76% of Americans Want Next President to Address Global Persecution of Christians

Clinton and Trump Urged to Take a Stand on International Religious Freedom

A new survey has unearthed an issue that is important to Americans but has been absent thus far from the presidential election: global Christian persecution.

The survey, commissioned by Open Doors USA and conducted online in March 2016 by Harris Poll, asked U.S. adults if they agreed or disagreed with the following statement: It is important to me that the next U.S. President be committed to addressing the persecution that some Christians face around the world (e.g., imprisonment, beheadings, rape, loss of home and assets). Seventy-six percent of adults agreed.

With the Republican National Convention this week and the Democratic National Convention just days away, each party’s leading candidate is shifting attention to the fight ahead: the general election in November. But neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump has taken a public position to date on the rise of global religious persecution. Open Doors is hoping to change that well before Election Day.

An organization that has been advocating for and equipping persecuted Christians for more than 60 years, Open Doors is calling on the nominees from both parties to publicly state their plans of action for addressing religious persecution.

“Persecution of Christians, as well as adherents of other faiths, has grown exponentially in recent years,” said Open Doors USA President and CEO David Curry. “Governments are clamping down on religious freedom of expression, causing millions to face displacement, harassment, imprisonment, beatings and even death. Americans are looking to each presidential candidate for clear and decisive plans to address this growing global crisis.”

Last year, according to Open Doors, more than 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith. In Iraq and Syria, Christians continue to face severe persecution at the hands of ISIS. In Nigeria, Christians are targeted by Boko Haram and other groups. In North Korea, an estimated 50,000 – 70,000 Christians are confined in modern-day concentration camps.

Open Doors is encouraging concerned Americans to express their desire to hear from each presidential candidate on the issue of religious persecution by signing a petition from Open Doors at OpenDoorsUSA.org.

“At Open Doors, our work brings us up close and personal with the suffering of persecuted Christians—and that means we are also a witness to the heartbreaking persecution faced by those belonging to other faiths,” said Curry. “This campaign is an effort to urge the candidates to state clearly their plans of action for addressing the drastic rise in religious persecution faced by millions around the globe.”


Survey Methodology

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Open Doors from March 23 to 28, 2016, among 2,120 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact OpenDoors@DeMoss.com.


About Open Doors USA

For more than 60 years, Open Doors USA has worked in the world's most oppressive and restrictive countries for Christians. Open Doors works to equip and encourage Christians living in dangerous circumstances with the threat of persecution and equips the Western church to advocate for the persecuted. Christians are one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world and are oppressed in at least 60 countries. For more information, visit OpenDoorsUSA.org.