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FREEDOM

Test Your Knowledge of Persecution

By Dan Wooding
Assist News Service

CBN.com -- SANTA ANA, CA (ANS) -- The Compass Direct News Service, based in Santa Ana, CA, has issued a challenge to Christians around the world to test their knowledge of Christian persecution.

In a quiz that is on their Web site www.compassdirect.org -- they have posed Ten Questions to Challenge and Encourage.

In an introduction to the quiz, Compass Direct declared, "An expert on Christian education in the United States recently said, 'Our culture has lost the love of learning.'"

The statement seems especially true regarding how much we know about Christians who suffer for their faith. Despite the wealth of information that is available and the blazing speed of access, Christians who worship in freedom continue to demonstrate an amazing lack of awareness of the Persecuted Church.

Are you ready to test your knowledge of the status of Christian persecution? If so, answer the following 10 questions as best you can. But be warned: Some are not as straightforward as they seem.

The first three questions are:

1. How many persecuted Christians are there?

a. 10 million
b. 200 million
c. 1 billion
d. There is no Christian persecution

If you answered "d" you are totally out of touch with reality. Subtract five (5) points! Most experts suggest there are about 200 million Christians worldwide who suffer persecution for their faith, with another 200 million to 400 million who face discrimination in some form simply for being a Christian. Correct answer: "b" -- 200 million. Quite staggering, isn't it? Correct answer good for one (1) point.

2. The events of September 11, 2001, had little direct impact on Christian persecution in 2002.

a. True
b. False

Answer: False. Dozens of well-documented cases were reported in 2001 and 2002 where attacks on Christians were made in retaliation for the bombing in Afghanistan or other "atrocities" committed by the West. Muslim fundamentalists often portray Christianity as a Western religion, which puts Christians in Muslim areas in danger. Besides reported cases, it's likely there are many more that go unreported.

As the polarization between Christianity and Islam increases, Christian persecution will also increase. Christians who are the most vulnerable will suffer the most.

However, military action by the West is not the only thing that incites attacks on Christians. A controversial but well-publicized statement by a Western political or religious leader can also have repercussions. For example, Jerry Falwell, Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson have been both admired and demonized because of opinions they've expressed about Islam in recent months. Suffering the most, however, is the Christian minority in countries where religious liberty is limited and fundamentalists exercise heightened influence.

Fundamentalist anger is often directed at the poor, minority Christian. Score one point (1) for "false."

3. A military attack on Iraq would cause greater difficulties for Christians living in Muslim-dominated areas.

a. True
b. False

Answer: True -- good for one point (1). If you answered "false," go back and read the previous section. War by nature brings hardship. But Christians in Muslim areas would suffer even more because they are perceived as having a "Western faith," and by default would be linked to an attack on a Muslim country by the "Christian West."

The Compass Direct editor then said, "This brief exam made some attempts at levity, but it is not meant to trivialize the severe pressures millions of Christians face daily for their faith. On the contrary, it is designed to remind Christians who live in freedom that their experience is not necessarily the norm. We at Compass Direct hope this reminder will bring a redoubling of effort to come to the aid of the Persecuted Church."

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Currently working in 60 countries with 23 international offices and over 300 staff worldwide, Open Doors with Brother Andrew delivers Bibles and other study materials, provides literacy training and pastoral training and advocates on behalf of those who are persecuted for their faith in Christ Jesus.Open Doors will celebrate 50 years of ministry in 2005. To partner with Open Doors call 949-752-6600, go to its USA web site at www.opendoorsusa.org or write Open Doors with Brother Andrew, PO Box 27001, Santa Ana, CA 92799.

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