As children grow up, many wonder what their future will look like. What kind of career path they will choose and what jobs will they have? What will their families look like and how will their spiritual life develop? But what if a key factor shaping their futures was religious persecution?
The specific religious persecution (SRP) research on Christian children and youth, confirms a widespread pattern of young Christians being targeted and has found that experiencing faith-based discrimination, harassment and violence can alter their whole lives. The persecution they experience is typically isolating, harsh and identity-shaping.
Children have little to no access to Bibles, youth groups, and Christian teaching and materials can also be restricted in an attempt to dissuade them from their faith.
According to the Interim Children & Youth Report, education is a key factor in shaping the future opportunities of children and teenagers. Discrimination can restrict children’s pathways and embed cycles of stigma and poverty within Christian communities and families.
A Christian explains one of the impacts of discrimination on children’s pathways: “If you live in a society where you don’t have respect from other people, the believers’ children will struggle with having good mental health in the long run. They can be depressed.”
Open Doors is committed to partnering with the local church to support children and youth in ending this stigma, making sure that Christian children receive the gift of a safer future.
Click here to help give persecuted children the gift of a safer future.