New Poll: 40% of Catholics See Worldwide Christian Persecution as ‘Severe’
Save the Persecuted Christians Coalition
Working to Create Awareness at the Local Level
WASHINGTON—A new survey has found that 40 percent of Catholics believe at least half of religiously based attacks around the world are directed at Christians, and that Christian persecution is “severe,” according to the National Catholic Reporter; 69 percent of those polled said Christian persecution was a top concern.
The newly formed Save the Persecuted Christians (STPC) Coalition notes that while many Catholics are aware that the persecution of Christians exists and realize its severity, more can be done on the local level to educate, inform, and mobilize Church members to get involved in the effort to help the persecuted.
Father Andre Mahanna, one of the leading members of the STPC Coalition, has been instrumental in encouraging this heightened awareness by meeting with priests and bishops nationwide, providing them with information from the Coalition and how their parishes can become involved. Mahanna will also meet with Vatican officials on the issue of persecution this spring.
Members of the newly formed STPC Coalition have a shared determination to help protect persecuted Christians worldwide who are suffering discrimination, torture, rape, slavery, banishment and murder—simply because they believe in Jesus Christ.
Raising awareness is an important step, especially as such persecution currently occurs so routinely that it rarely makes headlines. For example, according to Open Doors, 255 Christians are killed worldwide every month. 104 Christians are abducted. 180 Christian women are raped, sexually assaulted or forced into marriage. 160 Christians are detained or imprisoned without trial. And 66 churches are attacked. Every month.
The goal of the STPC Coalition is to greatly reduce—and to deter—the further, global persecution of Christians. Beyond calling attention to the oppression of Christians worldwide, the immediate task is to disseminate actionable information about ways in which the American people can help those being persecuted. One of the ways Americans can help is by encouraging their worship leaders to visit the STPC Coalition’s website at www.SaveThePersecutedChristians.org, where free kits may be ordered that include an outdoor banner which can be displayed in front of their place of worship. This simple banner features the Arabic “nun” character, which has become an international symbol for the oppression of Christians ever since the Islamic State used this first letter of the Arabic word for “Nazarene” to designate homes of followers of Christ targeted for persecution.
The survey of U.S. Catholics also found:
- Almost half of U.S. Catholics say that Pope Francis is “very engaged” on the issue of Christian persecution.
- When asked what they themselves should do to help persecuted Christians around the world, the respondents ranked prayer highest, followed by raising awareness at the parish level, donating to agencies that work to support persecuted Christians and contacting their members of Congress.
- Almost half of the respondents said they have not donated in the past year to an organization that comes to the aid of persecuted Christians.
The poll was conducted by Aid to the Church in Need and sought to measure how aware U.S. Catholics are of Christian persecution around the world; the countries and regions where they consider Christians the most severely persecuted; and specific measures and policies they want the U.S. and other Western governments to pursue to combat it.
Given the results of this important poll, the launch of the STPC Coalition, which took place on Ash Wednesday 2018, is perfectly timed to help vastly increase the number of U.S. Catholics who are engaged on the issue of Christian persecution, thereby enhancing the engagement level of the global Catholic Church.