Date: July 29, 2014
By way of background, an “ism” is a suffix that forms abstract nouns of action, state, condition, or doctrine.
One of the ways an “ism” is used is to form names of a tendency of behavior or action belonging to a group of persons as the result of an ideology.
For Christians around the world, there are many “isms” that threaten our way of life. Here are four:
Islamism is a set of ideologies holding that Islam should be the sole guide to all social, political, and personal life.
By 2030 the global population is set to reach over 8 billion and 26.4% of that population will be Muslim.
Muslims make up a majority of the population in 49 countries around the world.
A report by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Lifetitled “The Future of the Global Muslim Population” projects that the number of Muslims in the world is set to double from 1.1billion in 1990 to 2.2 billion in 2030.
Pew project that Pakistan is set to overtake Indonesia as the country with the world’s largest number of Muslim’s as it’s Muslim majority population pushes to over 256 million.
The number in the U.S. will double to over 6.2 million while Afghanistan’s Muslim population is set to rise by almost 74% as the number rises from 29 million to 50 million, making it the country with the ninth largest Muslim population in the world.
The majority of anti-Christian persecution in the world today takes place at the hands of Muslims. The overwhelming majority of Christian persecution is being committed at the hands of Muslims of all races, languages, cultures, and social-economic standings.
The persecution of Christians is on the increase as Islam continues to expand around the world.
Hinduism is derived from a Sanskrit word that means “dwellers by the Indus River.”
There are about 1 billion Hindus around the world, representing 15% of the global population. Major traditions within Hinduism include Vaishnavism, which is devoted to worship of the god Vishnu, and Shaivism, organized around worship of the god Shiva.
An overwhelming majority of Hindus live in one country, India. The largest populations of Hindus outside India are in Nepal and Bangladesh.
In the past decade, Hindu nationalism has been on the increase. Hindu fundamentalists have planned, coordinated, and executed many attacks on minority Christians throughout India and parts of Nepal.
On December 25, 2008, over 100 churches and Christian facilities were looted, damaged, or destroyed, and more than 400 Christian houses were gutted throughout India.
Since 2008, the focus of Hindu terrorists has been in the state of Odisha (formerly called Orissa). Over 56,000 of the 117,000 Christians living there have been driven from their homes, with 6,000 of their houses burnt to the ground. About 300 churches and holy places have been desecrated or destroyed.
The Christians are being persecuted not only because of their faith, but because they refuse to renounce it and embrace Hinduism. As a result, thousands of Indian Christians have been sadistically tortured. Many have lost limbs; others have been burnt alive. Over 100 have been martyred for the faith.
In the West, Buddhism is synonymous with peace, compassion, wisdom, and ecumenical brotherhood. However, in reality, the evidence paints a different picture.
There are about 488 million Buddhists worldwide, representing 7% of the world’s total population. The three major branches of Buddhism in the modern world are Mahayana Buddhism, Theravada Buddhism and Vajrayana (sometimes described as Tibetan) Buddhism.
Seven countries have Buddhist majorities: Cambodia, Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Laos and Mongolia.
In almost all of the Asian states in which Buddhism is the majority religion, there is cruel religious repression. And this strikes all of the non-Buddhist religions, especially Christians.
The most egregious case is, perhaps, Burma. The U.S. Department of State classifies Burma among the six worst oppressors of religious liberty in the world.
In Burma, persecuted Christians in the ethnic minority populations such as the Chin, Kachin, Karenni, Karen, and others have fled to Thailand and India, where they live in refugee camps. In the Chin region, the crosses on the mountainsides, the expressions of their faith, have been torn down, and frequently substituted with pagodas by the Burmese government. Christians are obliged to pay an annual tax to support the Buddhist religion. The Bible is forbidden and many Christian children are taken far from their families and interned in Buddhist monasteries.
Of the Asian countries with a Buddhist majority, only one of them — Thailand — assures substantial religious freedom to all religions. The other Asian nations with Buddhist majorities, Buddhism is more or less an integral part of a regime that represses the other religions, in particular, Christians.
Communism is a socioeconomic system structured upon common ownership of the means of production and characterized by the absence of classes, money, and the state.
Communism is defined as a political theory derived from Karl Marx, advocating class war and leading to a society in which all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. Further, it is a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single, authoritarian party holds power.
The Marxist-Leninist version of Communist doctrine advocates the overthrow of capitalism by revolution.
Officially, there are 5 nations still ruled by Communist parties: China, North Korea, Laos, Vietnam, and Cuba. That’ s roughly 20-25 % of the world’s population–almost all in China.
The persecution of Christians in most of these nations is severe and on the increase.
Official communist doctrine is openly hostile to religion and officially atheist; it takes the position that there was no God.
Moreover, official communist doctrine engages in systematic, often brutal campaigns to eliminate religious belief. This began from the outset of the Soviet communist state and still continues in various forms in communist countries to this day, from China to North Korea to Cuba.
In China Christians may be freer than they were 30 years ago, but persecution is rising and the central government is attempting to eradicate “underground” house churches.