A year ago, Open Doors USA estimated that 215 million Christians were being persecuted for their faith in Jesus Christ. Now, for the new World Watch List, the organization says that number has risen to 245 million. And according to a report in The Christian Post, the number may climb even higher in 2019.
The Tide® has been broadcasting Bible messages over the radio airwaves since 1946 and today operates in eight countries on three continents while sharing the Gospel in 25 languages. Four of the nations where we work made the 2019 World Watch List for high levels of Christian persecution.
“Violence in India and Nigeria, where The Tide ministry has worked for many years, has certainly increased, and it seems as though tensions are only becoming stronger,” said Director Don Shenk. “We hear from our partners on the ground who say that Christians worship in secret and are forced to be very quiet about their faith. Being baptized, meeting together to worship or telling another person about Jesus’ love could all be dangerous acts.”
In its coverage, The Christian Post reported that those with firsthand knowledge point to violent radical mobs in India that have stormed prayer meetings, ransacked churches and beaten believers. And in Nigeria, there is a “deliberate plan to destroy and take over the predominantly Christian communities in the region,” and Christians are facing a “strategic modern-day jihad.”
Of the countries on this year’s World Watch List, The Tide works in and broadcasts Gospel programming for listeners in India (No. 10 on the World Watch List), where the government aims to create a Hindu nation; Nigeria (No. 12), where hundreds of believers have been killed and scores of villages and churches have been burned to the ground; Nepal (No. 32), where there is no legal recognition of churches; and Bhutan (No. 33), from which The Tide ministry rarely hears from listeners because they are terrified to risk inviting backlash.