Christians are reportedly being attacked and persecuted for their faith in many different areas of the world.
"The persecution of Christians is real, it is horrifically violent often, and it is spreading at unprecedented rate in modern times," said Dr. David Curry, president of Open Doors, a group that monitors religious freedom worldwide.
According to Curry, Christians were most persecuted for their faith in 2014 than any year in recent history. Open Doors said that 4,344 Christians were killed for their faith in 2014.
"We have seen the sharpest jump in violent attacks against Christians in the modern era," he said.
"These aren't Christians who are collateral damage in a larger war; these are people who are targeted because they chose to worship Jesus and because they want to read a Bible and that's shocking," Curry added.
Also this week, Open Doors released its annual World Watch List that ranks the top 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution. North Korea was the top ranked country for the 13th year in a row.
"The government has paranoia about any ideology which they see as a threat to their cult worship of their leader, and so they rank enemies of the state," Curry said. "Christians are the No. 1 enemy of the state in North Korea."
Publication Date: January 9, 2015
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.