RFI’s Middle East Action Team Director, Jeremy Barker, joined EWTN News Nightly to discuss the findings of a new report on Christian persecution worldwide.
The 2020 World Watch List highlights the 50 most dangerous places to be a Christian, a global phenomenon impacting more than 260 million Christians. The report, produced annually by the Christian organization, Open Doors, combines on the ground reporting with analysis and fact checking from research organizations and experts on religious freedom and persecution of Christians.
The World Watch List measures not only violent persecution, but also the pressure on Christians in their individual, family, community, church, and national life — other domains where religious freedom is so often violated.
Many of the themes identified in the report are not exclusive to persecution of Christians, but are emblematic of the assault on religious freedom that is impacting communities across the globe, as Barker reflected on in an opinion piece published by The Christian Post.
As highlighted in the interview, while North Korea once again tops the list, “China has laid out the blueprint for government repression through their use of emerging technology to support state surveillance,” Barker told EWTN News Nightly Host, Tracy Sabol. In carrying out a “war on faith” China has sought to control it’s Christian community through arrests and destruction of churches, but has not yet implemented the type of mass internment of some 1-3 million people that the Uyghur Muslim community is facing.
While the U.S. government has made religious freedom a priority, it can still be further elevated to inform trade talks and diplomatic negotiations and humanitarian and development assistance. Businesses and civil society also have a role to play. Responding to an issue of this scale requires a comprehensive response.
See the full interview here: Report says 260 million Christians face persecution worldwide – EWTN News Nightly