The early followers of Jesus were persecuted for their faith in both the Jewish and Roman worlds. All of the original disciples died due to persecution except for John. Persecution of believers is growing. According to Open Doors in 2021 over 340 million Jesus followers faced persecution or discrimination because of their faith. There was an alarming 60% increase in deaths in 2019 and an additional 24% increase in 2020–when 5,898 believers were killed for their faith in Jesus.
Persecution of other peoples also continues all over the world especially against minority groups. For 35 years. the Chinese government persecuted its own people, forcing abortions on millions of women with its “one child rule.” Now it is using prisoners and minority peoples like the Uyghurs for its organ transplant industry (see amnesty.org).
Although it is not the same as persecution, innocent people can become targets in border or sovereignty disputes. Two to three million people in Bangladesh were killed when it declared independence from Pakistan in 1971. Russia is massacring civilian Ukrainians in a violent war to take their territory. Conflicts also result in millions of displaced people each year.