*Let me preface by saying, this is an article about Christianty. It is not a conversion attempt nor intended to belittle any other worldview.
I have followed an agency called, Open Doors, long before I worked at a church with the same name. Each year they publish a map with areas of the world hilighted based on ‘persecution’ of Christians.
Many today cry foul and lament persecution of the North American church, but I have my own opposing view of that. I believe in the ‘post-truth’ theory being presented recently. I believe more in the heart of a person than how they identify. I am not concerned with public policy about imposing my standards upon others. I am rare. But I understand the fear and the desire for good that most American Christians have. They feel there role is to preserve an illusion of ‘wholesome values’ as a way to honor their faith and legacy.
In the meantime, as a majority population being whittled away, I can sense an ebbing tide. It is entirely possible that within our generation, those very same advocates could be feeling the pain and isolation of social stigmas and segregation.
Why should my readers care? Well, if you’ve made it this far, I feel that around the world, where there is persecution of Christians, there is a large cloud over other worldviews as well.
Persecution is not about which religion is dominant; it is about exerting authority and dominance as psychological warfare. No one group is excluded, no individual is fully exempt. Currently, the major players are from Islamic idealogies. However, we would be remiss not to acknowledge our role in the Crusades, anti-semitism, and slavery. Again I state, not to belittle any worldview.
Back to the map. The nations highlighted in red are featured for the number of violent incidents and cultural pressure. The orange and yellow fall below a certain threshold established by the reporting agency. “World Watch Research distinguishes two main expressions of persecution: squeeze (the pressure Christians experience in all areas of life) and smash (plain violence). Nevertheless, while it would seem that smash is the most prevalent and invasive expression of persecution, it is often the squeeze that is most prevalent and invasive.”
I hope that you will have compassion on the people in these regions and consider those around you, not as tolerable, but as equals.