Pictured here is the inside of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. The stadium is traditionally known as a place of martyrdom for hundreds of early Christians under Roman persecution. Recently, however, scholars and historians have begun to question this long-held notion.
But could current-day doubt about the torture of early Christians be part of the ongoing silencing of Christian persecution?
The Silent Story of Persecution in Our World TodayDespite the lack of media coverage, there is growing and compelling information from human rights advocates to suggest that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world today.
The Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion and Public Life estimated that persecution of Christians currently takes place in 130 countries, roughly two-thirds of all nations on the globe.
According to Open Doors, an international non-profit ministry supporting persecuted Christians worldwide, the 10 worst offenders on the 2012 World Watch List include North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran, Maldives, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Iraq and Pakistan.
The World Evangelical Alliance reports that Christians are "the largest single group in the world which is being denied human rights on the basis of their faith." The Catholic relief agency Aid to the Church in Need and Open Doors both say "some 150,000 Christians are killed for their faith each year."
Every week, The Voice of the Martyrs' prayer blog announces incidents of violent persecution against Christians. Recent headlines read, "Christian Worker Shot to Death in Pakistan," "Christians Pressured to Perform Cult Rituals in Laos," and "Brazilian Missionaries to Senegal Arrested and Imprisoned." Yet, when was the last time you heard one of these stories on the nightly news?
I'd like to be a voice for the persecuted Christians in our world today. Will you join me in praying for persecuted believers around the world?