Persecution Watch: World's Two Most- Populous Countries Escalate to Troubling Levels with David Curry

Persecution Watch: World's Two Most- Populous Countries Escalate to Troubling Levels with David Curry

David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA, talks with Charisma News host Jessilyn about the dramatic increase of Christian Persecution in India and China. The situation is deteriorating rapidly. Hear facts about the situation and who is on the 2019 Open Doors World Watch List. 

20 Minutes • 3 months ago

Episode Notes

Charisma News

David Curry, President of Open Doors USA

Show Notes

Jessilyn Lancaster: David Curry, we are thrilled to have you on today. You are the president of Open Doors USA, which is a persecution watchdog group. Today you released your 2019 persecution list for like the top 10 countries that persecute Christians. Can you tell me a little bit about the list what's changed and what's going on right now?

David Curry: Open doors has been around for 60 years. We started as Bible smugglers in the old Soviet Union, and then we realized that there's persecution in many areas of the world. The context does change a bit about how people are persecuted. We began a measurement tool over 25 years ago, and we call it The World Watch list. It takes national life, violence, what persecution happens in the private and family spheres of life. Then we measure the most difficult places. So, this year we saw another big jump. We've seen this over the last six to seven years. Every year, it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. And so, this year is no different. We have seen a big jumped in persecution of Christians around the world.

 

2019 Open Doors Watch List

Here are the top perpetrators in the world of Christian persecution:

1.      North Korea

2.      Afghanistan

3.      Somalia

4.      Libya

5.      Pakistan

6.      Sudan

7.      Eritrea

8.      Yemen

9.      Iran

10.  India

Note: Nigeria is 12th; China is 27th.

Jessilyn: I was reading that China has actually significantly jumped since last year's rankings. Can you tell me a little bit about why that is?

 

David Curry: China last year with No. 41 on our list, which meant that they were in a very difficult situation there, but certainly would not have been in the extreme category. Now it's jumped up to No. 27. What has happened in China is the new president has consolidated power with the Communist Party and the government there over the last couple of years. He's passed new rules, which has shifted the monitoring of religious liberty, religious life in China, to the Communist Party. So now it’s not a government agency that's doing it. That was bad enough. Now it's the Communist Party with their dogma. They're doing some unusual things. They are using technology to try and put closed circuit TV in churches on the pulpits using facial recognition to basically ask, who's in church? Why are they they're? Restricting people under the age of 18 from going into church; shutting down churches. So, all of these factors, the use of technology as a big brother to violate the privacy and sanctity of congregations, the use of zoning laws and police force, and that is why China is jumping up the list. I would hasten to add there's 100 million Christians in China, they're great citizens. They're not a threat to the government in that way. But what is a threat is that when China does the math, they realize there are more Christians now than there are members of the Communist Party. They are trying to seize control of the Christian movement and try to change the theology of churches so they won’t run in conflict to communist power, all these kinds of things. Very strange.

 

·         You can download Open Doors USA’s prayer app here.

 

Jessilyn: As the online news director for Charisma News, I unfortunately am running so many stories about the rise of Boko Haram and the slaughtering of Christians in Nigeria. Why is this suddenly becoming a big deal?

 

David Curry: Nigeria has been over the last 5 to 10 years very violent in its opposition to Christian faith. In the north in Nigeria, you have a real picture of what's happening in Africa as a whole because Nigeria in the north is Sharia Law. You have Boko Haram, which is an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group. A group called the Fulani Herdsmen are radical Muslims as well. They come in over the years they’ve sort of controlled certain territory. They think they have a right to some of these areas because of their tribal history. So, they come in and they slaughter the Christian villages. That's a harsh reality. But what it means is this year is over 3,700 Christians were killed for their faith. Unfortunately, the Nigerian government is very slow to respond to make a difference and to protect these vulnerable cities. It's not as though we don't know where these folks are vulnerable. The government knows, they're not doing much. Boko Haram is now becoming a big regional problem. It's going to roll over into Cameroon and Niger. Their power is growing. They have all the technical expertise that ISIS has. They learn how to make bombs from ISIS, they've learned some of their tactics. Within the last couple years, they got a lot of money from ISIS as well, so it's a problem.

 

Jessilyn Lancaster: It's definitely a problem. And I've seen some very devastating pictures of things that are happening in another place where ethnic cleansing is just really on the rise. In India, there's a lot of Hindu ethnic cleansing. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

 

David Curry: This is one of the surprises my American audiences because when they think of India, they think of Gandhi, peaceful resistance. India over the last six to seven years, they’ve had a new political party, the BJP Party, take over. They have a radical Hindu agenda. Their prime minister, Prime Minister Modi, is very savvy operator and he is pushing his agenda. Essentially, it's a nationalistic agenda. What does that mean? What it means is that they come in and they say, unless you're Hindu, you're not really in India. Well, that needs to be questioned. There are 64 million Christians in India and a lot of good things are happening in those Christian communities there. They love India; they are good citizens and now they're being told you're not really an Indian. You have to be Hindu. But it's meant is a lot of legal troubles and restrictions for Christians, but it's also created an environment where there was an impunity, if you attack a Christian, if you tack a Christian church, these folks aren’t going to jail. So, it has made for hundreds of attacks against churches, hundreds of pastors being jailed. That's why it's No. 10 on the World Watch List. Just to give your listeners a little bit of an insight: Iran No. 9, Syria is No. 11. So, India should not be seen as a passive partner in in our business in international environment. These folks have big human rights violations and the bullseye of their target is both Christians and the Christian faith.

 

For more of the interview with David Curry, click here.

Episode Notes

Charisma News

David Curry, President of Open Doors USA

Show Notes

Jessilyn Lancaster: David Curry, we are thrilled to have you on today. You are the president of Open Doors USA, which is a persecution watchdog group. Today you released your 2019 persecution list for like the top 10 countries that persecute Christians. Can you tell me a little bit about the list what's changed and what's going on right now?

David Curry: Open doors has been around for 60 years. We started as Bible smugglers in the old Soviet Union, and then we realized that there's persecution in many areas of the world. The context does change a bit about how people are persecuted. We began a measurement tool over 25 years ago, and we call it The World Watch list. It takes national life, violence, what persecution happens in the private and family spheres of life. Then we measure the most difficult places. So, this year we saw another big jump. We've seen this over the last six to seven years. Every year, it seems to be getting bigger and bigger. And so, this year is no different. We have seen a big jumped in persecution of Christians around the world.

 

2019 Open Doors Watch List

Here are the top perpetrators in the world of Christian persecution:

1.      North Korea

2.      Afghanistan

3.      Somalia

4.      Libya

5.      Pakistan

6.      Sudan

7.      Eritrea

8.      Yemen

9.      Iran

10.  India

Note: Nigeria is 12th; China is 27th.

Jessilyn: I was reading that China has actually significantly jumped since last year's rankings. Can you tell me a little bit about why that is?

 

David Curry: China last year with No. 41 on our list, which meant that they were in a very difficult situation there, but certainly would not have been in the extreme category. Now it's jumped up to No. 27. What has happened in China is the new president has consolidated power with the Communist Party and the government there over the last couple of years. He's passed new rules, which has shifted the monitoring of religious liberty, religious life in China, to the Communist Party. So now it’s not a government agency that's doing it. That was bad enough. Now it's the Communist Party with their dogma. They're doing some unusual things. They are using technology to try and put closed circuit TV in churches on the pulpits using facial recognition to basically ask, who's in church? Why are they they're? Restricting people under the age of 18 from going into church; shutting down churches. So, all of these factors, the use of technology as a big brother to violate the privacy and sanctity of congregations, the use of zoning laws and police force, and that is why China is jumping up the list. I would hasten to add there's 100 million Christians in China, they're great citizens. They're not a threat to the government in that way. But what is a threat is that when China does the math, they realize there are more Christians now than there are members of the Communist Party. They are trying to seize control of the Christian movement and try to change the theology of churches so they won’t run in conflict to communist power, all these kinds of things. Very strange.

 

·         You can download Open Doors USA’s prayer app here.

 

Jessilyn: As the online news director for Charisma News, I unfortunately am running so many stories about the rise of Boko Haram and the slaughtering of Christians in Nigeria. Why is this suddenly becoming a big deal?

 

David Curry: Nigeria has been over the last 5 to 10 years very violent in its opposition to Christian faith. In the north in Nigeria, you have a real picture of what's happening in Africa as a whole because Nigeria in the north is Sharia Law. You have Boko Haram, which is an ISIS-affiliated terrorist group. A group called the Fulani Herdsmen are radical Muslims as well. They come in over the years they’ve sort of controlled certain territory. They think they have a right to some of these areas because of their tribal history. So, they come in and they slaughter the Christian villages. That's a harsh reality. But what it means is this year is over 3,700 Christians were killed for their faith. Unfortunately, the Nigerian government is very slow to respond to make a difference and to protect these vulnerable cities. It's not as though we don't know where these folks are vulnerable. The government knows, they're not doing much. Boko Haram is now becoming a big regional problem. It's going to roll over into Cameroon and Niger. Their power is growing. They have all the technical expertise that ISIS has. They learn how to make bombs from ISIS, they've learned some of their tactics. Within the last couple years, they got a lot of money from ISIS as well, so it's a problem.

 

Jessilyn Lancaster: It's definitely a problem. And I've seen some very devastating pictures of things that are happening in another place where ethnic cleansing is just really on the rise. In India, there's a lot of Hindu ethnic cleansing. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

 

David Curry: This is one of the surprises my American audiences because when they think of India, they think of Gandhi, peaceful resistance. India over the last six to seven years, they’ve had a new political party, the BJP Party, take over. They have a radical Hindu agenda. Their prime minister, Prime Minister Modi, is very savvy operator and he is pushing his agenda. Essentially, it's a nationalistic agenda. What does that mean? What it means is that they come in and they say, unless you're Hindu, you're not really in India. Well, that needs to be questioned. There are 64 million Christians in India and a lot of good things are happening in those Christian communities there. They love India; they are good citizens and now they're being told you're not really an Indian. You have to be Hindu. But it's meant is a lot of legal troubles and restrictions for Christians, but it's also created an environment where there was an impunity, if you attack a Christian, if you tack a Christian church, these folks aren’t going to jail. So, it has made for hundreds of attacks against churches, hundreds of pastors being jailed. That's why it's No. 10 on the World Watch List. Just to give your listeners a little bit of an insight: Iran No. 9, Syria is No. 11. So, India should not be seen as a passive partner in in our business in international environment. These folks have big human rights violations and the bullseye of their target is both Christians and the Christian faith.

 

For more of the interview with David Curry, click here.

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Persecution Watch: World's Two Most- Populous Countries Escalate to Troubling Levels with David Curry