By Emily Drooby
The pandemic locked billions of people across the world in their homes. However, that didn’t stop the scourge on society that is Christian persecution. Unfortunately, the problem actually got worse in 2020. It also took on new forms, including the loss of much-needed aid to the faithful.
“Very early on there definitely were reports. We had reports out of India, reports out of Pakistan, and reports out of parts of Africa, talking about the disparity in treatment that’s happening at the local level,” said Ed Clancy of Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic organization fighting Christian persecution.
He explained that governments blame access to certain communities. But a question remains unanswered.
He asks, “Why is it that these Christian communities seem to be the ones that are suffering more when it comes to not receiving government aid?”
Christian religious gatherings have also been targeted. Ed explained that in some places, “they went in and said that the church could not have its function. Yet every day, a Mosque has hundreds of people come in and out with nobody there stopping them.”
Safety is a big concern. Christian advocacy group Open Doors says that in 2019-2020, the number of Christians being murdered for their faith went up 60 percent.
“We had the pandemic which caused military or government or policing groups to be stretched to the limits, so there’s more opportunity to do bad,” said Ed.
The numbers are grim. 340 million Christians face discrimination. Daily, 13 are killed for their faith and 12 churches or Christian buildings are attacked.
The United Nations even warned that terrorists are exploiting the pandemic and the pain it has caused, using it to recruit.
At the same time, because of restricted church attendance it’s harder to spread word of what’s happening.
“Their most trusted source is their parish, so we essentially removed part of that,” explained Ed. “So, it becomes harder for the message, for the information to be delivered.” He says that Aid to the Church in Need routinely finds that church is where a lot of people learn about Christian persecution.
If you want to help Christians facing persecution around the world, donate to Aid to the Church in Need at https://www.churchinneed.org/.