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Persecution Of Christians Soars

by | Mon, Jan 16 2023

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A new report by Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) reveals that persecution and oppression of Christians has soared by 75% in the past two years.

ACN monitors 24 countries and found systematic violence being used to control believers in North Korea, China, Afghanistan and Myanmar.

Its report titled Persecuted and Forgotten showed a worsening situation in Nigeria and India.

It reported a sharp rise in genocidal violence by Islamic extremists across Africa.

Nigeria has seen around 10,000 Christians killed in the past two years.

Amid growing alarm about the increasing violence in his country, Nigerian Bishop Jude Arogundade said:

“No-one seems to pay attention to the genocide taking place in swathes of the north and the Middle Belt: The world is silent as attacks on Churches, their personnel and institutions have become routine. How many corpses are required to get the world’s attention?”

The bishop told Premier Christian News that Nigerian Christians are very afraid.

His diocese of Ondo was targeted by gunmen who killed more than 40 people at a packed Sunday service last June.

Religious nationalism has triggered increasing violence against Christians in South Asia with Hindu and Sinhalese Buddhist nationalist groups active in India and Sri Lanka respectively.

Authorities have arrested believers and stopped church services.

During a mass rally, members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) applauded as a right-wing Hindu religious leader called for Christians to be killed.

ACN also underlined a threat to three of the world’s oldest Christian communities in Iraq, Syria and Palestine where believers are fleeing violent persecution.

In Syria, Christians plummeted from 10% of the population to less than 2%, falling from 1.5 million just before the civil war began to around 300,000 today.

Despite a slower rate of exodus in Iraq, the Christian community numbering around 300,000 before the 2014 insurgency by Islamic State militants, had halved to 150,000 by last year.