The threat of the coronavirus pandemic is beginning to recede in many regions; some drugs are proving effective, a vaccine may be found or humans may gradually build immunity to the virus. But the global impact of the Covid-19 crisis looks set to change our world forever. We explore ten significant geopolitical and social changes likely to have a major impact on the global Church and especially on persecuted Christians.
1 The rise of authoritarian governments
But coronavirus is an emerging disaster on a fully-global scale we have not seen before. Some governments have responded by imposing harsh regimes on their citizens. Many of these restrictions were necessary in the short term to control the virus. But will governments be ready to relinquish the extra powers they have enjoyed in recent months? Or will they seek to consolidate these far-reaching controls over our daily lives and even enshrine them in permanent laws? If so, there is the risk that such powers could be used against religious minorities, and particularly Christians.
2 Growing nationalism, leading to racism and even xenophobia
As the stress of prolonged lockdown continues, we are seeing societies turning in on themselves. National identities, shaped by religion and culture and history, are reasserting themselves leading to nationalism. This “worship of nation” takes the view “My nation right or wrong. My nation exists at the expense of all others.” Patriotism is a love of one’s country, which all people should have. But to worship your country leads to destructive nationalism.