- Well, welcome to The 700 Club.
In the Middle East,parts of Africa and Asia,
it's dangerous to be afollower of Jesus Christ.
A new report says more than 245million Christians worldwide
are highly persecuted for their faith.
- Every year, the Watchdoggroup opened doors,
releases a list of countries that are
the worst persecutors of Christians.
CBN's White Housecorrespondent, Ben Kennedy,
has a closer look.
- The Trump administration
makes religious freedom a priority.
Case in point, fighting for the release
of Pastor Andrew Brunson from Turkey.
But there is more the government can do
and that's really thebackbone behind this list.
- Oh you who believe answer the call--
- [Ben] The spread of radicalIslam increases the danger
for Christians worldwide.
- Many Christians are beingkilled because of their faith
and I know many familiesthat they have lost
so many family membersbecause of their faith.
- [Ben] Father Daniel preachesto nearly 200 families
in Iraq where he faces intensepersecution by Al-Quaeda.
You told me many priests are leaving
because it's quite frankly not safe.
Why are you staying?
- Well, I'm staying because,to stay with my people.
So, this is the onlything which is keeping me
staying there and working within
because they need help now urgently.
So, if I'm not going to bethere, who's going to help them?
- [Ben] Each year, theWatchdog group opened doors.
U.S.A. documents the most oppressive
and restricted countries for Christians.
Topping the list is NorthKorea followed by Afghanistan.
Somali, Libya, and Pakistan.
- We believe now based upon our research
that there's over 245 million Christians
who live in areas ofextreme or high persecution.
It's a lot.
- [Ben] He adds thatviolence against Christians
increased dramaticallythis past year in China.
- [David] They moved up from number 41
to number 27 on the list.
- [Ben] That's a big jump.
- It's a huge jump and itshows that things are getting
more difficult for Chinaand it's a big church
so a lot of people, millionsof people, are affected.
- [Ben] North Korea remains number one
for 18th year in a row despitetalks between President Trump
and Dictator Kim Jong-un.
- I would love to seehuman rights be a part
of the discussion when you'retalking about nuclear arms
because you can tell within30, 60, 90 days if conditions
have improved for Christiansthat are in the labor camps.
Right now, there's over 60,000 Christians
in labor camps in North Korea.
A lot of people don't know that.
- [Ben] Vice PresidentMike Pence reaffirmed
that The White Housewill always be a champion
for people of faith.
- Protecting and promotingreligious freedom
is a foreign policy priorityof this administration.
- Ben Kennedy, CBN News, The White House.
- In other news, democrats aredemanding new investigations
after a report claims PresidentTrump told former attorney,
Michael Cohen, to lie to congress.
Efrem Graham has morefrom the CBN newsroom.
Gordon, the report Buzzfeednews cites two anonymous
law enforcement officialswho say Cohen admitted
to the special prosecutorthe president told him to lie
about a developingbusiness deal with Russia.
According to the report,Cohen says he told congress
that business negotiationsended months earlier
than they actually didto minimize Mr. Trump's
involvement with Russia.
The president's attorney, RudyGiuliani, fired back saying,
"If you believe Cohen, Ican get you a great deal
on the Brooklyn Bridge."
The Buzzfeed report saysthat the claim is supported
by other witnesses, emails,text messages, and documents
from within the Trump administration.
The second lady of the United States
is returning to the classroom to teach art
but news Karen Pence will teach.
And an elementary schoolin northern Virginia
is being met with criticism.
Teachers at Immanuel Christian School
must sign a statement,"Marriage is the uniting
of one man and one woman."
That traditional marriagepolicy stole the headlines
and a CNN op-ed charged
the Pences with "astonishingmoral hypocrisy."
In an interview with EternalWorld Television network,
the vice president took the media to task.
- My wife and I have been
in the public eye for quite awhile.
We're used to the criticism.
But I have to tell you, tosee major news organizations
attacking Christian educationis deep offensive to us.
This criticism of Christian education
in America should stop.
- Mrs. Pence previously taughtat this school for 12 years.
For more on this story andothers, go cbnnews.com.