A Christian is Martyred for Their Faith Every 5 Minutes, Says Watchdog Group

Every five minutes, one Christian is martyred for their faith across the globe, according to a Christian watchdog group.

Christian Freedom International (CFI) shared this statement leading up to the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church, which takes place on November 8.

"I encourage you to pray for Persecuted Believers," CFI president Jim Jacobson shared in a statement.

"They are your Christian family throughout the world. Pray for their safety; that they would be emboldened to continue sharing the Gospel even in the face of persecution; that their persecutors would also come to know Christ as they observe the courageous witness of these believers."

The group has also shared a free resource kit that provides information, pamphlets and teaching guidelines for churches to share regarding Christian persecution.

Other research has also suggested that persecution is heavily on the rise, especially in regions of the Middle East that are victim to the Islamic State insurgency.

The Pew Research Center released data in early July stating that Christians in the Middle East now face the worst religious persecution in more than one thousand years, leading some to ask whether this is the end for the Christian community in the region.

According to the report, which projects the future of world religions up to the year 2050, Israel and Lebanon are the only remaining countries in the Middle East where Christians have freedom to practice their religion and are safe from persecution.

In Africa, Boko Haram has threatened much of the Christian population in Nigeria. A pastor in Nigeria recently shared that more than 8,000 Christians have been killed and hundreds of churches destroyed in the region.

"Seventy percent of our churches have been destroyed in Adamawa, Yobe and Borno states by Boko Haram; over 8,000 of our members were killed; one hundred and seventy-six of the girls kidnapped in Chibok are our members," the Rev. Samuel Dali shared last month, according to Naij.com.

Beyond the Middle East and Africa, nearly 70,000 Christians are also being held in detention camps in North Korea, according to persecution watchdog group Open Doors USA.

According to the watchdog group's "World Watch List," which monitors Christian persecution, Christianity is illegal in communist North Korea and it has remained the nation with the most extreme persecution for the past 13 years.

Open Doors also shared that 2014 had the highest level of Christian persecution, but "the worst is yet to come."

"Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world," an Open Doors statement said. "Islamic extremism is the main source of persecution in 40 of the 50 countries on the 2015 World Watch List. While persecution can take many forms, Christians throughout the world risk imprisonment, torture, rape and even death as result of their faith. "

This article was originally published in The Christian Post. 

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