Persecution affects some 600 million Christians annually, according to a study by the Hudson Institute, and the Pew Forum says Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world. In countries such as Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan and Kenya, Christians are being murdered, raped and kidnapped.
Writing in the Daily Beast, Kirsten Power says, “One would think this horror might be consuming the pulpits and pews of American churches. Not so. The silence has been nearly deafening.” She wonders why U.S. churches are not doing more — or, in some cases anything — to help their fellow believers.
In a column in Religious News, Jonathan Merritt identifies three reasons for the silence: the media under-reporting persecution; the effect of the economic slump on American congregations; and the “culture war” on such issues as gay marriage. He says, “Some [American Christians] are so worried about the drummed-up pseudo-persecution of the American church that they are ignoring the actual persecution of the global church, particularly in the Middle East.”