According to a new survey, persecution of Christians is on the rise in at least 18 nations around the world.
“Persecuted and Forgotten?” reads the report. The Catholic organization Help to the Church in Need published “A Report On Christians Persecuted For Their Faith 2020-22” on Nov. 16. It investigated “human rights breaches” in 24 nations where Christian persecution is “of particular concern,” and discovered that situations for Christians have gotten “worse” or “significantly worse” in 18 of them.
“Religious authoritarianism and nationalism exacerbated challenges for the faithful, notably the Taliban’s regain of power in Afghanistan, prompting Christians as well as other minorities to try a desperate flee,” the research noted, outlining some of the factors behind the spike.
The 18 nations were mostly from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. Afghanistan, China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Mali, Syria, Nigeria, Eritrea, Mozambique, Myanmar, Russia, North Korea, Ethiopia Pakistan, Vietnam, India, and Qatar are among the countries involved. The data from 2020-2022 is compared to data from 2017-2019.
Every African country examined has deteriorating conditions for Christians. The report blames the continent’s persecution primarily on “militant non-state actors” and Islamic radicalism, notably Boko Haram and the Islamic State West Africa Province. Due to jihadism, Nigeria is supposedly “on the verge of becoming a failed state,” with kidnappings, church attacks, and priests being slain.
In the Middle East, migration has jeopardized the “world’s most important and oldest Christian communities located in Iraq, Syria, and Palestine,” according to the research. Before the war began, 10% of Syrians, or around 1.5 million individuals, were Christians. According to the research, 300,000 Christians remain, accounting for fewer than 2% of the population.
Authoritarianism from the state is one of the key sources of Christian persecution in Asia, affecting countries like as China, Vietnam, and North Korea. “China keeps harassing and trying to control Christians and members from other religious groups who refuse to accept the standard Communist Party position,” the report claimed.
Open Doors USA, a Christian group devoted to aiding persecuted Christians, publishes an annual “World Watch List” identifying the top 50 nations where Christians face the most persecution. China is ranked 17th in the world for Christian persecution, according to the 2022 World Watch List. According to the organization, surveillance is a big concern since it allows the authorities to observe and shut down churches. Pastors and Christian leaders, according to one source, are “just whisked away, only to reappear months later in a form of house imprisonment, where they are re-educated.”