‘Pursuer of the Year’: Nigeria, Taliban, Kim Jong-un

Nigeria, the Taliban and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un have received the dubious recognition of “Pursuer of the Year” by research and advocacy group International Christian Concern.

Jeff King, the group’s president, said most Westerners are unaware of the extent of Christian persecution in Nigeria.

“They think of Nigeria as a business center for [West] Africa, which it is, and yet they are totally unaware of what is going on beneath the surface, ”said Mr. King Tuesday in a phone interview.

According to the group’s report: “Nigeria is one of the deadliest places on earth for Christians, as 50,000 to 70,000 have been killed since 2000.” The country “is home to the infamous Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram, which has displaced millions of people and killed tens of thousands of others.”

King says his organization operates farms in safe areas of Nigeria where Christian refugees can live and re-establish their lives.

The Taliban, a hardline Islamist group that ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, regained power in August when the US-led coalition coalition abandoned the Central Asian nation. Now Christians – a small community made up entirely of converts from Islam – are the No. 1 enemy, said Mr. King.

“They have gone door-to-door there and said ‘Who is going to the mosque, who is not?'” He said.

The Taliban has “called Christians and said, ‘We know who you are.’ And then the first murder [a Christian] has just happened, “Mr. King added. They” found a bible on his cell phone and they grabbed him and he’s gone. That means he was taken and he was tortured to see if he would return to Islam, and to see who else he would cough up. And then he was killed. ”

Under Mr. Kim’s rule since 2012 has “countless individuals in North Korea lost their lives, been tortured or sentenced to long periods of hard work for their faith,” according to the International Christian Group’s report. “As supreme leader, Kim is morally and legally responsible for the systematic abuses committed by the system he leads.”

The research group also noted China, India, Iran, Myanmar, Pakistan and Turkey as oppressors of Christians and other religious minorities. Among the entities cited were Islamist groups Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, as well as Turkey’s gray wolves and India’s Sangh Parivar.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Nasir El-Rufai, Governor of Nigeria’s Kaduna State, were also named as leading persecutors.

Mr. King said Mr Modi, who recently visited Pope Francis in the Vatican and invited the pope to India, is among the politicians in his BJP party who “quietly” call for the persecution of Christians in the Hindu majority.

“Everyone knows what BJP believes and what Modi believes in the place. People know what he stands for. He is a fundamentalist Hindu, he is part of the problem,” he said.

Mr. King said his group’s annual report is designed to educate media and government leaders about the extent of Christian persecution abroad.

“We wanted to create a primer for the government and the press,” he said. “So they could easily understand very complex topics going on around the world that involve culture, religion and geopolitics.”

He added that the report aims to motivate believers.

“At the same time, the bottom line is that we want people to pray. We are a Christian organization. We believe in the power of prayer, but after that it can not stop there,” he said. “We want people to answer the phone. and call their elected leaders and say it’s not true. We have to put pressure on these people. “

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