Open Doors Calls For Boycott China Olympics
By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
BEIJING (Worthy News) – A leading advocacy group supporting persecuted Christians has urged Americans to boycott the upcoming 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
Open Doors made the announcement while presenting its annual World Watch List (WWL) of 50 nations where it says Christians face most persecution.
The group said China, which ranked again at number 17 on the WWL, “remains a serious threat to its 100 million Christians.”
The Communist-run nation, it said, recently implemented additional restrictions on Christian Bibles and literature online.
“Soon, Christians in China will only have access to Bibles with key passages removed or altered because they conflict with the communist dogma.”
As a result of reported persecution, Open Doors estimates around 80 percent of Christian churches in China have now fractured into small groups or have gone underground. Millions gather in what is known as house churches, Worthy News learned.
“Open Doors applauds the Biden administration for taking a stand against China’s human rights violations with a diplomatic boycott,” said David Curry, president, and CEO of Open Doors USA.
“However, today, as the leading advocacy group focused on religious freedom, Open Doors USA calls on every Christian in the United States to join this Olympic boycott in the name of persecuted Christians and Muslims in China.”
However, China is not in the top 10 nations where Christians face the most persecution. The worst nation for Christians in this year’s WWL is Afghanistan instead of North Korea, despite concerns about believers there.
“People should not interpret this to mean that North Korea has gotten any safer for religious minorities. The situation there is worse,” Curry stressed in a statement. “That should tell you everything you need to know about how bad conditions are for Christians who remain in Afghanistan.”
Open Doors said that every Christian in Afghanistan is now either in hiding or running from the ruling Islamist Taliban group. “The Taliban’s interpretation of Islam considers Christians to be traitors, enemies of the state, enemies of the tribe and even the community; they are deemed to be “infidels,” and the punishment is death.”
Curry stressed that “conditions for Christians have never been more dangerous,” said Curry. “We must take decisive action now to prevent a religious genocide against Christians in Afghanistan.”
360 MILLION SUFFERING
They are among more than 360 million Christians globally suffering “high levels of persecution and discrimination”- that’s one-in-seven Christians worldwide, Open Doors said.
In addition to the resurgence of the Taliban, the surge of Islamic radicalism from groups like Boko Haram, al Shabab, and the Islamic State has reportedly put millions of Christians at risk.
Seven of the top 10 countries on the 2022 World Watch List experience some level of Islamic radicalism, according to Open Doors investigators.
Especially “Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be a hotbed for religiously-motivated attacks against Christians. Nigeria, which jumped from number 9 to 7, was the most violent country for Christians again, with 79 percent of recorded killings occurring there,” Open Doors explained.
“Open Doors’ research is irrefutable proof that Nigeria’s human rights violations must be reinstated on the U.S. State Department’s list of countries of particular concern,” noted Curry.
“Islamic extremism around the world has been galvanized by the victory of the Taliban in Afghanistan—and Christians pay the consequences.”
INDIA AT 10
This year’s WWL also showed that India remained number 10 “because it repressed Christian minorities by Hindu extremists.”
Myanmar, also known as Burma, rose six spots to number 12, “largely due to the violent military coup that targeted citizens, including Christian communities,” Open Doors said.
Communist-run Cuba entered the top 50 at 37 due to what Open Doors called “restrictive measures on churches, particularly Protestant congregations.”
Saudi Arabia rose from place 14 in 2021 to “Extreme” levels of persecution and was mentioned as number 11. It was “reflecting that any Christian convert there is in immediate danger” in Saudi Arabia, Open Doors stressed.
Qatar, known for its pro-freedom leaning Al Jazeera broadcaster, rose from 29 in 2021) to number 18 now “primarily because of an increase in forced church closures.” Churches that shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic “have been forced to remain closed even after other faith communities were allowed to reopen,” Open Doors said.
Niger saw a significant jump from 54 last year to 33 in the 2022 WFL “due to a spike in violence and ongoing activity by radical Islamic extremists.”
The 2022 World Watch List also painted a grim picture for Christian women, presenting “Christian women as the most vulnerable group in the world today.” They are now targets of kidnapping, violence, rape, and forced marriages, in many, if not all, of the top WWL countries, according to Open Doors investigators.
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