In years gone by, Africa was a captivating travel destination. Prospective tourists once dreamed about Mt. Kilimanjaro, colorful ethnic performances, and, of course, safaris. But these days African journeys are notably less enticing. The continent is beset by crippling poverty, widespread political corruption, ever-increasing terrorism – and, of course, the present pandemic. At the same time, millions of Africans suffer under the continuous threat of violence.

Notably, no African population experiences these misfortunes as acutely as the continent’s 685 million Christians. In January, Britain’s Guardian related that worldwide,

“…more than 340 million Christians — one in eight — face high levels of persecution and discrimination because of their faith, according to the 2021 World Watch List compiled by the Christian advocacy group Open Doors. It says there was a 60 percent increase over the previous year in the number of Christians killed for their faith.”

The Guardian’s account went on to say that more than nine out of 10 of the global total of 4,761 deaths were of African Christians. Here’s a look at how that happened and, when relevant, how the U.S. is responding.