Shocking Report Released Documenting Religious Persecution Worldwide

American Family Association: ‘There Is a Spirit of Tyranny Brewing; Religious Freedom and Other Liberties Are Being Threatened by a Totalitarian Spirit’

April 26, 2021

TUPELO, Miss. — Last week, the 2021 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report was released and provided data detailing that “Christians are being persecuted around the world at a pace not seen since the first century.” Additionally, the report conveyed the following shocking facts regarding worldwide religious persecution:

  • There are 50,000 Christians currently held in North Korean prison camps;
  • Some 3,000 Yazidi girls and women are missing in Iraq;
  • There are 130,000 Muslims in internment camps in Burma; and
  • There as many as 3 million Uighur Muslims in Chinese concentration camps.

“It is clear that the pressure being felt by Christians in America is a manifestation, in less serious form, of course, of the outright hostility and persecution spilling out against believers worldwide,” stated Ed Vitagliano, executive vice president of the American Family Association (AFA, “Believers in Jesus Christ here in this country need to do three things: get educated about what is happening to their brothers and sisters around the world; pray diligently for them to be able to endure this persecution faithfully; and demand from the U.S. government that it takes religious persecution seriously and act forcefully to stop it.

“But this report also details something else going on: There is a spirit of tyranny brewing behind the scenes, too. Religious freedom and other liberties, which many in the West have for far too long taken for granted, are being threatened by a totalitarian spirit. That is expressed in the persecution of Christians in China, but also by the communist persecution of Muslims in that nation. Ironically, that totalitarian spirit is simultaneously manifested by Muslims against Christians in the Middle East and much of Africa. Believers here in America also need to be alert to the growing manifestation of this toxic ideology of oppression.”

For over 40 years, AFA has operated within the mission to inform, equip and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission. Find AFA Action Alerts here.

AFA—founded in 1977—has long been on the front lines of America’s culture war. Today, AFA is one of the largest and most effective pro-family organizations in the country, with nearly a million online supporters and approximately 160,000 subscribers to the AFA Journal, the ministry’s monthly magazine. In addition, AFA owns and operates nearly 180 radio stations across the country under the American Family Radio banner.

View the media page for AFA here. For more information on American Family Association, visit or follow AFA on Facebook or Twitter @AmericanFamAssc.


To interview a representative of the American Family Association, contact, Beth Harrison, 610.584.1096, ext. 105, or Deborah Hamilton, ext. 102.