Written by: FEBA 
Article source: febaradio.co.za

According to the 2021 World Watch List, compiled by Open Doors, a Christian advocacy group, more than 340 million Christians (one in eight) faced high levels of persecution and discrimination because of their faith in recent months. Christians are today still persecuted for their faith, but God can turn even this negative into a huge positive, and good can come from it.

Persecution of Christians refers to any hostility experienced by the world because of one’s identification with Christ. Attacks on Christians and Christian organizations are still rife across the world. Various sources, like the one mentioned above, indicate that the persecution of Christians has increased since the start of the Covid pandemic. Christians are being refused aid and statistics show a 60% increase this year in Christians being killed for their faith.  According to Open Doors, more than nine out of 10 of the global totals of people being killed for their Christian faith were in Africa.

Persecution of Christians across the world is not a new thing and historically it can be traced back to the first century of the Christian era. Christ, himself, was persecuted most horrifically. Over thousands of years, missionaries and converts to Christianity have been targeted for persecution which ranges from subtle attacks to high or extreme levels of persecution. We hear and read daily about Christian oppression; inflict of suffering; the destruction of Christian churches and/or buildings; unjust arrests or imprisonment; abduction; rejection from families or the community; malicious killings; and numerous other forms of persecution.

The main trends driving the increase in persecutions since 2020 include that Covid-19 acted as a catalyst for religious persecution through relief discrimination, forced conversion, and as justification for increasing surveillance and censorship. It also includes extremist attacks opportunistically spread further throughout Sub-Saharan Africa from Nigeria and Cameroon to Burkina Faso, Mali, and beyond.

In Malawi in September 2020, a young girl was persecuted immediately after she accepted Christ as her Savior. A shocking video which was produced by FEBA Malawi (Far East Broadcasting Association), showing a young woman being mocked and tortured for her decision to adopt the Christian faith, was widely circulated. The video showed crowds of people huddled outside a building that looked like someone’s house. The men pushed forward, hurled insults at her, and threw water in the face of the helpless woman in an aggressive gesture. The reason? She had abandoned the Muslim faith and entrusted her life to Christ.

FEBA Radio South Africa has a workable solution for this challenge. The radio provides the perfect opportunity for people whose lives are threatened for their faith, to grow and get closer to God without the fear of being caught. By sharing gospel messages, worship music, teachings, and other Christian media through online radio, social media, and mobile applications, listeners can learn at their own pace in privacy. FEBA is a member of FEBC International; and spreads the gospel through radio, smartphone applications, online broadcasting, social media, and speaker boxes with memory cards. FEBA also devotes half of its ministry to educational programs.

The video wherein the poor young girl was being tortured, sparked strong emotions and shock in the hearts of FEBA Malawi’s team members. It reminded them once again of the reason why they do their work and that is – to lead unbelievers to Christ and provide them with the support they need should they be persecuted for their choice.   It has also revealed anew the reason why there is such an urgent need to broadcast the gospel to the most unreached people groups in Africa, and beyond, through FEBA’s radio and online ministry. Thankfully, this story has a happy ending: Since the incident, 20 new listener clubs have sprung up. Each of these clubs consists of between 15 and 35 members. The young woman’s courage and strength inspired others to stand up, abandon their previous faith, and accept Christ as their Lord and Savior.

There is a significant increase in religious intolerance, hate, and fanaticism in Malawi, making it extremely risky for Christians to openly practice their faith. Fear dominates their choices in this regard, yet they are eager to know the God of Christianity. FEBA’s teams are there to guide new believers through this challenging process.

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Date published: 02/07/2022
Feature image: Sheikh image supplied.

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