As global persecution rages, a watchdog has launched a first-of-its-kind, open-sourced database allowing people to track incidents of violent religious persecution.
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Global Christian Relief and the International Institute for Religious Freedom have teamed up to create the Violent Incidents Database (VID), which is being dubbed the “first and only events-based global religious freedom dataset.”
David Curry, CEO of Global Christian Relief, told CBN News the database will help give a voice to persecuted Christians and others across the world, as it tracks killings, abductions, forced marriages, arrests, and other acts of persecution, allowing users to search by religion, country, and perpetrator.
“I’m concerned about … this enormous growth in religious persecution, be it the persecution of Christians, which is the largest minority group, as far as numbers, that faces severe persecution, or if it’s antisemitism,” Curry said, warning that there are diabolical “governments, and dictators, and extremists” who want to control peoples religious inclinations.
Watch Curry explain:
He pointed to the plight of not just Christians but also groups like Uyghurs whom the Chinese have rounded up and put in concentration camps. Plus, nations like Nigeria face escalating persecution crises, with Christians being slaughtered by Muslim extremists at a rapid rate.
Persecution, Curry said, is a plight that must be called out and halted.
“I’m a follower of Jesus, and I want to support the church, the persecuted believers, wherever they may be, to practice their faith, to worship Jesus, to read their Bible in peace, civilly, within whatever country and context they’re in,” he said.
The VID database tracks thousands of incidents of persecution starting with 2022 data, though Curry cautioned that the dataset isn’t “exhaustive,” as it’s impossible to capture every incident, particularly in countries where communicating persecution comes with intensive barriers.
“What we’ve done here is worked with the Institute for International Religious Freedom, and we have researchers and academics who are looking across the database of incidents that can be proven, that are sort of verified in the public sphere,” he said. “And, obviously, then you have networks of people within the countries that are reporting incidents.”
Curry is hoping the VID database helps inspire Christians to learn more about the horrific types of persecution raging across the world.
“We need to wake up on this subject and know that we are called to pray for, care for, support people who are persecuted for the name of Jesus, imprisoned for the name of Jesus, abducted for the name of Jesus,” he said. “We need to stand up for this freedom. … I want the church to awaken.”
Find out more about the VID here.