I heard this statistic thrown out on a radio program yesterday, and was immediately a little skeptical. I found the reference to it, which states:
Skeptical in the first place, but seeing the origin of the number makes me think that there’s no way that number is accurate. Take the most noteworthy examples put forth in the article:
Not very good examples, if you ask me…in none of these cases was the person killed explicity for being Christian.
I strongly suspect that the 150,000 is attained by co-opting murders of any Christian if there is the least religious connection.
For example, persecution and ‘religious cleansing’ in Nigeria, also cited in the article. It mentions cleansing against Christians in the country’s north. From my limited knowledge of the area, I’m aware that there are many, many different groups that may not get along with each other. What are the odds that the Christians being pursued are also not hated because of a tribal/ethnic/traditional reason? If that is the case, then the fact that they are Christian is incidental.
On a related note, the host of the program threw out a number, I don’t remember exactly what it was but it was large, stating how many Christians currently live in squalid poverty. (If you can’t tell already, it was a poor-us-Christians-we-suffer-so-much-but-it’s-ok-Jesus-love-us show).
I think one very good reason that number is so high is that Christian missionaries have a habit of traveling to places rife with squalid poverty, ‘converting’ the masses, and then calling them (and counting them as) Christian regardless of whether they retain the religion or not. I understand this accounts for a very large percentage of the huge number of adherents the Mormon church claims.
And finally, the topic of persecution of Coptic Christians in Egypt came up. My off-the-cuff flippant comment to that was “Easy enough to solve…don’t be 1) Christian 2) in Egypt.”
So, ae there any actual facts to back up the numbers claimed. I feel like the’re probably ginned up as part of the faux-persecution crusade that US Christians are currently on.