Christians are becoming more and more concerned about the overt, violence and hostility towards Christians world wide. The hostility towards smaller minority religions is also concerning. The Pew Research Center's data shows that in 2012 Christian persecution reached a 6 year high globally and concentrated in countries and territories that are under caliphate controll such as The Levant meaning 'east' the direction in which the sun rises, Eastern Mediteranean territories, east of Italy, Middle East, North Africa as well as South East Asia, and the People's Republic of China.
In each of these regions there are two categories and sources that generate Christian persecution causing a double impact.
1. Social Hostilities - This category is most prominent in the Middle East and North Africa easily identified by political uprisings seen on television. These are hostilities engaged by individuals, groups and organizations displayed by mobs with targeted violence.
2. Government Restrictions - This category is also prominent in the Middle East, North Africa but also in Europe where government restrictions is growing faster than in other territories as of 2012. These are restrictions by government ban with regards to particular faiths such as Christianity or Judaism, censorship of conversations, banning of proselytizing, preaching and cutting incentives to minority religious groups.
Christian persecution due to government restrictions and social hostilities is prominent because most of the countries and territories that engage social hostilities and government restrictions have the highest populations and aggregately comprise roughly 5.3 billion people about 76% of the planet's >7 billion population count.
According to the Pew Research Center Christians were harassed in 151 countries, the largest number of countries world-wide and the most harassed group in the world especially between 2006 and 2012. Jews who comprise only 1% of the worlds population experienced harassment in about 95 countries. Jews are the most persecuted religious minority.
Christians are 2 billion strong they are easy to bump into, a threat to the competition and due to the admonition of Christianity to proselytize become easy targets. The Christian belief system has no holes in its argument and when presented using evidence is very convincing and will convert adherents of competing belief systems.
The methods of persecution used by governments and societies are harassment and intimidation especially to Christians because they comprise >2 billion adherents globally with 1.2 billion Catholics alone. Some groups within societies who engage persecution against Christians are extremely violent and chilling in their methods leading to death, serious injuries and displacement. Pew Research also indicates that adherents to Islam are also harassed in 135 countries partly because they are the second largest religious group at 1.56 billion adherents and because of social hostilities among sects. Jews also experienced social harassment from individuals even though as a group they are tiny in number 18 million world-wide and experienced persecution that was highest in 6 years. Hindus were harassed in 33 countries and Buddhists in 28 countries.
Love is the central message of Christianity, the associated commandments and expected behaviors posture Christians world-wide to be persecuted. The structure of Christianity can be perceived as a recipe for persecution. Christians are admonished to live sacrificially, have the right motives, invest in eternal treasure, love others, love their enemies, pray for their enemies, turn the other cheek when smitten, give away that which is stolen from you or borrowed, accept that vengeance belongs only to God, confess Jesus Christ as Lord despite the circumstances even upon the threat of death and to treat others better than you treat yourself.
The premise to these Christian commitments is trusting, depending, relying that a risen Savior is literally with us actively protecting, supervising and participating in every aspect of life. These expectations are a recipe for the persecution of Christians. One caveat also given to Christians for their protection is to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves..be excellent, be smart, be aware and most importantly we are commanded to have faith in God. We depend on God's infinite ability above our own finite abilities and meditate on precedents attributed to God where He delivered, prospered, vindicated, provided, rewarded, made prominent all verified by history. We also focus on God's efficacy confident in His impartial ability and character. We all face difficult times as a part of life but Christians have the advantage of having a Savior who helps by carrying the load, who heals the human spirit and mind providing comfort, wisdom and favor. We have peace knowing we are not alone and that there is someone who is always for us and who is ultra-capable.
Outside the Middle East, North Africa, Southeast Asia and China Christians are also feeling they are being persecuted. Social hostilities in the form of sarcasm, boycotts, protesting, condescending rhetoric, lawsuits and lobbying efforts are still mild compared with social hostilities engaged in caliphate societies but seem to be ramping up nevertheless. Government restrictions in the form of enforcement, legislation, judicial and institutionalized restrictions also seem to be ramping up, is concerning and Christians are worried global persecution is already out of hand.