It takes a nation to protect the nation
Open Doors have again done the world a great service with the 2012 publication of their World Watch List. It is compiled from a qualitative questionnaire which covers various aspects of religious freedom in each country. Points are ascribed to permit a quantitative assessment of the liberty or oppression experienced by Christians.
Here are the Top 50 worst persecutors of Christians:
1. North Korea
3. Saudi Arabia
13. Northern Nigeria
33. Burma (Myanmar)
37. United Arab Emirates
44. Palestinian Territories
While the oppressive, atheist-communist regime of North Korea is (again) the worst persecutor of Christians in the world, it must be observed that the rest of the Top 10 are Islamic. In fact, 38 of worst 50 countries persecuting Christians are predominantly Muslim.
While His Grace doesn’t wish to cause offence, he’d very much like to know what is to be made of the appalling statistic that 76 per cent of the world’s fiercest oppressors and persecutors of Christians are culturally, politically and religiously Islamic? Have they all misunderstood the Religion of Peace? Are they torturing and murdering their cousins – the People of the Book – in error and in contravention of quranic precepts? How could so many be so wrong in their interpretation of the sharia? Or misapplication of sharias? What does Allah think of it? Would Mohammed approve of the systematic persecution, imprisonment, torture and slaughter of those who follow the prophet Isa?
And must we remain silent about this? Must we take tea with the Taliban and sell arms to the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia out of tolerance and respect? While we happily take their oil money and permit them to build mosques and open their free schools, they murder our brothers and sisters in Christ – reserving the most appalling torture and suffering for those who have rejected Islam and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour.
And so it is ironic, is it not, given this list, that the Organization of the Islamic Conference sponsored a UN resolution entitled ‘Combating intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons, based on religion or belief’.
It beggars belief that while OIC members insist they are the epitome of tolerance and shine at the zenith of global religious liberty, the reality is that they are the most intolerant of Christians and Christianity, and the suffering and despair they inflict places them at the nadir of humanity.
And strangely enough, there's barely a country on that list that I would want to visit.
I am actually glad to see that Bangladesh comes at the bottom of the 50. My experience has shown me that Bangladeshis and Pakistanis are a world apart in their hostility to non-muslims. That they come at the bottom of that list would suggest my observations have some foundation (although it is clear with the influence of IFE/Jamaat e Islami in London, that the native Bangladeshis are probably less radical than British-born Bangladeshis).
What I think might skew the information in this list somewhat, is that I would imagine the (so-called) communist states of China, Laos, Vietnam and those states under a military dictatorship (Burma), are likely to be hostile to all religions, rather than just Christianity.
According to this article: http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/7058?eng=y in Burma, Christians are forced to convert to buddhism, so it doesn't look like the junta are equal-opportunity haters of religion. (Thailand comes out well from that report, and that is indeed my experience of the country).