Forbes | Ewelina U. Ochab | Nov. 30, 2019
Acts of violence based on religion or belief are on the increase globally. This includes atrocities that amount to genocide and crimes against humanity. While such acts of violence (and also severe deprivation of human rights) affect all religious groups (especially minority religious groups), over the recent months, report after report has been raising the issues that relate to the persecution of Christians globally.
A recent report, produced by the Bishop of Truro for the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office, identified “a global phenomenon of discriminatory behavior and physical attacks, some sadly deadly, on Christian children, women and men, often from the world’s poorest communities.” Studies consistently show that Christians suffer significantly higher levels of persecution and intolerance. In June 2018, the Pew Research Center stated that over the course of 2016 Christians suffered harassment in 144 countries. By this calculation, Christians emerge as the world’s “most widely targeted” faith group, slightly ahead of Islam.” Similarly, Open Doors’ World Watch List 2019 shows an increase in the persecution of Christians in 73 countries (affecting 245 million Christians). It says that Christians faced extreme, very high and high levels of persecution in 2018. According to Open Doors, the data for 2018 suggest an increase from 58 countries (215 million Christians) in 2017. However, as another recent report “Persecuted and Forgotten”, produced by the pontifical charity Aid to the Church in Need, emphasises “in spite of the growing wealth of information on the subject, the extent of the crisis facing Christians persecuted for their faith remains little known and understood.”