Although it seems to be a thing of the past, people are still killed for believing in God and, unfortunately, many of them. To be exact, 3,066 in 2017.
The NGO Open Doors' report shows alarming numbers for another year. In 2017, persecution of Christians worsened to the extent that, each month, 322 Christians were killed for their faith. In total, in the 50 countries analyzed by the organization, some 250 million Christians suffer some form of violence that ranges from hostility or discrimination to extreme persecution or murder.
The report reveals that one out of every three people in the world live ina country without religious freedom. There are five countries in which widespread persecution of Christians exists. In Pakistan, antiblasphemy law has become a tool for the constant oppression of Christians. In Sudan, Christians are frequently accused of espionage, and the government wants the Church to be under its control. In Somalia, conversions cost lives. A converted Christian can be killed by his or her own family. In Afghanistan, there are very few Christians and, when a Muslim converts, he or she receives death threats or is assassinated. At the top of the list is North Korea, where the simple act of having a Bible puts an entire family in danger. Thousands of Christians fill concentration camps because, to the Kin Jong-un regime, Christians are enemies of the state.
There's also reason for hope, though. There are places where, after darkness, there has been a new step into the light, like in Iraq. Open Doors is one of the Christian organizations that works to give back what extremism has robbed of thousands of people. This protestant organization collaborates with the Syrian-Catholics of Mosul.
In Syria as well as Iraq, the defeat of the self-proclaimed Islamic State has alleviated the pressure on Christians, but both countries still remain at the top of the black list.