In 2023 at least 360 million Christians around the world experience high levels of persecution and discrimination. That’s an astonishing 1 in 7 of the global Christian population.
This might seem bleak, but we know that ‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.’ (John 1:5)
There have been moves towards greater tolerance of religious freedom in several Gulf states, including Bahrain and United Arab Emirates.
This is within a moderate Islamic framework that seeks to counter extremism and make their countries more hospitable for Christians. In such places – as well as in Egypt, where there is an increased focus on ‘national unity’ – hate speech against believers from historical and expatriate communities is often not tolerated, although radical elements still exist within their societies.
Elsewhere in the Gulf, Qatar has seen a reduction in opposition towards Christians. This is largely due to no churches being closed in 2022, which may be linked to the FIFA World Cup and the spotlight it put on the country’s human rights record. That said, a significant number of churches closed during the pandemic have not been allowed to reopen.
The early church stood firm and took huge risks to carry the gospel to the places where they were scattered. Their extraordinary legacy lives on to this day – not only in the way they began spreading the gospel to all nations, but in their example of courageous faith that our persecuted family are seeking to follow today, regardless of the risks involved.
We support people who are beaten, tortured,
imprisoned, falsely accused, and hated simply for following Jesus.