A response to the following New York Times article:

New York Times Article: A Rising Movement Cites Persecution Facing Christians

When I typed “religious persecution” into the Google search bar, I was somewhat surprised to see most of the articles come up about Christian persecution. An interesting twist on the typical “witch-hunting” story has started to unfold in the past decade. The original witch hunts, of course, were launched by devout Christians against anyone who showed signs of not following the Christian way. But now, across the world, Christians are being targeted. In many parts of the US, Christianity is equated with ignorance, conservatism, and the current administration. Because of this, Christians in the US can be met with disgusted frowns, especially in more liberal areas, but overall they are still living comfortably here as a vast majority in most areas. However, horror stories of persecution have been flooding into churches from overseas. In places like Africa and China, Christians are seen as a threat and are tormented, tortured, and sometimes even killed. The attached articles have some examples of malicious acts towards Christians in other parts of the world such as being burned alive, blinded, or being tied to trees and left for dead. The tides are constantly turning; the Puritans left Europe to escape persecution, and immediately started their own form of persecution of those who may or may not have questioned the bible in the witch trials. Now, Christians are being demonized around the world and attacked in similar ways to the non- Christian “witches” of puritan times. One difference is that since it is a more widespread problem (rather than being contained to a few towns in Massachusetts) and there are more people facing persecution, it has united Christians and made them feel more holy for the pain they are facing. They feel that they are suffering like Jesus did, and that these trying times will help them prove their faith. The “witches” of puritan times did not unite like this because, as far as we know, most of them were not actually an organized religious sect. Christians are definitely being wrongly threatened in some areas of the world, but some churches and Christian leaders go so far as to compare their persecution to the Holocaust or other genocides. In my opinion, Christian persecution has clearly not reached this level, but as we have learned from “witch hunts” throughout history, fear and paranoia can take over and cause tragedies.

A poster criticizing the idea of Christian persecution.

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Nigeria- a man was tied to a tree, beaten, and left for dead because he tried to preach the Gospel of Jesus

- Another man was blinded at the age of six by anti-christians who were jealous of his dad. Later, when he was 20, he was tied to a tree and stoned because he was accused of insulting Mohammed.
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Many other stories of Christian persecution come from China, Saudi Arabia, and Sudan

Source: New York Times online www.nytimes.com