The Problem

It is sadly all too easy to overlook the reality and the enormity of the human rights situation around the globe today, especially in a culture of relative comfort, excessive busyness, and media that is far more preoccupied with the the state of the marriages of movie stars than with that of humanity in general. It is often tempting to forget there is a problem altogether.

That being said, the facts and statistics documenting the pervasive oppression, poverty, and persecution in which huge percentages of the world's population exist could fill several volumes. Here are just a few to give a tiny glimpse into the scope of the problem (for a more extensive listing of persecution facts, go to the link persecution facts):

  • Between 2003 and 2005, an estimated 300,000 people lost their lives in the genocide which ensued in Darfur, Sudan. Approximately, 2.7 million people are currently internally displaced within the country and 4.7 million are being affected by the conflict—experiencing loss of land, property, and income and vulnerability to predatory groups, including gender-based violence.1
  • More Christians have been martyred for their faith in the 20th century than in all the previous 19 centuries combined.2
  • Approximately 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, being exploited by the slave labor and sex trades.3
  1. United Nations statistics taken from
  2. The above facts are taken from Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians Oppressed for Their Faith 2007-2008, by Aid to the Church in Need; The Christian Post news service; and the U.S. Department of State, International Religious Freedom Report 2008. All were reprinted in “Staring Down Hate for Christ,” by Mary Murphy, Purpose Driven Connection (Spring 2009).
  3. Unicef statistic reprinted in “World Watch,” World Vision, Autumn 2010.