The Tide® has been broadcasting the Gospel over radio airwaves for much of its 70-plus-year existence. And each year, it seems that more and more Christians are experiencing persecution where The Tide shares the hope of Christ.
Four countries where The Tide works to broadcast Gospel radio programming are ranked on the most recent World Watch List from Open Doors USA. The annual list highlights the top 50 nations where Christians are persecuted for their beliefs. The 2018 list includes India (No. 11), Nigeria (No. 14), Nepal (No. 25) and Bhutan (No. 33)—all locations where The Tide ministry partners with organizations and pastors to share the Gospel.
“It’s especially discouraging—and sometimes frightening—to hear of the persecution believers face in the countries where The Tide ministry operates,” said The Tide Director Don Shenk. “Some of these countries seem to be climbing higher and higher on the list each year, or suddenly appear on the list when they had previously not been ranked. But we know God is in control, and rewards those who faithfully follow His Word and trust in Him. We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters who are working on the ground in these countries—both for their safety and for their resolve.”
The Tide has been sharing the Gospel in India for 40 years. This Hindu nation ranks near the top of the list and is categorized as having “extreme persecution” because of the radical Hindu groups that use violence to eradicate all other religions, including Christianity and Islam.
According to Open Doors, in the southern part of Nigeria, Christians experience religious freedom. But in the north and Middle Belt regions, they suffer from violence perpetrated by Islamic militant groups. Death, physical injury and loss of property are commonplace, as well as loss of land and livelihood. Christians from Muslim backgrounds also face persecution from their own families, and corruption has made the government ill-equipped to protect Christians from violent attacks.
Nepal, at No. 25, was not even ranked in last year’s list, Shenk says. Open Doors reports that all Christian communities in Nepal are experiencing some form of persecution, but at varying levels. Converts from Hinduism experience the worst pressure—mostly from family, friends, community and local authorities—to recant their faith.
In Bhutan, because Buddhism and traditional Bhutanese religions are seen as the country’s heritage, Christians experience tremendous pressure to conform—and are persecuted accordingly—the Open Doors report finds. No churches are formally recognized, meaning that all Christian worship is technically illegal. Baptisms cannot be held in public, and Christian burials are often denied.
Listeners in these persecuted countries are able to listen to The Tide Gospel programs through the generosity of donors who give just $40 toward radios and media players through which the programs can be heard. For more information, click here. With almost a quarter of the world’s population living within the current range of The Tide radio programming, and nearly 7,000 languages spoken in the world today, the opportunities are tremendous.