Christians: Be Prepared

According to Open Doors 2023, World Watch List, more than 360 million Christians around the world suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith. 5,621 Christians (approximately 15 per day) were killed last year for their faith. 89% of those killed were in Nigeria as Islamic jihadi groups, such as Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP), attempt to eliminate the presence of Christianity in the nation. 

Since Open Doors began their World Watch List thirty years ago, the number of countries where Christians suffer persecution has almost doubled. Although we tend to think of Christian persecution as overt acts of violence or discrimination against Christians, persecution can include hostile words and actions, and increasingly Christians, even in Western nations, are experiencing persecution. 

1 Peter 3:8-22 speaks of Christian persecution and instructs believers on how to respond. “…Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened. But in your hearts, revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” (I Peter 3:14-15).

Peter directed believers to have a deep personal relationship with Christ and to be able to respectfully explain their faith clearly to others. Being “ready to give an answer” is a natural response to being in a close, loving relationship with God. We naturally defend those that we love because we know them intimately. In order to be prepared, we need to first study and meditate on God’s Word and develop a strong prayer life. 

Our relationship with God, however, goes much deeper than an emotional response. Our faith is based on truth – and the crux of that truth is the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It’s these core truths where Christianity and Islam differ, and as we go through the next few weeks, we will be looking at those truths so that you may be able to better direct your prayers and be prepared to give an answer for the hope that you have.

Why pray for Christians during Ramadan? Because the lifestyle of Christians is one of the top reasons Muslims come to know Christ. Other reasons include the spiritual truth that is contained in the Bible and Biblical teachings about the love of God. Pray for Christians to draw closer to God and develop a deep personal relationship with Him so that their lives reflect Christ in all that they do. Pray that Muslims will see the difference in the lives of Christians and be drawn to the Truth.

Finally, rejoice that God is answering prayer. Open Doors reports that persecution lessened in nations like Qatar (falling 16 places in the World Watch List) and Egypt (falling 15 places) in 2022. Other smaller drops in persecution occurred in Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, and Jordan. 


  • A primary reason there is the persecution of Christians by Muslims is (1) they have never met a faithful Christian to influence their lives, and (2) they are taught to “kill the infidel.” Ask our Lord to open their eyes to hatred and to see that true followers of Christ want to be their friend.
  • More Muslims have come to Christ in the last 15 years than combined in the previous 1400 years of Islam. Pray they will have a longing for spiritual things and have dreams and visions of the Lord Jesus, bringing them to salvation.  

Islam in the U.S. – 2012


With major news events such as the re-election of President Barack Obama, mass shootings in Connecticut and Colorado and major destruction from Hurricane Sandy, radical Islam did not dominate the headlines of American news outlets in 2012. However the continuing efforts of radical Islamists to wage holy war did not diminish.

Since 9-11-2001, has recorded Islamic attacks around the world. In 2012, there were 2,546 Islamic attacks resulting in 11,306 casualties and 20,210 wounded. Many of these attacks have been on Christians. Open Doors, a Christian ministry that supports and strengthens persecuted Christians around the world releases a Watch List each year of nations where Christians are persecuted for their faith. The list ranks the top 50 persecuting nations from extreme to sparse persecution. In the most recent listing, ten out of eleven nations listed as practicing extreme persecution of Christians are Islamic nations.

In the U.S., at least three Islamic terror plots planned for Tampa, Florida, the U.S. Capitol, and the New York Federal Reserve building were uncovered and prevented during 2012. Despite evidence that there are continuing threats to United States citizens from radical Islamists, both local and federal law enforcement agencies faced increasing criticism and censorship not only by Muslim groups such as the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), but also by individuals within our own federal government.

For example, CAIR was reportedly the driving force behind two articles and an Op-Ed by the New York Times criticizing the use of the film, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam’s Vision for America, for counterterrorism training for the New York City Police Department. The articles called the documentary a “hate-filled film about Muslims” and quoted CAIR saying the film “defiled our faith and misrepresented everything we stood for.” The film, narrated by Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a practicing Muslim boldly states at the beginning, “This is not a film about Islam. It is about the threat of radical Islam. Only a small percentage of the world’s 1.3 billion Muslims are radical.” The NY Times failed to mention that CAIR was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism financing trial in U.S. history. The NYPD no longer uses the film.

FBI Director, Robert Mueller met with a coalition of Muslim groups (which included the Islamic Society of North America – also an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Trial) in February to reveal that the FBI had removed more than 700 documents and 300 presentations on Islam from FBI training materials that were deemed “offensive.” Some of the documents removed included articles and presentations that defined jihad as “holy war” and portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as an organization that planned to take over the world. In order to purge the documents from the FBI training materials, the agency must ignore the words of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, which state, “It is the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” In addition, FBI agents reported FBI headquarters had banned offices from inviting counter-terrorism specialists who were considered “anti-Islam,” and in June this policy extended to the military at the National Defense University when they suspended Lt. Col Matthew A. Dooley, an instructor of a college course that suggested the U.S. was “at war with Islam.”

The State Department removed sections from its Country Reports on Human Rights that discussed the status of religious freedom, which meant the reports did not include any information about the status of Christians and other minorities in Muslim nations that were a part of the Arab Spring revolutions in countries such as Egypt and Libya.

Six Army officers received administrative punishments for burning Qur’ans used by detainees at the Parwan Detention Facility in Afghanistan to exchange messages. NBC reported the punishments would most likely result in the end of their military careers. The Qur’ans and other religious material were burned in February. It was reported that up to 75% of the material contained extremist inscriptions on them. The material including Qur’ans had been boxed for storage, but were accidently sent to an incinerator. When Afghan workers discovered the burned Qur’ans, violent protests erupted. After several days of protest, 30 people were killed including four Americans and over 200 were wounded. Following this incident, the U.S. military released an advisory on the proper way to dispose of Islamic religious material. The material states, “If in doubt about the religious significance of any material, assume it is SACRED!” and “Non-Muslims should not handle a Quran.” The training even goes so far to say, “Any copy of a Quranic verse containing the name of Allah is an equally sacred text and should be handled the same as a Quran.”

As the U.S. government continually capitulated to the demands of Islamist groups, five members of Congress, Representatives Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert, Trent Franks, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland sent letters to the Inspectors General of the Department of Defense, Department of Justice, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence questioning the direct influence within the intelligence community of members of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Representatives requested that the offices conduct investigations into the extent of the Muslim Brotherhood involvement into their agencies. Rather than investigations beginning, the Representatives were met with vicious personal attacks.

Congressional investigations continue into the deaths of four Americans including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens killed in a terrorist attack at the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya on 9-11-2012. Initially the Obama administration blamed the attack on a YouTube video that was critical of Islam rather than a pre-planned act of terror against the United States.

As 2012, came to a close the Washington Times reported about the draft of the U.S. Army’s new handbook to be given to U.S. troops heading to Afghanistan. The draft of the handbook, reviewed by the Wall Street Journal, blames recent deadly attacks by Afghan soldiers against American troops on Western ignorance of Afghan culture. The handbook gives soldiers a list of topics to avoid which include, “making derogatory comments about the Taliban,” “advocating women’s rights,” “any criticism of pedophilia,” directing any criticism toward Afghans,” “mentioning homosexuality and homosexual conduct,” and “anything related to Islam.”

Although it may not have been in the headlines, Islamists inflicted great damage on the security and freedoms of American citizens in 2012 through the efforts of those who ignorant of their agenda. We as citizens must continue to be watchmen, sounding the warning of the threat as we move into 2013.