Religions plays a big role in my daily work, especially since most of the inhabitants of my work place, an asylum seekers home, are Muslim. Coming from a conservative, Catholic, Czech family, I probably had a lot of stereotypes and are still confronted with lots of stereotypes, asked by my family, neighbors or friends. They often see Germany with its recent history of opening up for (mostly Muslim) refugees as being kind of „islamized“, they talk about the growing number of mosques and the diminishing number of churches among other topics. Seeing the life of my wards here, I experience the other side: Living a life according to Muslim belief is not easy in Germany, and Islamophobia is rising.
In this environment news of persecuted Christians are highly polarizing, in addition, they are often used for right-wing propaganda. In this sense, they are functioning as as arguments in a kind of battle of religions, which one is right and which one is wrong - While it is a matter of fundamentalism and fanaticism what people do in the name of religion ( best example here are radical Buddhists). A protestant relief organization, Open Doors (http://www.opendoors.org), who tries to help persecuted Christians worldwide is adding fuel to the fire: They state that we are experiences the „worst episode of persecution of Christians of all times“. According to them, approximately 200 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, which is a huge number. In another research, they even claimed there would be a organized persecution of Christians in German asylum seekers homes, led by a cartel of muslim refugees and staff.
Of course, the persecution of people because of their religious beliefs is horrible and to condemn, but putting so much emphasis on the persecution of Christians and publishing research and numbers with dubios background is not helpful. On the contrary, it is very harmful, since it hardens the fronts between Christians and Muslims. Thus, it is very important to have a closer look at the global situation of the persecution of Christians:
In many countries, where Christians are suffering persecution, it is not only against Christians but a oppression of other religions as well, as for example in China or North Korea. North Korea was once known for being a haven for Christians, Pyongyang was even called the „Jerusalem of the East“ - But with the Stalinist regime of Kim Il-Sung, religion itself was considered destructive and counterproductive in the construction of a cult of personality. The NGO Open Doors claims practicing Christians in North Korea are highly endangered, they are imprisoned in labor camps or even killed. It is unclear where they got these information from, since there are very few secured information about the life in North Korea. Officially, it is a land of religious freedom, but its four churches are verifiable state-controlled and more decoration for foreign guests.
Another example is Pakistan: Just recently, there was a shocking news about Asia Bibi, a Christian women who was accused of blasphemy and sentenced to death. Apparently she said in an argument that not Mohammed but Jesus is the true prophet. Every pejorative expression of Islam are considered as serious crimes, according to the strict blasphemy laws in Pakistan. These laws are not only dangerous to Christians but also for Muslims, which are the religious majority in the country. The blasphemy laws are mostly used in personal conflict regarding property or just envy among neighbors, so actually anybody can fear charges based on that law; Still Christians, as well as people of other faiths are more likely to be suspected of „blasphemy“.
Even Mexico, where Christianity is the dominant religion, is listed by Open Doors as a hostile environment for Christians, since the number of murdered pastors and priest is extremely high. Only in 2017, 884 clergy have been threatened and blackmailed, in 2018 7 Catholic priests have been killed, some were even found with evidence of torture. But this is no religious war and attacks on Christians, but has to be understood as a part of the brutal drug war in Mexico. Since 80% of the population is Catholic, priests and members of the church play an important role in the communities, they are often socially engaged and are condemning the power of drug cartels - What makes them a target of these violent cartels.
Considering these example, the claims and number of Open Doors are just misinterpretations, most of the violence against Christians is not because they are Christians, but because they live in an environment which is hostile agains religion in general, where fundamental islamic laws are used in private conflicts or where everyone who opposes drug cartels is in danger. This demonstrates that mostly religion is used as a pretext, to establish and maintain power as well as for greed and jealousy. Of course, persecution of Christians exists, but generally all persecution of humans due to their beliefs has to be condemned. And in a political contexts of growing conflicts between Christians and Muslims, a united, sectarian front against religious persecution is needed.
Article on the persecution of Christians: https://www.forbes.com/sites/ewelinaochab/2018/12/26/the-uk-to-investigate-persecution-of-christians-around-the-world/#167dd7966bcf
A more critical article (unfortunately I found it only in German): https://www.evangelisch.de/inhalte/134807/25-05-2016/open-doors-fas-streit-um-christenverfolgung-fluechtlingsheimen