In his testimony, Dr. Curry said, “Contrary to popular belief, religious persecution is not a thing of the past. It’s a major and growing challenge around the world, with billions of people living in nearly 80 countries that maintain high levels of government restrictions or social hostility towards people of faith.”
He would then go on to say, “Faith really is under fire today. For Christians specifically, the numbers are staggering: Approximately 360 million Christians globally are experiencing high levels of persecution or discrimination just for their belief.”
When speaking on the main violators of religious freedom, Dr. Curry said, “In China, over 100 million Christians must practice their faith under an almost totalitarian system of laws and surveillance. Refusing to join the government controlled church is illegal. But as many as 60 million Chinese Christians choose to do so regardless of the cost, risking their freedom and social standing to worship and hear sermons not dictated for them by the Communist party.”
Dr. Curry even called out Russia, saying, “The Russian government has formed an ‘unholy alliance’ with the Russian Orthodox Church, whipping up religious support to justify its invasion of Ukraine and the persecution of other Christian denominations. According to one report, over 500 religious buildings and sacred sites in Ukraine has been destroyed by the Russian military since the start of the war.”
Although discrimination against Christians is rampant around the world—and growing in intensity—there are steps to be taken in squelching it. Dr. Curry gave three concrete ways the U.S. can support our persecuted brothers and sisters:
1. Appoint a Special Advisor for International Religious Freedom to the National Security Council.
2. Call on the Department of State to redesignate Nigeria a “Country of Particular Concern.”
3. Give the Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom greater leeway in calling out violations of religious freedom.
Join us in praying now for our country and that those with the ability to make drastic changes for the betterment of our persecuted family will do so—and do so quickly.
Lord, we come before You on behalf of the 360 million persecuted Christians around the globe. We can’t imagine their struggle day in and day out, and our hearts ache when we think about the hostility and hatred they face.
We ask that You move in our government, God, and place the plight of our persecuted brothers and sisters on the hearts of those who have the ability to make changes for their betterment. We ask that the right people be appointed and act on behalf of the persecuted church. And we ask for boldness for politicians, advisors and ambassadors to call out persecution when they see it and not turn a blind eye.
Hear our prayers for our county and the countries of our persecuted family. Amen.
About the author
Tim Dustin is the associate managing editor for Global Christian Relief, where he writes and shares the stories of the persecuted church with the West and around the world. Read the latest Christian persecution stories on our website and learn more at GlobalChristianRelief.org.