I heard someone say the other day that more Christians are being persecuted today than ever before. Is that true? I never read anything about it in the headlines, and I just wondered if it’s really accurate.
A: In the last 100 years, more Christians have probably suffered and died for their faith than at any other time in the history of Christianity. Many of these cases go unreported—but even the reports we do get confirm this fact.
Why is this the case? One reason is because more Christians are alive today than ever before. Almost no part of the world is without at least some believers, and many of those live in very difficult circumstances. They may suffer at the hands of their neighbors who hold other religions or ideologies. In other places, governments are actively involved in persecuting Christians.
I can’t help but believe, however, that another reason for the persecution of Christians is that Satan realizes his days are numbered. Satan’s goal is to keep people away from God, and he can always be depended upon to strike out at God’s people when he senses his territory is endangered. Jesus warned His disciples that in the last days before He comes again, “You will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me” (Matthew 24:9).
Pray for your brothers and sisters in Christ around the world who are enduring great trials because of their faith. Most of all, make sure of your own commitment to Christ, and make it your goal to live for Him regardless of what the future holds. Remember: In the end, God will win.
Why are Christians being persecuted?
Billy Graham Devotion: Standing Firm