Christian persecution expected to increase in 2019; believers facing 'modern-day jihad'

by Stoyan Zaimov , Christian Post Contributor |

(Photo: Reuters/Credit Akintunde Akinleye)Villagers stood at a mass grave in Dogon Na Hauwa, Nigeria, in 2010.

The persecution of Christians around the world is expected to increase in 2019, with a watchdog group sharing particular concern for believers in Nigeria, China, and India.

Release International, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary, said in a press release that 215 million believers face violence and discrimination for their faith.

"In Nigeria, Fulani militants look set to continue devastating attacks against Christians in the north and central Nigeria. In the first six months of 2018 alone, they killed up to 6,000 and drove 50,000 from their homes," the group said of the situation in the African country.

A Release partner, who wasn't named, said that there is a "deliberate plan to destroy and take over the predominantly Christian communities in the region." The source added that Christians are facing a "strategic modern-day jihad."

In June, the Christian Association of Nigeria and church denominational heads in Plateau State said that what is happening Nigeria is "pure genocide and must be stopped immediately."

Watchdogs, such as the International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law, separately warned that the Fulani attacks on Christians should not be confused for decades-long clashes between cattle herders and farmers.

Emeka Umeagbalasi, Board Chairman of Intersociety, told The Christian Postin August that believers have seen their churches burned down, and have been driven out en masse.

"How many Muslim farmers are being killed by Fulani herdsmen? How many Muslim homes have been destroyed or burned? The answer is in the negative. It has nothing to do with herdsmen-farmer clashes. It is false," Umeagbalasi told CP at the time.

The Communist government of China was also mentioned among the highest causes for concern, with new rules on regulating religion cracking down on churches, pastors and congregations throughout the country.

Continue reading about Christian persecution on The Christian Post.