Missouri AG: Trump trials are a witch hunt; prosecutors colluding with Biden's DOJ

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Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey is demanding that the Department of Justice turn over documents related to several of the prosecutors going after former president Donald Trump.

Bailey believes the prosecutions appear to be part of a coordinated effort by the DOJ that involved the White House.

“Everyone can see the illicit witch hunt prosecutions that are going on from Alvin Bragg’s office, from Fani Willis’ office, from Letitia James’ office, and from the Biden’s crooked Department of Justice,” Bailey tells Glenn Beck, who believes Bailey is “one of the really good AGs in the country.”

“The Biden Department of Justice has become a nerve center for a coordinated witch hunt prosecution of a political opponent, and it’s not designed to obtain a legally valid conviction. It’s designed to take anyone running against Joe Biden — in other words, president Donald Trump — off the campaign trail,” Bailey explains.

And they’re not trying to hide it.

Matthew Colangelo was the number three ranking official at Biden’s DOJ. Colangelo was a longtime DNC activist who has just now taken a job with Bragg’s office to lead prosecution at the state level in the Manhattan courtroom.

“The political motivation of the prosecutors is sufficient to call into question their judgment in these cases,” Bailey says, adding, “Couple that with the fact they brought baseless charges not supported by the facts of the law, and it will undermine the credibility of whatever illegal conviction they ultimately obtain.”


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'We are frogs in the kettle': Persecution watchdog sounds alarm on growing threat facing American Christians

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Open Doors, the watchdog group born of an effort to smuggle Bibles into communist-occupied Poland, indicated in its latest annual report that one in seven Christians worldwide faces "high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith." That amounts to over 365 million Christians with targets on their backs. Things appear to be getting progressively worse, granted five years ago, the statistic was one in nine.

The 10 worst countries for Christians are reportedly North Korea, Somalia, Libya, Eritrea, Yemen, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Iran, and Afghanistan in that order. While a Christian faces a good chance of torture, imprisonment, rape, and death on account of their faith in any one those oppressive nations, supposedly civilized countries further up the rankings are not much better.

China's 96.7 million Christians, for instance, have in recent years been subject to harassment, torture, detentions, and executions. Since Christianity is regarded as a foreign threat to the communist regime, churches are frequently desecrated, destroyed, or closely surveilled.

In India, anti-Christian attacks have spiked, frequently executed by Hindu nationalists. According to the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship of India, numerous pastors and and believers have been arbitrarily detained and savagely beaten while their churches are wrecked, especially in Uttar Pradesh.

Christian persecution is not just a foreign phenomenon. It's a problem in the United States as well and — according to another watchdog group — poised to worsen.

Forbidden prayers

Jeff King, president of the Washington, D.C.-based International Christian Concern recently suggested to the Christian Post that American Christians are right to get their hackles up.

"Basically, we are frogs in the kettle, and the bubbles keep coming up under us," said King. "Too many people are not aware politically, and they're so used to thinking of how things were that they can't figure out where these bubbles are coming from, not realizing they're being cooked."

King's sense that things are getting worse in the U.S. is reportedly informed, in part, by Staci Barber's case in Texas.

Barber is a teacher who has spent the past eight years of her 26-year teaching career at the Katy Independent School District near Houston. According to her lawsuit against the district, filed in March on Barber's behalf by the American Center for Law and Justice, she desperately wanted to create a chapter of Students for Christ at Cardiff Junior High, having previously sponsored a chapter at Alief ISD.

The principal, Scott Rounds, allegedly shut her down on multiple occasions. However, in the 2023-2024 school year, Barber and some Christian students prevailed in starting a Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter, which Rounds apparently reluctantly approved.

In September, there was a prayer event on campus called See You At The Pole, which was scheduled to take place before school hours. Ahead of the event, Rounds allegedly sent out a memo stressing "district personnel shall not promote, lead, or participate in the meetings of non-curriculum-related student groups." The principal apparently also sent an email to Barber, stressing that she could not take part as she would be "on campus visible to students in [her] role as an employee."

Barber ultimately met at the pole to pray before work hours on Sept. 27, 2023, and was joined by two other teachers.

According to the complaint, the principal chastised Barber and "forbade the teachers from praying in the presence of students," indicating the purpose of the prohibition was to avoid the risk of students potentially joining in.

Following the prohibition, Barber apparently faced more antagonism from the administration.

"The Supreme Court has made it clear that student and teacher prayer, including prayer at SYATP events, is undisputedly a protected form of speech that school officials may not ban," says the lawsuit.

The American Center for Law and Justice said in a statement, "The primary goal of this lawsuit is to ensure that the school amends its policy to reflect what the Constitution actually requires. This school policy strips teachers and school employees of their fundamental right to express their faith freely, and must be struck down. We need your support in our legal battles for your right to pray."

King told the Christian Post that Barber's case not only "highlights the depth of ignorance among school boards and even at the principal level of what rights the Constitution grants people" but also a wider hostility toward Christians.

"The big picture, and what people need to grasp, is that's what's going on here in the West, and that's what a lot of people who dislike Christianity are proposing and trying to push forward," said King.

Hated for His name's sake

King suggested that countries whose leaders are antipathetic toward Christianity and enjoy influence over a politically weaponized judicial system can suppress Christians' speech and even prompt them to withdraw from public debate.

The president of the watchdog highlighted how India, for instance, has religious freedom in its constitution, "but it doesn't matter."

"It's what happens in practice," continued King. "And so when pastors are often attacked in the streets or in the churches, guess who gets arrested? It's the pastor. What happens is you keep your head down. So this is what we're seeing in the States."

"People learn that you do not stick your head up, and you start being quiet because the process is the punishment," added King.

Extra to an increasingly antagonistic justice system, King suggested that Christians face legislators keen to shut them up or handcuff them linguistically. He cited as examples hate speech legislation in other Western nations as well as Democrats' proposed Equality Act.

The Equality Act, which resembles in spirit the recent Title IX rewrite announced by the Biden Department of Education, would have defined sex to include gender ideology.

"It's strategic, it's banana republic, and these are political enemies of Christianity," said King. "They've gained power, and they're using the very laws, the very power of democracy, to go against their political enemies."

While anti-Christian forces are advancing in legislatures and courts around the country, they are also active on the streets.

Arielle Del Turco, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, noted in a February report that between 2018 and 2023, there were at least 915 acts of hostility against American churches. The attacks ranged from vandalism and arson to bomb threats.

Blaze News previously highlighted Turco's finding that between January and November 2023, there were at least 436 such attacks — eight times as many as there were in 2018 — such that 2023 ended up being the worst of all six years reviewed by the FRC.

The FRC observed 315 incidents of vandalism last year; 75 arson attacks or attempts; 10 gun-related occurrences; and 20 bomb threats.

Tony Perkins, president of the FRC and a former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said of the observations in the report, "There is a common connection between the growing religious persecution abroad and the rapidly increasing hostility toward churches here at home: our government's policies."

In the way of a remedy, King thought beyond legislation or politics, stating, "This really comes down to revival, and it starts with us personally."

"We've all got to turn back and cry to the Lord about not the political state of our country, but the religious state," said the watchdog. "We desperately need revival, and that all starts with us personally looking to the Lord and saying, 'Call me back and I'm completely yours, whatever you would have me do. All of my life is yours.'"

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Nicaraguan regime bans Christian activities during Holy Week, organizes fashion shows instead

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Nicaragua's Marxist-Leninist regime has once again banned public Christian activities associated with Holy Week and Easter.

Instead of communal displays of Christian faith, Rosario Murillo, the power-mad wife of Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega, has ensured that only festivities favorable to the regime will be permitted to take over the streets.

The regime's decision to continue its brutal repression of Christians, most notably Catholics, comes amid new U.S. sanctions targeting Nicaraguan Attorney General Wendy Carolina Morales Urbina for her role in executing the "regime's unjust persecution of political prisoners and civil society within the country."

The U.S. State Department also announced new arms restrictions against Nicaragua on March 14, citing concerns "about continuing brutal repression by Ortega-Murillo authorities against the people of Nicaragua."

Background

The Catholic Church in Nicaragua had a fleeting flirtation with the Sandinistas in the 20th century. However, in the 1980s, Pope John Paul II cleaned house, suspending clergymen who supported revolutionary Marxism. The former Roman pontiff also promoted a steadfast critic of the Sandinistas, then-Archbishop Miguel Obano y Bravo, to cardinal in 1985.

The church's revived defiance of leftism in Managua and frequent alliance with Nicaraguan conservatives made it an easy target for persecution. The church became an even bigger target when it supported critics of the regime during the 2018 protests, which Ortega turned bloody.

Blaze News previously reported that at the outset of his fourth term in office in 2018, Ortega's paramilitaries sent a clear message, shooting up a church. Ortega suggested that Catholics critical of the regime or sympathetic to critics of the regime were "terrorists."

Now in his fifth term, the leftist dictator's attacks on Catholics have worsened. The regime routinely targets Catholics with arbitrary raids, beatings, disappearances, deportations, church burnings, and asset seizures. Additionally, Ortega's regime has shuttered thousands of church-affiliated organizations and services in recent years.

The Associated Press indicated that despite support for the regime among several evangelical leaders, the regime has also begun extending its persecution to other Christian groups, closing or dissolving more than 256 associations linked to the Protestant or evangelical church since 2021.

This persecution has prompted an estimated 80% of the country's clergy and religious to flee.

Frederick Davie, the vice chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, said earlier this year, "USCIRF is outraged that the Nicaraguan government has chosen to continue its brutal crackdown on members of the Catholic Church for speaking out about the religious freedom and human rights violations occurring in the country."

"It has become increasingly clear that President Daniel Ortega and Vice President Rosario Murillo are intent on silencing the voice of any individual peacefully following the dictates of their conscience," added Davie.

Holy week in the shadow of the regime

Last year, the regime banned public Holy Week events, processions, and outdoor masses. Murillo blasted those who dared complain, claiming they "do not know how to be respectful or show solidarity."

The Associated Press reported that extra to shutting down religious activities, authorities also picked up and deported clergymen.

The regime has doubled down this year.

Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan lawyer who authored the Spanish language report "Nicaragua: A Persecuted Church?" noted on Facebook that the regime had banned "4,800 processions for Lent/Holy Week 2024[.] This figure includes the processions that took place/will take place on the 4 Fridays of Lent, Palm Sunday and those that took place directly in the Major Week itself."

Molina indicated that parishes have or will hold religious activities indoors, but that state officials may interfere with those as well, reported the Catholic News Agency.

"Some processions have been allowed around the block where the church is, but at the last minute a National Police officer shows up and gives a counter-order so the people can’t come out (of the church for the procession), under threat of being imprisoned," wrote Molina.

Molina told a Spanish-language news outfit, "Nicaragua is a country very given, as a Catholic people, to popular piety."

As a result, various townships and municipalities will attempt to hold Holy Week activities even if the Catholic Church is officially barred from doing so.

The Christian Post reported that Murillo, the dictator's wife, has indicated that this year, officials will swap out religious processions with "popular processions." These processions, organized by the regime's Institute of Tourism, will emphasize the Sandinistas' radical ideology throughout Holy Week.

Rather than prayerful reflection, the Ortega-Murillo regime has reportedly opted for fashion shows, beauty contests, and other materialistic distractions. While the regime insists that its approved message floods the streets, it also promotes anti-Christian hatred on television and the radio.

A new human rights report from the United Nations indicated that "led by the President and the Vice-President, hate speech inciting to violence and discrimination against the Catholic Church has been disseminated through pro-government media."

Republican Sens. Rick Scott (Fla.), Ted Cruz (Texas), Tommy Tuberville (Ala.), and Katie Britt (Ala.) implored President Joe Biden last week to sanction Nicaragua for its "repeated violations of religious freedom in Nicaragua."

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Islamists continue to massacre Christians in Nigeria. European Parliament suggests climate change is largely to blame.

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Islamic terrorists butchered hundreds of Christians throughout Nigeria on Christmas Eve. In their hours-long attack, Muslim Fulani militants gunned down Christian farmers, hacked up defenseless women and children with machetes, and torched churches.

While willing to express "solidarity" with the victims, the European Parliament appears more than willing to displace blame from the savage ideologues responsible and to instead pin the atrocities on so-called climate change.

A genocide of Christians

According to Open Doors International, Nigeria is the sixth most brutal place in the world for Christians — bad news for its roughly 100.4 million Christian inhabitants. In and outside the country's northern Sharia states, Christians are routinely subjected to enforced Islamization, forced marriage, murder, torture, abduction, rape, and other ideologically motivated brutalities.

Nearly 5,000 Christians were murdered in Nigeria just last year, accounting for 82% of all Christians killed for their faith in 2023, reported the National Catholic Register.

In 2022, Genocide Watch indicated that jihadists slaughtered 6,000 civilians, mostly Christians, in the first three months of the year, then kept adding to their tally.

Nigerian Bishop Wildred Anagbe of the Makurdi Diocese reckons this bloodletting amounts to a genocide, telling CNA that the Christian population is being "gradually and systematically" reduced by Islamists through "killings, kidnappings, torture, and burning of churches."

Mark Lipdo, program coordinator at the Stefanos Foundation, a Christian charity that supports Nigerian Christians, told Christian Today, "These attacks are being seen by local Nigerians as a jihad, like the jihad of 200 years ago. This is why they are targeting Christmas and targeting churches."

"What is happening is a religious war," added Lipdo.

Genocide Watch indicated that terrorists killed over 350,000 in Nigeria between 2009 and 2022.

Climate change massacres

At least 200 Christians were reportedly murdered between Dec. 23 and Christmas Day, 2023, in a series of terror attacks in 26 Christian communities in Nigeria's Central Plateau State. Other estimates put the number at over 230 dead.

Magit Macham, who returned to the area to celebrate Christmas with his family, told Reuters, "We were taken unawares, and those that could run ran into the bush. A good number of those that couldn't were caught and killed with machetes."

After the marauders shot his brother in the leg, Macham dragged him into a bush, where they hid for the night.

Alliance Defending Freedom International noted that hundreds more were injured, eight churches were burned to the ground, and another 15,000 people were internally displaced by the attacks.

As the footage of the mass graves circulated online, Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Sokoto Diocese told Nigerian President Bola Tinubu, "You have no excuses before God or the people of Nigeria," reported CNA.

Empty gestures

Western outfits have suggested that while often acknowledged as an ethno-religious conflict, the attacks are largely driven by bad weather patterns.

Citing nameless experts, Reuters floated the notion that "the conflict is based on the availability of resources rather than ethnic or religious differences."

The International Crisis Group, whose work is supported by George Soros' Open Society Foundations and cited by the Biden State Department, claims that "climate change has aggravated" "farmer-herder violence."

"Increasingly, the security implications of changing weather patterns are visible in deadly land resource disputes between farmers and herders across the continent," added the group.

The European Parliament appears willing to similarly cast the persecution not as a sustained jihad but as a resource dispute caused by the specter of anthropogenic climate change.

Members of the climate alarmist political group Green/European Free Alliance introduced a motion for a resolution last week that grossly underestimated the Christian death toll and criticized the description of the conflict in religious terms. After all, "several factors are to be taken into account such as competition for land fuelled by rapid climate change."

The proposed resolution would have the parliament warn "against an instrumentalisation of the farmers-herders conflict for spreading religion-based hatred" and "cal[l] on the Nigerian authorities to take meaningful steps to identify and address all root causes of the violence in Plateau state, such as competition for scarce resources, environmental degradation and the disappearance of effective mediation schemes."

The climate alarmists' resolution would also have called on European authorities to make African migration to Europe easier and to "ensure humanitarian assistance for those affected and displaced by the violence and climate change."

The European Parliament ultimately passed a modified version of the resolution, which starts strong with an acknowledgement of the murder of Nigerian Christians by "Islamic terrorist groups" and the destruction of 18,000 churches and 2,200 Christian schools since 2009. However, the resolution largely reverts to the language of the climate alarmists' original draft.

"Factors fuelling the clashes overlap and are rooted in, among other things, territorial disputes, ethnic tensions, access to scarce resources and environmental degradation," says the European resolution.

The parliamentarians also acknowledged "the role of climate change, competition for scarce resources and the disappearance of effective mediation schemes in aggravating the farmer-herder conflict."

ADF International highlighted that various parliamentarians have criticized the resolution.

Bert-Jan Ruissen, a Dutch politician and MEP, stated, "Saying that it is a mere conflict between farmers and herders fails to acknowledge the other causes. It is Muslim extremists causing death and destruction."

Hungarian politician and MEP György Hölvényi said, "Blinded by ideology, some people are totally insensitive to human suffering when it comes to Christians. The timing of the attacks, brutal killings, and destruction of churches cannot be misinterpreted and can only be understood as the persecution of Christians, and we should be able to say so."

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Newest NATO Member Escalates Prosecution Of Christians To Supreme Court

The case could reach the European Court of Human Rights, where its outcome would affect the world.

Nicaragua arrests another bishop as Marxist regime ramps up its brutal persecution of Catholics

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Nicaragua's socialist regime has arrested another bishop as part of Nicaragua's crackdown on Catholics and the Catholic Church — perceived to constitute threats to Marxist dictator Daniel Ortega's stranglehold on power.

Bishop Isidro del Carmen Mora Ortega was on his way to celebrate the confirmations of 230 parishioners on Dec. 20 in La Cruz de Río Grande when Marxist paramilitaries intercepted him and dragged him away. According to El Pais, the bishop's whereabouts remain unknown.

Two seminarians, Alester Saenz and Tony Palacio, were reportedly detained with Bishop Mora on Wednesday.

Bishop Mora apparently drew the ire of the regime, not only on account of his religiosity but because he indicated the previous day during a homily at the Cathedral of Saint Peter the Apostle that he was praying for Bishop Rolando Álvarez of Matagalpa, whom the regime has all but condemned to die in prison, reported the Tablet.

"We remain united in prayer for the beloved diocese of Matagalpa," said Bishop Mora. "We pray for Bishop Rolando and for each one of you."

For supposedly refusing to go into exile with five priests, a deacon, two seminarians, and hundreds of other critics of the Marxist regime, Bishop Álvarez was accused of "conspiracy to undermine national integrity," convicted of treason without being assigned legal representation, stripped of his citizenship, and sentenced to a 26-year prison sentence.

Bishop Mora's arrest is the latest in a long series of attacks on Catholics and on Christian groups critical of the regime.

While Catholic clergy once dabbled with leftist politics in Nicaragua, Pope John Paul II largely brought this flirtation to a standstill, stressing in 1980 that "an atheist ideology cannot be the guiding instrument of the effort to promote social justice, because it deprives man of his freedom, of spiritual inspiration, and of the strength to love his brother, which has its most solid and operative foundation in the love of God," reported the Catholic News Agency.

Pope John Paul II suspended various clergymen who remained supportive of the revolutionary Marxists while on the other hand promoting a steadfast critic of the Sandinistas, then-Archbishop Miguel Obando y Bravo, to cardinal in 1985.

After losing an election in 2003, Ortega feigned apologetic for the Sandinistas' longstanding persecution of the Catholic Church, which for years served as a counter to authoritarian overreach. However, once back in power, he resumed his anti-Catholic campaign.

At the beginning of his fourth term in office in 2018, Ortega's paramilitaries reportedly inaugurated a new spate of attacks by shooting up a church. Now with Ortega in his fifth term, attacks on Catholics — who make up the majority of the population — and on churches have only worsened.

The U.S. State Department indicated in a human rights report earlier this year that Ortega's regime has been credibly accused of "unlawful or arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings; torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by prison guards and parapolice; ... arbitrary arrest and detentions; [holding] political prisoners; ... severe restrictions on religious freedom"; and a host of other ghastly crimes against the citizenry.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom noted in its recent report that "religious freedom conditions in Nicaragua worsened considerably last year."

Extra to freezing church assets and conducting arbitrary raids, beatings, disappearances, and church burnings, "the Ortega regime has also pressured the Catholic Church by hindering or preventing Church-affiliated organizations and services from operating," having closed over 3,000 related nongovernmental organizations in 2022 alone.

For instance, schools such as the Jesuit Central American University have been shuttered by the regime. Catholic television networks and programming have been banned and replaced with state propaganda. Radio stations operated by the church have similarly been shut down.

Even Catholic processions are now verboten in public, especially on holy days such as Easter and the celebration of the Conception of Mary, regarded by Nicaraguans as a national saint.

"In 2023 alone, 275 attacks were carried out. We can say this last year was the year with the most attacks against the Church during the recent five-year period," Martha Patricia Molina, a Nicaraguan lawyer and researcher, told El Pais. "176 religious men and women are not exercising their ministry in Nicaragua because they were expelled, prohibited from entering or sent into exile."

Tens of thousands of Nicaraguans have fled the nation since 2018 to avoid Ortega's death squads, kangaroo courts, and various restrictions on liberty. An estimated 80% of the country's clergy and religious have left the country.

It appears persecution under the Ortega regime has had an impact on American illegal immigration.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, 370,523 Nicaraguans were encountered crossing the U.S. southern border between January 2021 and November 2023.

Those Christians, pro-democracy dissenters, and regime critics who do not voluntarily leave are frequently thrown out. Earlier this month, the Ortega regime booted the International Committee of the Red Cross from the country, bringing an end to the organization's humanitarian mission in the country.

Molina noted, "The objective of this persecution is always the same: to make the Catholic Church of Nicaragua completely disappear, because priests and bishops have not knelt down before the dictatorship nor have they become accomplices and cronies, which that is what they were hoping for."

"Since they have not managed to make bishops and priests bow down to the dictatorial project, the objective is to annihilate Catholicism, to create their own religion, in which the gods are Daniel Ortega and his wife," added Molina.

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Appeal Likely After Christians Acquitted A Second Time Of Bible Booklet ‘Hate Crimes’

Today a Helsinki appeals court acquitted two Christians of 'hate crimes' with potential prison sentences over a Christian booklet about sexual ethics.

State Department details horrific persecution of Christians in North Korea, including the life imprisonment of an infant over a Bible

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Christians may be subject to increasing statist pressure, hatred, and persecution in the United States, but farther afield, the situation is far more dire.

The U.S. State Department has released its annual International Religious Freedom Report, detailing the persecution of the faithful overseas.

Among the brutalities and barbarism exacted on Christians across the globe, some of the worst indignities have been perpetuated by the communist regime in North Korea.

The State Department's 2022 IRF report corroborates the claims made by the non-denominational charitable organization Open Doors, which ranks North Korea as No. 1 in the world for its persecution of Christians and stresses that the communist nation is committed to the "highest levels of persecution ever seen."

"North Korea remains a brutally hostile place for Christians to live. If discovered by the authorities, believers are either sent to labour camps as political prisoners where the conditions are atrocious, or killed on the spot – and their families will share their fate as well," stated Open Doors. "Christians have absolutely no freedom. It is almost impossible for believers to gather or meet to worship."

The State Department noted that North Korean officials currently have roughly 70,000 citizens in prison for being Christian — out of a Christian population of between 200,000 and 400,000, according to a United Nations estimate.

Victims are rounded up for possessing religious items, sharing religious beliefs, and/or for participating in religious practice.

An Open Doors 2023 report noted that North Korea's new "Anti-reactionary thought law" makes it clear that "being a Christian and/or possessing a Bible is a serious crime and will be severely punished."

The regime does not just punish the lone individual found with a Bible in his possession, but three generations of that person's immediate family.

The State Department detailed one case in 2009 where an entire family, including a 2-year-old child, were given life sentences in political prison camps "based on their religious practices and possession of a Bible."

Life imprisonment is a relatively lighter sentence given how those possessing Bibles have been punished in the past.

The report indicates that in one case, the communists captured a Korean Workers' Party member who had a Bible, then executed him at Hyesan Airfield before an audience of 3,000 people.

The North Korean Religious Freedom Database, which tracks the various victims of the communist regime's clampdown on Christians, notes that a mother in her thirties was similarly gunned down at Hyesan Airfield for having possessed a Bible. Since her husband was similarly detained, their two children became homeless and died.

North Koreans are slaughtered for simply looking at a Bible.

One male victim in his 40s was executed in 2008 after it was revealed he had read the Bible while in the Chongori concentration camp.

In 1,411 similar cases where victims were punished for their faith, 126 were butchered; 94 disappeared; 79 were maimed; 53 were forcibly relocated; 826 were detained; 147 were immobilized; and 86 were persecuted with other methods of punishment.

Despite the unimaginable cruelty inflicted upon them, the report referenced remarkable instances of Christians' fortitude.

One witness indicated that "guards beat a Christian man who had been praying to the brink of death, leaving him bleeding on the ground. The man, however, continued to pray daily, even as guards beat him with a club and kicked him with their boots on."

Whereas the FBI appears to presently regard only particular Christian sect as ideologically dangerous, the State Department indicated that the North Korean regime regards Christians altogether as the "most dangerous political class of people."

North Korean Christians looking to escape communist persecution are best off defecting to South Korea, as they have little hope of finding refuge in the neighboring country of China.

China, North Korea's powerful neighbor and close ally, similarly persecutes its Christian population, going so far as to hunt Chinese Christians internationally.

Extra to the routine harassment, torture, detentions, church demolitions, forced disappearances, and executions Christians are subjected to inside China's borders, the State Department IFR report noted the Chinese communist regime has taken additional measures in recent years to censor Christian messaging; treat religious material on the internet "on par with pornography, drug dealing and citing rebellion"; raid, shut down, and fine religious schools; and restrict the circulation of Bibles.

Open Doors rates Christian persecution in China as "very high."

Pew Research reported in 2020 that Christians were the most harassed group in the world, with harassment defined as attacks ranging from "verbal abuse to physical violence and killings," motivated by the victims' religiosity. This was found to be the case in 145 out of 198 countries.

The persecution of Christians has been steadily increasing for well over a decade.

As of January 2023, 360 million Christians reportedly lived in nations with high levels of persecution or discrimination.

Christianity Today reported that over 5,600 Christians were killed for their faith last year. Over 2,100 churches were attacked or closed, with over 71 torched in Canada alone. More than 124,000 Christians were reportedly forced from their homes because of their faith, and another 15,000 became refugees.

According to Open Doors, the ten worst countries with the highest levels of Christian persecution are: 1) North Korea; 2) Somalia; 3) Yemen; 4) Eritrea; 5) Libya; 6) Nigeria; 7) Pakistan; 8) Iran; 9) Afghanistan; and 10) Sudan.

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