Christians Are Now World’s Most Persecuted Religion

At Commentary, Evelyn Gordon writes that Christianity has replaced Judaism as the world’s most persecuted religion:

In recent months, a new consensus has emerged: For the first time in millennia, Judaism has lost its title as the world’s most persecuted religion; today, that dubious honor goes to Christianity. “Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers,” wrote Rupert Shortt in a 54-page report for the London-based Civitas institute in December, which meticulously documented their persecution on a country-by-country basis. Even politicians have begun grasping this fact: German Chancellor Angela Merkel publicly deemed Christianity “the most persecuted religion in the world” in November. In short, as one commentator put it last week, Christians have become the new Jews.

Gordon attributes this shift partly to the existence of Israel, which gives haven to persecuted Jews. That is no doubt correct, although I think most of the places that are now persecuting Christians either killed or drove off their Jews long ago, or–like, say, Nigeria and Indonesia–never had any to speak of.

As a Christian, I take particular note of the second factor that Gordon Notes, “increased persecution of Christians.” That persecution has been, in my view, far too little reported. Many Americans (which means, by default, many American Christians) apparently still labor under the complacent illusion that the world’s principal religious conflict is between Muslims and Jews. That is no longer true, if it ever was. Rather, the main victims of Islamic oppression, and all too often Islamic violence, are Christians. It would be good if this fact were more widely understood. Then maybe we will find out whether American Christians care.

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