summit, Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty released a new groundbreaking report on the extent of religious persecution in the U.S., Europe, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The report titled “Free to Believe? The Intensifying Intolerance Toward Christians in the West,” points to a concerning trend of intolerance that has developed over the past two years. In addition to increasing government hostility toward the expression of religious faith, the pandemic gave governments worldwide increased discretion to tighten restrictions on religious practice, ushering in alarming displays of secular intolerance toward religion. The recent attacks and vandalism of churches we are seeing at this very moment are but the latest evidence that many are feeling emboldened to go after religion in the public square.

The report analyzed open-source documents, academic and media reports to assess government violations of religious freedom against Christians in 34 countries. Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty identified 99 incidents across 14 of those countries. While the report is not exhaustive, it offers valuable insights into the factors contributing to Western governments’ violations of religious freedom against Christians.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins released the following statement on the report:

“Religious freedom is the foundation for the human rights that Western democracies seek to promote abroad. Yet, the ability to promote this fundamental human right will be lost if we do not protect it within our borders. During my time as chair and commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I saw a marked rise in violations of religious freedom against Christians. This occurred not only in longstanding persecution hotspots such as China, Pakistan, and India, but it also took place across the West.

“It is shocking to see Western countries–the same ones we think of as free and open societies–take authoritarian measures against Christians simply trying to practice their faith during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the rise of government abuse extended beyond those related to the pandemic.

These abuses are alarming for Christians around the world who seek to freely practice their faith in the public sphere,” Perkins concluded.

frc - Family Research Council - logo

HD Editor’s Note: ‘Prepare To Stand’

Pastor Andrew Bruson who was imprisoned in Turkey for his Christian faith and released during the Trump Administration, in a recent article implored Believers, including those in the United States, to prepare for persecution. 

“Those who are faithful to Jesus in upholding Gospel exclusivity and obedience to Christ are going to be labeled as evil people, and those who persecute us will justify themselves by saying that we are a people of hate, that we carry a message of hate,” Brunson wrote. “This, of course, is completely backward. It’s a satanic lie. But think of Jesus. He was the most loving and kind man in history, and yet people called Him evil. They said He was demonic, and an angry mob demanded He be killed in a gruesome way. And Jesus said that just as the world hated Him, it will also hate His followers.”

“Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world,” he described. “Why? It’s because when we walk closely with Jesus, we carry His scent, and people react to Him in us.”

“For now, we [in America] still have robust legal protections for freedom of religion, but as the commanding heights of our culture turn against our Judeo-Christian heritage, these protections can erode very quickly,” the pastor stressed. “And when we reach a tipping point, it will accelerate rapidly across a wide front.”

“The majority of believers are not ready for the pressures of persecution, and this is very dangerous,” Brunson underscored in his article series Prepare To Stand. “Learn from persecuted Christians, those who have gone before and endured faithfully. We have been conditioned not to expect persecution in this country, so we need to change our mindset.”

Click here To read part one and two of Andrew Brunson’s impactful Prepare To Stand series.

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Thursday at the second annual International Religious Freedom Summit, Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty released a new groundbreaking report on the extent of religious persecution in the U.S., Europe, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. The report titled “Free to Believe? The Intensifying Intolerance Toward Christians in the West,” points to a concerning trend of intolerance that has developed over the past two years. In addition to increasing government hostility toward the expression of religious faith, the pandemic gave governments worldwide increased discretion to tighten restrictions on religious practice, ushering in alarming displays of secular intolerance toward religion. The recent attacks and vandalism of churches we are seeing at this very moment are but the latest evidence that many are feeling emboldened to go after religion in the public square.

The report analyzed open-source documents, academic and media reports to assess government violations of religious freedom against Christians in 34 countries. Family Research Council’s Center for Religious Liberty identified 99 incidents across 14 of those countries. While the report is not exhaustive, it offers valuable insights into the factors contributing to Western governments’ violations of religious freedom against Christians.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins released the following statement on the report:

“Religious freedom is the foundation for the human rights that Western democracies seek to promote abroad. Yet, the ability to promote this fundamental human right will be lost if we do not protect it within our borders. During my time as chair and commissioner on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), I saw a marked rise in violations of religious freedom against Christians. This occurred not only in longstanding persecution hotspots such as China, Pakistan, and India, but it also took place across the West.

“It is shocking to see Western countries–the same ones we think of as free and open societies–take authoritarian measures against Christians simply trying to practice their faith during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the rise of government abuse extended beyond those related to the pandemic.

These abuses are alarming for Christians around the world who seek to freely practice their faith in the public sphere,” Perkins concluded.

frc - Family Research Council - logo

HD Editor’s Note: ‘Prepare To Stand’

Pastor Andrew Bruson who was imprisoned in Turkey for his Christian faith and released during the Trump Administration, in a recent article implored Believers, including those in the United States, to prepare for persecution. 

“Those who are faithful to Jesus in upholding Gospel exclusivity and obedience to Christ are going to be labeled as evil people, and those who persecute us will justify themselves by saying that we are a people of hate, that we carry a message of hate,” Brunson wrote. “This, of course, is completely backward. It’s a satanic lie. But think of Jesus. He was the most loving and kind man in history, and yet people called Him evil. They said He was demonic, and an angry mob demanded He be killed in a gruesome way. And Jesus said that just as the world hated Him, it will also hate His followers.”

“Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world,” he described. “Why? It’s because when we walk closely with Jesus, we carry His scent, and people react to Him in us.”

“For now, we [in America] still have robust legal protections for freedom of religion, but as the commanding heights of our culture turn against our Judeo-Christian heritage, these protections can erode very quickly,” the pastor stressed. “And when we reach a tipping point, it will accelerate rapidly across a wide front.”

“The majority of believers are not ready for the pressures of persecution, and this is very dangerous,” Brunson underscored in his article series Prepare To Stand. “Learn from persecuted Christians, those who have gone before and endured faithfully. We have been conditioned not to expect persecution in this country, so we need to change our mindset.”

Click here To read part one and two of Andrew Brunson’s impactful Prepare To Stand series.