Five countries where owning a Bible is a serious offense punishable by heavy penalties

At this very moment, Christians are being decimated for their faith, under the blows of radical Islamist militants from Daesh in the Middle East, or the Al Shabaab group in certain African countries, such as Somalia. Persecution exists in other forms in many countries around the world.

IProhibiting access to the Bible is, for example, a mode of persecution exercised by several governments around the world. In these countries, owning a Bible is an act punishable by law, punishable by detention, prosecution and severe penalties up to the death penalty.

Even if this repression is, in some countries, more insidious than that experienced by Eastern Christians, it robs believers of the source of hope and encouragement that is the Bible. The authorities thus prevent believers from being edified by reading the story of Daniel, saved from the hand of his persecutors, or the teachings of Paul, proclaiming that there is no longer a man or woman or a Jew. nor Greek.

We invite you to discover a non-exhaustive list of countries, where the mere fact of possessing a Bible is an offense punishable by law.

  • North Korea : In this totalitarian state, the only authorized cult and the cult of the leader of the nation, Kim Jong-Un. Bibles are banned in the country. Possessing one leads to imprisonment, torture and death. This penalty can be imposed on 3 generations of the family of the person found guilty.
  • Maldives: Far from the cliché of the dream and luxury destination, the repression of the Christian faith is very strong in this country due to the adoption and enforcement of strict Islamic laws. Importation of the Bible is prohibited. There is currently no complete translation of the Bible into Dhivehi, the official language of this small tropical nation.
  • Morocco : Reports of overt persecution of Christians are rare. However, it is forbidden to import or possess a Bible translated into Arabic in this country.
  • Libya: Bibles distribution and evangelism are illegal in this country. Just like in Morocco, it is forbidden to import a bible in Arabic.
  • Uzbekistan: In this Central Asian dictatorship, the authorities keep in detention any person possessing a Bible, on the grounds of "possession and storage of extremist material with a view to future distribution".

Closer to us, in the United States, theAmerican Library Association recently revealed that the Bible is one of the 10 most contested books in libraries, and that more and more proceedings are underway to have Bibles removed from shelves. This opposition to the Bible, even if it is a new phenomenon, causes concern and invites us to remain vigilant and to appreciate our current freedom to practice our faith in complete freedom.

We remind you that the index of persecution of Christians in the world is available on the site Open doors. We find in the lead, North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan and Syria, where the repression is particularly bloody.

HL

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