A recent headline from LifeSite News declared, “Rise in discrimination against European Christians ignored by media.” The article summarized new, very underreported research that reports a 70% increase from 2019 to 2020 in hate crimes against Christians in Europe, with “most of the cases [being] a form of vandalism against churches and Christian buildings.” Well, even though these are European stats, I thought I would highlight them as today is National Religious Freedom Day in the United States. And let’s be warned where America’s culture could be heading.
The article shares this about the increasing number of hate crimes:
The number of hate crimes against Christians in Europe increased by 70% from 2019 to 2020. Arguably, most of the cases are a form of vandalism against churches and Christian buildings but that does not mean that this trend is not worrying. Public acts of criminal violence against a specific religious group and their property have an immense signaling power of intimidation, and it also normalizes violence against this group in the wider public. This can lead to a negative downward spiral.
[Also] the suffering of Christian converts with a Muslim background is tremendously under-researched and they absolutely do not receive the support they need and deserve. In these cases, we do not only talk about vandalism but actual and serious physical and mental threats. If the person is a refugee and a Christian at the same time the situation is even worse, as the person faces pressure not only from their family and local community, but they also have to fight the religious illiteracy and bias of state authorities.
This increasing discrimination and hatred against Christians, and their church buildings, reinforces that it is a spiritual battle. God has made it evident to all that he's the Creator (Romans 1:19-20). Also, all humans have a conscience, “They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts” (Romans 2:15). Man is in rebellion against God, and so an unregenerate person can lash out at God through such persecution.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. (John 15:19–20)
On this day, to remember the religious freedom we enjoy here in the US (a freedom that is under increasing attack), we should pray that the Lord will continue to preserve our freedom. But we should also resolve to obey the Lord, continuing to contend for the faith and preach the gospel, no matter what happens in our world or country.
“We must obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.
Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ.