We see and hear the stories every day of Christians in China, Iran, Pakistan and Africa being harassed, imprisoned and sometimes murdered for their faith in Jesus Christ. We see the stories here in America of Christians being bullied and intimidated into silence. Yet, we cannot seem to connect the dots. This bullying and intimidation is a precursor to the coming violent persecution of Christians here in America—a persecution few churches and individuals are prepared for.
We also visit with Travis Barham of Alliance Defending Freedom to discuss a legal battle against the University of Colorado’s campaign to kick a Christian Ministry, Ratio Christi, off College campuses.
This short list doesn’t include hundreds of legal matters that often aren’t covered by the media and don’t make it to court. Matters that the ADF Church Alliance team handles for churches also include other hindrances to ministry: employment issues, noise ordinance claims, land use laws, sexual orientation and gender identity laws, and more.
The culture is changing, and that means churches have a lot more on their plates than they did even five years ago.
Bob Fu of China Aid, a US-based Christian non-profit organisation, said the crackdown represented a major escalation of religious persecution in China.
According to Fu, there were more than 10,000 cases of detention of Christians this year, compared with just over 3,000 cases for the whole of last year. In September, Beijing police closed the Zion Church, one of the largest Protestant churches in China.
In February the Religious Affairs Regulation was amended to give grass-roots officials more power to act against churches and impose tougher penalties for “unauthorised religious gatherings”.