Christianity On the Rise Amid Persecution


“There are more witnesses, more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries,” said Pope Francis last week. He decried the persecution but added “The Church grows thanks to the blood of the martyrs. This is the beauty of martyrdom.”

His words are proving true around the world.


China used to be an example of the triumph of atheism — atheists came to power there and in the Soviet Bloc, in the 20th century but China is fast becoming an example of the triumph of Christianity in the 21st.

The government is not taking it lightly.

You may have seen the much-shared video of believers crying and singing hymns as the cross was removed from their church. This is part of a much larger atheist campaign to destroy Christian churches there.

Despite persecution “Christianity is moving very, very quickly in China,” said experts at a Brookings conference gathered to worry over whether that’s a good thing or not. China lands number 2 on this list of top 20 countries experiencing Christian growth — along with several other Asian nations.

A Facebook friend recently posted what Christianity looks like on the ground in China:

“In the 1990s, the churches were almost empty with a few seniors only on Sundays. In the 2000s, you would not have a seat if you didn’t go to church early on Sundays. Now, I usually don’t expect I can find a seat during Mass and there are quite a few people who have to hear Mass outside the gate or in the yard, though the church has added more Masses to the Sunday schedule.”


In India, Christians are demanding a legal response to increasing persecution. At February hearings in the U.S. House, activists estimated that violent attacks on Christians have averaged more than 2 per week over the past several years.

And Christianity is growing in India, too. India already has more Catholics in it than Ireland does. Now, ”A Strong Christian Revival Is Sweeping through Former Hindu Tribal Villages.

Perhaps India is the quickest way for Americans to see the power of population.

In the course of an American week, we speak to Indian people often, from doctors to computer experts to entrepreneurs. They have conquered in our culture through hard work and intelligence. Imagine what a more Christian India will do.


Meriam Ibrahim grabbed headlines after Sudan’s Shariah law condemned her for apostasy to Islam — but she is just one of the many condemned Christians in the Sudan and elsewhere on the African continent.

At the same time Africa is quickly overtaking the West and becoming the “Next Christendom” Philip Jenkins wrote about. Christianity in Africa is one of the reason the “atheist” revolution in the West will probably be short-lived.

“We atheists sometimes congratulate ourselves that the incidence of religious belief is going down,” British geneticist Steve Jones. “But religious people have more children.”

In addition to population growth, Christianity is growing exponentially in Africa. One 2011 study saw the Christian population undergoing a 60-fold increase in the past 100 years due mostly to missionary activity.

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The list of Christianity’s top 20 growth areas cited the Center for the Study of Global Christianity and included a number of surprises.

As the authors point out, 11 of the 20 are majority Muslim countries. Six of the top 10 Christian growth nations were in the Arabian Peninsula. United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, and Kuwait all make the list of growing Christian populations.

One reason Islamic radicals might be crucifying Christians and destroying Biblical sites is that they feel threatened by a rising religion.

They should stop. Crucifying Christians tends to have the opposite of its intended effect.



  • Judy Alciatore

    Religion, in and of itself, is not the problem. Human hatred is. Religion is just one of the scapegoats of that hatred; ethnicity, race, nationality, are others. People determined to hate will find any excuse to justify that hatred. Jesus established a Church, a Faith, when He said, “Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock I will build My Church”. If we profess to be Christians, then let us behave as such, with love, instead of hatred, for our fellow human beings.

  • morganB

    In one of his champion’s roles defending “religion”, Bill O’Reilly made a resounding acceptance of all religions by saying that the presence of religion had a “calming” affect on the population. History has proven the opposite. In most all areas of the globe where religion is present there is or was turmoil. Much of that turmoil is the attempt to evangelize while confusing the offer of ecumenism with proselytizing.

    • Helen Joanne Satmary

      It is the Islamist who are intemperate of other peoples religion. Just watch the news and you will see. The probelm is they do not realize they are worshipping Satan and doing his bidding by all the murders they are responsible for.

  • Rich

    And, as throughout history, the wheel of war continues to spin. Organized religion simply cannot get out of its own way. We’ve had an entire history of crusades pogroms, inquisitions and intafadas and, for what…so that “my god” will reign supreme. Meanwhile the rest of the world suffers through starvation, constant fighting, harrassment and the killing of innocent children. Please, stop the war drums. As long as the competition is about who can outlast the others, who can outnumber the others, whose “god” is the right “god”, you will all continue to wreak havoc and misery. GOD help us from religion.

    • pchristle

      how convenient that you ignore the millions of people slaughtered by atheists (Stalin, Mao, Hitler, etc.)

      • Rich

        If atheism is a religion, then it, too, fits in just nicely with all the other battle-hardened, win at all costs organized sects of religion. My point is this: religion, if thought of as social organizations, must accept that, as organizations, they cannot, ever, assume a position of superiority over other social organizations. The history of organized religion has never reached this level playing field. The world suffers for it.

        • Anthony Clifton

          Rich. Your reply here does not make logical sense.

          If there are non-religious organizations that are just as responsible for denying the “level playing field”, it makes no sense to argue that it is caused by “the history of organized religion”.

      • Harry Smith

        How does your point make Rich’s point less accurate or less significant? Answer: it doesn’t. In other words, your attempt to lessen the impact of Rich’s point didn’t work.

        • Tom

          I believe pchristle’s point is that certainly wars have been fought due to religious conflicts, but typically this is not the case throughout history. I believe it is historically accurate to state approximately 6-7% of wars can be categorized as a religious conflict. To categorize “Religion” as being the primary cause, is historically unfounded.. Has it been used to justify the motives of man? Sure…. but so has water rights and just about every other commodity,..

      • morganB

        I did not have any difficulty with Rich’s label. I think you miss his point that the religious powers are not supposed to act like Stalin, Hitler. They are supposed to emulate Mother Teresa.

    • Harry Smith

      Rich, so true. Jesus didn’t create religion. In fact, he never mentioned anything about religion. For any religion to claim backing by God or Jesus is arbitrary and illusionary at best and an outright lie at worst. If we have a personal belief then we must claim it as our own and not claim the backing of God or Jesus or a religion.

      • Benjamin2.0

        That’s a whole lot of unsubstantiated assertion. Perhaps you’d like to weigh in on some of the actual claims to religious veracity and, maybe, tie that topic in to the general thrust of the post, somehow.

      • BenjaminM

        “Upon this rock I shall build My Church.”

      • Anthony Clifton

        Harry Smith.

        Are you familiar with Peter from the bible?

      • Bob

        “On this rock I will build my church” certainly seems to be referring to religion.

  • pchristle

    “But religious people have more children.”

    The key to victory in the culture wars — Be aware, though, that the battle can still be lost if our children are not protected from indoctrination by schools embracing the falsehoods of Common Core and the secular mindset.

    • Rich

      Oh brother! Now you wish to do battle with the schools. Is there no end to religion’s obsession with winning the “wars” of their own making? So very Christ-like. Let’s conquer all the “pagans”, the gays, the Muslims, the Hindus, the atheists, the agnostics… And, while we’re at it let’s destroy the schools and those terrible teachers and their antiChrist, the Common Core. All in the name of religion. Pathetic.

      • Benjamin2.0

        “Conquer”? Oh, brother!

        Talk of “‘wars’ of their own making”!

        Perhaps we *ought* to oust such treatments of history which fuel the nonsense you’re selling. I recall being surprised when I found out there were nuances to issues you and my old high school textbooks have simplified into a preposterous narrative.

        Voltaire and Marx weren’t real historians.

      • drrabb

        Public education, colleges (with its hard Science tendencies), hospitals and public assistance are all Catholic in origin. (And Jesus DID say that He would build A Church and build it upon rock.)

      • Anthony Clifton


        I think you have this backward.

        The Catholic position on diversity of views (religious and otherwise) is well documented.

        It is other groups and movements that seek to tear down Christianity in an intolerant manner. And that effort has certainly leaked into our public education system.

      • Bob

        Another Alinskyite accusing people of what you yourself are attempting to do in trying to crush anyone who disagrees with you by claiming that anything they say is motivated by bigotry. Your argument reminds me of a stand up comic I heard in the 60’s who said, “There are only two things we don’t allow in here, bigotry and racial minorities.”



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