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Surprisingly, most of the world’s harassed Christians live in Christian countries.
A Pew Research study shows Christian oppression has increased around the globe. Surprisingly, a majority of these oppressed Christians live in Christian countries. Intolerance towards Christians of other sects and the increased push for separation between church and state are key factors that could possibly be behind this trend. This makes the promises by political leaders such as Donald Trump to protect religious freedom all the more relevant for Christians.

A study of the religious persecutions in 2015 shows that Christian persecution was spread out across 128 nations – more than in the case of any other religion. The research findings are influenced by the fact Christians are the most widely spread religious group in the world. Contrary to what is otherwise believed, it is found not only are Christians persecuted in Middle Eastern countries but in Christian countries as well.

In Russia and other countries where Eastern Orthodox Christianity is the dominant faith, there is a major intolerance of faiths that the nations do not officially recognize. These faiths also include Christian groups such as Jehovah’s Witnesses. Recently, the Russian High Court completely banned the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Russia, identifying them as “extremist.” In Catholic-majority Nicaragua, the government is said to be placing a lot of burdens on the Catholic Church. For example, the Catholic Church in the nation has their phone calls tapped and emails traced. Funding comes to churches only with priests that have political affiliations. However, the government does not shy away from using Catholic symbols and traditions in their political campaigns and propaganda. This is something that undermines the religious authority of the Catholic Church in Nicaragua.

Christians in the U.S. also complain of increased harassment from government officials. The Obama-led administration forced open the doors of Christian-run institutions, homes, clinics and so on to members of the LGBT, pro-choice supporters and so on, which brought them at odds with their religious beliefs. Now, with Trump as president, American Christians hope for all this to change. Affirming his commitment to enabling this to happen, the president himself has often promised to ensure religious liberty never gets compromised in the U.S. Mike Pence, during his address at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, also assured American Christians of the same.

Similar scenes are unveiling in Europe as well, where the separation of the Church and the state is placing considerable pressure on the continent’s fast declining Christian population.

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