01/04/2017 Washington, D.C. (International Christian Concern) –
Persecution watchdog and aid organization
International Christian Concern (ICC) today released its annual
“Hall of Shame” report for 2016, highlighting the world’s 12
countries that are the worst persecutors of Christians.
The report divides countries into three categories –
“Worst of the Worst,” “Core Countries” and
“New and Noteworthy,” which includes the United States,
as well as Russia and Mexico. This is the first time the
Washington D.C.-based organization, which has assisted
persecuted Christians since 1995, has included the
United States in its annual “Hall of Shame.”
“We felt it was very important this year that we highlight
three countries where religious discrimination and persecution
are deemed unusual but have reached a certain threshold of concern.
These are Mexico, Russia, and sadly, the United States,” said Jeff King,
ICC President. “While conditions in the US are in no way comparable
to other countries on the list, a certain segment of the culture and the
courts seem to be intent on driving faith out of the public square.
There have been too many court cases with bad decisions to miss
the clear trend line.”
Exit polls made it clear Supreme Court nominations and
religious liberty were two driving forces in the outcome of
the 2016 US election. President-elect Trump promised to place
conservative justices who would uphold issues important to
people of faith on the Supreme Court, and he promised to
protect the First Amendment and religious freedom.
Many voters heard these promises, and according to a CNN
exit poll, 56 percent of Trump supporters said Supreme Court
nominations was their main reason for voting. Additionally,
56 percent of Protestant Christians (80 percent of White
Evangelicals) voted for Mr. Trump.
“The Founders carefully and deliberately placed religious freedom
as the first liberty because it encompasses several fundamental
rights including thought, speech, expression and assembly,” the
“Hall of Shame” states. “The First Amendment explicitly grants
freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. The essential
aim is to protect the right of citizens to practice religion in the
Christians in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, North Korea, Egypt,
and Pakistan, among others. Featured prominently in
the report, Saudi Arabia takes the “lead place” in the
“core of the Hall of Shame” largely due to its decades
-long funding of radical Islamic movements globally.
According to the report, Saudi textbooks “can be found
in schools across the Muslim world” and “teach
discrimination against Christians and Jews while
encouraging the spread of Islam through jihad as a
The 2016 report also includes a case study on India which
examines an “escalation of attacks on Christians in India
coinciding with the rise of the Bharatiya Janata Party.”
ICC recorded over 272 attacks on Christians and their
places of worship in India in the first nine months of
2016, marking a “dramatic escalation” over 2015.
Jeff King stated, “The amount of violence, imprisonment
and discrimination against Christians being reported to us
by our networks around the world is simply catastrophic.
The report calls out and shames governments who allow
rampant attacks on believers to take place or are directly
involved in prosecuting Christians for their faith. It also
warns of countries where religious freedom is deteriorating
rapidly and serves as a wake-up call for churches around
the world, regardless of denomination, to come to the aid
of our brothers and sisters who suffer so much for the cause
Click here to download the complete 2016
“Hall of Shame” report.