Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Christian persecution on the increase

The persecution of Christians across the world is getting worse - and getting worse fast.

Each January Open Doors publishes a World Watch List of the 50 countries in the world where it is most dangerous to be a Christian - in other words, the 50 countries where persecution is at its most severe. Its World Watch List 2016 is published today.

It shows that well over 7,000 Christians were killed for faith-related reasons in the reporting period - a rise of almost 3,000 on the previous year. This does not include North Korea, Syria and Iraq, where accurate records do not exist.

Around 2,300 churches were attacked or damaged, more than double the number for last year.

Systematic  religious cleansing is widespread across Africa and the Middle East. Every year well over 100 million Christians are persecuted because of their beliefs. Extreme Islamic fundamentalism is rising most sharply in sub-Saharan Africa, where more people are killed for their Christian faith than anywhere else in the world.

North Korea tops the list of offending countries for the 14th successive year. In North Korea there are estimated to be about 70,000 Christians imprisoned in labour camps. Christians who worship in secret face death if they are discovered.

Iraq, where a 2,000-year-old church is on the verge of extinction, is second. Eritrea is third, followed by Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran and Libya.

More than 120 MPs were expected to attend a meeting at the House of Commons this afternoon to discuss Christian persecution.

You can read more details here

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