Christian women could be considered the most vulnerable people in the world right now.
Earlier this month Open Doors USA released its World Watch List for 2018 identifying the top 50 countries where Christian persecution is most severe.
This year, in addition to the persecution trends that extend across the board there is increasingly troubling data that applies only to women.
"During the reporting period, for instance, Open Doors documented 2,260 women who were raped or otherwise sexually harassed, or forced into marriage to a Muslim under threat of death," wrote Open Doors USA president and CEO, David Curry in an op-ed piece for Fox News.
In one case, a 16-year-old Coptic Christian girl, Maat, was kidnapped by five Muslim men in Egypt. They held her hostage and filmed her naked against her will. They then blackmailed the girl into marrying a Muslim extremist by threatening to release the video.
Although Maat's parents reported the incident to the authorities, the men responsible were not arrested, according to Curry.
Open Doors reports that six women are raped, sexually harassed or forced into marriage every day. That number doesn't begin to represent the true extent of the problem, because it only indicates the number of victims who had the courage to come forward and report their assaults.
"The problem is clear and growing: women are being targeted for assault due to both their Christian beliefs and their gender. They are, in essence, 'double persecuted.' And because of that, they deserve double our attention, double our advocacy, double our prayers, and double our support," writes Curry.
Open Doors wants to spur world leaders into action on behalf of these women. They ask that people take to social media using the hashtag #doublepersecuted to increase attention and raise support.
Did you know?
God is everywhere—even in the news. That’s why we view every news story through the lens of faith. We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting CBN News for as little as $1.