Secret baptisms show how Christians are still persecuted around the world
A LINE of blurry-faced catechumens stood on a muddy track in a remote area of Bangladesh waiting their turn to be secretly baptized in a pond in video footage released by Open Doors, an organization that tracks Christian persecution around the world.
These Christians were afraid to practice their faith where they lived.
In Bangladesh, churches were coming under increasing attack and violence was increasing.
Authorities often ignored requests for help from the Christian minority, which made up less than 1 percent of the population.
Bangladesh was one of many countries covered in Open Doors’ latest annual report on Christian persecution.
Over the past year, globally, Open Doors has reported:
- More than 360 million Christians live in places where they experience high levels of persecution and discrimination
- 5898 Christians killed for their faith
- 5110 churches and other Christian buildings attacked
- 6175 believers detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned
- 3829 Christians kidnapped
Recently, an attack on a Nigerian church celebrating the Pentecost mass left 50 Catholics dead.
The attack was part of a long list of attacks over the past 30 years in the country, starting with the 1987 riots.
Other countries like North Korea remain extremely hostile to Christians, often appearing in the top three positions on the Open Doors Watch list over the past 20 years for Christian persecution.
Open Doors reported that any follower of Jesus immediately faces “imprisonment, brutal torture and death” in North Korea.
Even so, according to the report, Christianity continued to grow.
Afghanistan tops the watch list this year due to the Taliban takeover of the government.
It remained impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan, according to the report.
If caught, Christians usually fled the country or were killed.
To read the full report, go to https://www.opendoorsusa.org/2022-world-watch-list-report/