A new report highlighting the countries where persecution and attacks on Christians is expected to increase has been released.
The annual Persecution Trends Report, from the U.K.-based group Release International, said that those countries include China, India and Nigeria.
In China, a “key country of concern for 2018,” Christians could face stricter restrictions. In some districts, Santa Claus and Christmas hats have already been banned.
The country is expected to impose more restrictions in February, when the community country takes control over some places of worship.
"Those new rules will mean unregistered house churches will face increasingly tough measures to control their activities,” the report says.
Under the regulations, anyone who organizes unapproved religious activities will be fined up to $45,000. Anyone providing a place to host those unapproved activities could face a fine up to $30,100.
In 2017, 13 Chinese Christians were imprisoned for attending a Sunday service at a house church. A pastor was tortured and sentenced to 12 years in prison, and some Christians who owned devotionals were sentenced to seven years in prison for possessing the books.
In Nigeria, the Fulani herdsmen, who are trying to drive Christians away, have attacked Christian villages.
In India, militants believe that every Indian should be Hindu and there is pressure on the government to close Christian churches.
Read the full report here.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstockphotos.com
Publication date: January 8, 2018
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.