It is said that religion has been the cause of many wars on this planet. The greatest number of wars in the world have been fought in the name of religion. As far as Christianity is concerned, the history of Christianity has been written in blood. Shortly after the crucification of Jesus Christ, all of his disciples and many of his followers were persecuted and killed – Stephen was stoned to death, Matthew was killed in Ethiopia, Mark was dragged through the streets until may he die, Luke was hanged, Peter and Simeon were crucified, Andrew tied to the cross, James beheaded, Philip crucified and stoned, Bartholomew flayed alive, Thomas pierced with spears, James the Least thrown from the Temple and beaten to death , Jude shot with arrows. Mathias stoned to death and Paul beheaded, Ignitius was demanded by Emperor Trajan to make a public sacrifice to idols to prove his loyalty to the Roman government but when he refused to do so he was thrown to wild beasts in the stadium for the amusement of the pagans. crowd and Polycarp, a devout believer of Christ was ordered to curse Christ publicly. He refused to do so knowing full well that it will cost him his life. He was burned alive on the spot for his faith in Jesus. Many Christians have been persecuted and in their death they have been derided. They were covered in the skins of wild animals, torn to death by dogs. These Christians were not massacred for the public good but to satisfy Nero’s mania. The Roman Empire at that time was pagan. It was a religion not only of the people but of the empire. It was an established religion, established by law and supported by the government. While the religion of Christ being a non-worldly religion, its founder gave no earthly ruler and no temporal power. He sought no establishment, no state or government support. Its adherents, however, were taught to respect all civil and government laws. More than a hundred years had passed before all this happened, this harsh persecution by Judaism and paganism continued for another two centuries.
Despite all these harsh persecutions, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in England, in Wales and just about everywhere else where there is any civilization. Nevertheless, the persecution of Christians never ceased as fifty million Christians died of persecution during the 120 years of what Christians called the Dark Ages.
The violence and persecution against Christians around the world never ceases until today. It is sweeping the world like never before. How true it is that religious strife and persecution are the deepest and longest human hatred. According to Open Doors’ 2021 Global Watchlist, 13 Christians are killed every day around the world for their faith. Among the 10 worst persecutors, North Korea ranks first and India tenth. India is also seeing an increase in attacks on Christians. According to a report by human rights groups, over 300 attacks on Christians allegedly by far-right groups took place in the 1st month of 2021, including 32 in Karnataka. The report revealed that out of a total of 305 incidents of anti-Christian violence, four northern Indian states recorded as high as 169: 66 in BJP-ruled Utter Pradesh, 47 in BJP-ruled Chattisgarh. Congress, 36 in tribal-dominated Jharkhan and 30 in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh. And on the other hand, in Andhra Pradesh under the leadership of a Christian Chief Minister Shri JM Redy, at least 205 attacks on Hindu temples took place in 2019 alone, many idols were vandalized and the stolen temple properties. (To be continued)