Although Christians are simply one among a staggering set of vulnerable minority groups around the world exposed to hatred and persecution, there remains a sort of wall of silence around their suffering. In part, that’s because the people who set the tone in global politics and the media generally live in the affluent West, where Christians generally don’t encounter much physical persecution. In New York, or Toronto, or London, Christians generally don’t take their lives in their hands for the mere act of going to church.
That neglect reflects a terribly superannuated grasp of the Christian map. More than two-thirds of the 2.3 billion Christians today live outside the West, most in developing societies and often as not only religious but also ethic and linguistic minorities. Most are poor, and the majority are women.
Because of that, and because Christians are the largest religious group on the planet, the raw numbers in terms of anti-Christian persecution are staggering. Estimates of how many Christians are killed yearly around the world because of their faith vary widely, from thousands to tens of thousands, but it’s a statistical certainty that at any hour of the day, a Christian somewhere is being martyred.