International (MNN) — According to the 2020 Global Terrorism Index, global deaths from terrorism have fallen for 5 straight years, even as far-right terrorism emerges as a threat in several western countries. You can find the full report here.
Several countries, including Pakistan, India, and Syria, still see high levels of terrorist violence. But Bruce Allen of FMI says we can’t confuse terrorism with the persecution of Christians or other groups. He uses the 9/11 terror attacks in New York City as an example. “That was not persecution, those people who died weren’t being singled out because of their faith, or because they were left-handed, or because they voted for a particular political party or anything like that. It was random. And that’s how terrorists make such a strong impact: you have no idea if it’s going to touch you directly or not. And people live in fear. That’s what terrorists want to capitalize on.”
“Persecution, on the other hand, is much more targeted. You are being discriminated against or abused because of a particular reason. It has to do with your identity.”
In Pakistan, Christians routinely face this kind of systemic oppression by governing officials, neighbors, and even family. Many have died in terror attacks as well, but most of these attacks did not specifically target Christians.
Allen says that while deaths from terrorism have been dropping globally, this kind of systemic persecution against Christians has been on the rise. “Specifically for the five countries where FMI’s church-planting partners live, the world watchlist scores have gotten 14% worse. But all that goes to say, we need to pray, because legislation is not going to change the hearts of men. Policy is not going to change the hearts of men. Jesus Christ does that.”
Pray for Christians facing these difficulties in countries all around the world. Ask God to be with them, and strengthen them in love and hope.
Header Image by Zia Tabarak from Pixabay.