Good News - February 2023

NEWS 41 FEBRUARY 2023 Good News • South Florida Edition WorldWatch List Reveals Increasing Christian Persecution According to the World Watch List 2023, Open Doors’ annual ranking of the 50 countries where Christians face the most extreme persecution, more than 360 million Christian suffered high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith worldwide. Open Doors’ mission is to ensure that persecuted Christians do not suffer alone – but are connected to the worldwide church for support and encouragement. Since 1993, the World Watch List has revealed the scale and severity of the persecution of Christians. In the last 30 years, the number of countries where Christians suffer high and extreme levels of persecution has almost doubled to 76 countries. 5,621 Christians were killed for their faith last year. 90% of these were from Nigeria alone. The huge increase in violence in Nigeria and SubSaharan Africa has caused more Christians to lose their lives in the last 5 years. Christians killed in 2023 numbered 80% more than five years ago (3,066). North Korea has returned to no. 1 with the highest levels of persecution ever seen. Its score of 98, an all-time high, reflects an increase in arrests of Christians, and housechurches discovered and closed – under a new ‘anti-reactionary thought law’. Open Doors ranked the following countries for the highest levels of Christian persecution: 1. North Korea, 2. Somalia, 3. Yemen, 4. Eritrea, 5. Libya, 6. Nigeria, 7. Pakistan, 8. Iran, 9. Afghanistan, 10. Sudan, 11. India, 12. Syria, 13. Saudi Arabia, 14. Myanmar, 15. Maldives, 16 China, 17. Mali, 18. Iraq, 19. Algeria, 20. Mauritania. For the complete list and more details, visit Dozens of Broward voters rallied January 21 in downtown Fort Lauderdale to demand that the Republican-led Florida legislature pass a "Heartbeat Bill" in its 2023 session which opens March 7. The lifesavingmeasure protects unborn children from abortiononce their beatinghearts are detectable by ultrasound—at about six weeks gestation. The measure cut the number of Texas abortions in half after it became law in September 2021. The Broward Right to Lifesponsored rally featured Janet Porter, the architect and driving force behind the Heartbeat Bill nationwide. Porter listed the 22 states which have adopted laws protecting babies from conception or once their hearts are beating. "The question that remains, 'Where is Florida?'" Porter declared. "It's time for Florida to keep hearts beating and to pass a Heartbeat Bill at a minimum." "Roe is gone, and so are all the excuses not to act," said Porter, the founder and president Faith2Action. Broward Right to Life executive director Tewannah Aman urged rally attendees to contact Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida legislature to urge passage of a Heartbeat Bill this year. To watch the rally and get contact information for DeSantis and Florida legislators, visit Rally Demands Heartbeat Bill Passage Image Credit: Heartbeat Bill architect Janet Folger called on the Florida legislature to pass a Heartbeat Bill in its upcoming session at a Jan. 21 rally in downtown Fort Lauderdale.