Cross_Darkness_(1670488216)John Stonestreet at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview has published a commentary this week highlighting the intense persecution many Christians face around the globe.

Stonestreet writes,

“North Korean secret agents have martyred a Korean Chinese pastor who lived in Chiangbai, a town on the Chinese side of the Sino-Korean border. Han Choong Yeol was active in helping North Korean refugees by giving them food, medicine, clothing and other goods they needed for survival back in North Korea.

“[On] April 30th, pastor Han left his home just after noon and was supposed to return before 5 p.m. When he didn’t come back, a search was set up. Around 8 p.m., his lifeless body was found, visibly maimed by stab and axe wounds.

“… Han was 49 and leaves behind a wife, a son and a daughter as well as the local Three Self-Church …that he pastored.”

And of course there was the Easter suicide bombing targeting Christians in Lahore, Pakistan, at a public park. The attack left 72 people dead and 341 wounded. At least 24 children were among those who died. An offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, Jamat-ul-Ahrar, has claimed responsibility.

This is not an isolated incident, unfortunately. He goes to identify new reports that have been published this year highlighting the countries responsible for the most religious persecution–and the type of persecution and martyrdom many Christians face.

As Stonestreet notes, religious freedom is something we all have a stake in–both at home and around the globe.

Click here to read John Stonestreet’s full commentary, or listen to it below.

[audio:|titles=New Reports on Religious Freedom by John Stonestreet]

Photo Credit: By Helgi Halldórsson from Reykjavík, Iceland (darkness) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.