Push-Pull Factors

By: Emily Shrimpton

Religious Persecution

North Korea's persecution of Christians was due to communist oppression and dictatorial paranoia, explained Open Doors in its 2014 World Watch List. Open Doors announced the rankings for its 2014 World Watch List, which documented the 50 nations least tolerant of their Christian population, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The Christian persecution watchdog group's methodology involved measuring the level of Christian freedom found in five spheres of life: private, family, community, national, and church. A sixth sphere regarding degree of violence also factors in to the rankings.


Ethnic Persecution

Even before the deposing of Muslim Brotherhood-backed Mohamed Morsi as president of Egypt triggered widespread attacks against Christians, Islamic extremist violence against Coptic Christians reached a shocking a new high during his tenure. Attacks in 2013 were more brazen as well as more frequent than in previous years, according to rights groups. More than 200 Muslim rioters attacked Coptic Christians attending a funeral service on April 7 at St. Mark's Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo for four Copts killed two days earlier in an anti-Christian rampage.


Environmental Factors

Stockholm (AFP) - Sweden scores high in international rankings of mining nations, but concern is growing that the Scandinavian country is selling its vast underground resources far too cheap. While concession fees are kept deliberately low in order to attract miners, critics say all nine million Swedes could and should benefit the same way that their Norwegian neighbours all profit from their national oil wealth.


Economic Motives

The federal government is evaluating trade and investment opportunities in dozens of developing countries to help determine how foreign aid should be disbursed, raising questions about whether Canada’s push for “economic diplomacy” is an effective way to reduce global poverty. An internal analysis of bilateral aid programs, produced by the Canadian International Development Agency and obtained by The Globe and Mail, suggests Canada’s commercial interests have become a key consideration in determining how much aid a developing country will receive. The report, titled Reviewing CIDA’s Bilateral Engagement, was written shortly before CIDA was merged with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in June.



Political Factors

There is little doubt that democracy has won the battle of ideas in the world. Despite a generally low trust in politicians and representative institutions throughout the West, no credible system of political ideas has so far emerged to seriously challenge the notion that democracy is the best system of government—not even China’s seemingly successful blend of capitalism and authoritarian government. Even in the Arab world, seemingly so resistant to democratisation, large majorities routinely proclaim support for democracy.


Forced Migration

Some 130,000 people have lost their lives in the civil war in Syria that has been going on for some three years. The picture that emerges when the injured, detained, the missing, those who have lost their homes and refugees are added to the overall picture reveals the full horror going on in the country. Cities are being destroyed in Syria, and the country now looks like nothing but a huge pile of debris. The settlements resemble graveyards with no life, no movement. However, Assad still claims to be the so-called president of these empty lands, the so-called leader of the physically non-existent Syria.