A new report on the state of Christian persecution around the globe has found that evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are the most likely to face persecution when compared to Christians of other denominations and traditions.
This finding, among a plethora of other indicators, comes in a report released last week by the University of Notre Dame’s “Under Caesar’s Sword” project, a three-year, global effort that seeks to investigate how Christians respond to persecution.
Overall, the report posits that Christians tend to react by engaging in “strategies of survival” (i.e. preservation of their traditions), by strategies of association to build ties with others or by confrontation and challenges to persecution; these are not mutually exclusive.
The report also found that two types of Christians tend to be most likely to face persecution.
“Protestant evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are more likely to be persecuted than mainline Protestants, Catholics, Orthodox Christians, or other Christians associated with ancient churches,” reads the report. “In response to persecution, evangelical and Pentecostal Christians are more likely to engage in strategies of survival or, on rare occasions, confrontation.”
The report, titled, “In Response to Persecution,” proclaims that these two groups tend to have a “more antagonist relationship” with governments and social groups that are prone to denying religious liberty than their Christian peers in other groups, and offers up three potential reasons why.
The first reason given for this dynamic is that evangelicals and Pentecostals are potentially more recent arrivals in some countries, meaning that they haven’t yet established the same relationships that longer-standing denominations and groups have. Additionally, a second reason centers on the notion that both groups are seen as being allied to the West.
And, finally, “evangelicals and Pentecostals tend to understand evangelization and conversion as verbal, urgent, and sometimes dramatic processes and, consequently, expect and are prepared to endure persecution.”
The report noted that these elements form a pattern but aren’t a “perfect correlation.” Either way, these factors lead governments and people within certain countries to be more likely to deem evangelicals and Pentecostals a threat.
The Under Caesar’s Sword project works to explore how Christian communities around the globe respond to persecution and crackdowns on their religious liberty, finding that strategies range from nonviolent protests to fleeing repressive regimes. Research is collected by 14 scholars who travel around the globe to visit “beleaguered Christian communities in over 30 countries.”
(H/T: Christian Post)
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