Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world today, targeted by Islamic terror groups like Boko Haram and ISIS, as well as secular governments and even competing Christian sects.
They endure physical harassment and social discrimination in more than 125 countries, nearly twice the number of countries (74) where Jews are harassed, according to Pew Research Center.
Last week in Egypt, almost 30 Coptic Christians were murdered as they made their way to a monastery. Worshipers, young and old, were shot at close range by men who claimed to be security officers.
“They told the men to recite the shahada, the Islamic declaration of faith. When the men refused, the gunmen opened fire,” The New York Times reported.
The incident grabbed international headlines, but less than 10 days later, how many Americans remember it?
We have short attention spans when it comes to Christian persecution — a depressing reality given the number of believers in need of our help today, said Edward Clancy, who has spent the past 17 years working to support Christians around the world.
“An article gets written, it’s read and it gets 20 minutes of thought before it gets cast aside,” said Clancy, director of evangelization and outreach for Aid to the Church in Need, an international Catholic charity. “This isn’t something that should be cast aside.”
Even worse, America’s official response to Christian persecution sometimes intensifies the harassment these believers face. The U.S. government’s go-to solutions, including drone strikes and refugee resettlement programs, can work against what at-risk communities are hoping to achieve in their countries, religious freedom experts said.