On Nigeria’s 52nd Independence Anniversary date (Oct. 1, 2012), at least 46 Christians – 30 of them students – were massacred by Boko Haram, an Islamic Jihadist group intent on establishing Islamic (Sharia) law in Nigeria – in spite of the fact that a majority of Nigerians are Christian. According to eyewitnesses, the terrorists went from dormitory room to dormitory room at night asking each student’s name and faith. If the student was a Christian and refused to turn from Jesus, he was immediately shot or had his throat slit without mercy.
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Nigeria is ranked only No. 13 on the 2012 Open Doors World Watch List of 50 countries which are the worst persecutors of Christians. According to the World Watch List, Nigeria had at least 300 martyrs in 2011, although the actual number could be closer to 1,000. An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation.
We tend to think of Roman times as the “golden age” of Christian persecution, but that is not the case at all:
- Less than 100,000 Christians are estimated to have been martyred under three centuries of Roman rule. (The actual number is not precisely known.)
- Today 100,000 to 160,000 Christians are estimated to be martyred each year!
All is not as it looks.