Christian persecution reaches historic levels
A new report reveals that Christian persecution is worse now than at any other point in history.
The Persecuted and Forgotten Report, produced by Aid to the Church in Need, concludes that the persecution of Christians reached its highest level in 2015-17 with growing attacks by ISIS, Boko Haram and other extremist groups.
The editor of the report John Pontifex stated: “In terms of the numbers of people involved, the gravity of the crimes committed and their impact, it is clear that the persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history. Not only are Christians more persecuted than any other faith group, but ever-increasing numbers are experiencing the very worst forms of persecution.”
The report found that members of China’s 127 million-strong Christian population have suffered growing persecution following new attempts to bring Christianity in line with communist ideals. More than 2,000 churches and crosses have been pulled down in China’s coastal Province of Zhejiang—and clergy are still being routinely detained by authorities.
During the campaign of genocide by ISIS and other Islamist militant groups in the Middle East, Christians were disproportionately affected by the extremists.
In Iraq, more than half of the country’s Christian population became internal refugees and Syria’s second city of Aleppo, which until 2011 was home to the largest Christian community, saw numbers dropping from 150,000 to barely 35,000 by spring 2017—a fall of more than 75 percent.
Despite national governments and international organizations having declared that a genocide has taken place, local Church leaders in the Middle East have said that they feel forgotten by the international community—which they claim is overlooking the needs of displaced Christians.
Extremism has been a growing problem in Africa—particularly in Nigeria where ISIS affiliate Boko Haram has displaced more than 1.8 million people.
In one diocese alone—Kafanchan—within five years, 988 people had been killed, and 71 Christian-majority villages had been destroyed, as well as 2,712 homes and 20 churches.
Click here to access Aid to the Church in Need UK’s website.
The above article is adapted from https://www.churchinneed.org/christian-persecution-reaches-historic-levels/