Saturday, October 05, 2013

Christians 'the most persecuted religious body on the planet'

A very sobering piece in the Spectator today, following a thread that's started to be picked up by some journalists, after recent comments by Justin Welby. There is a steady drip of stories of Christians being attacked - Peshawar, Kenya, Nigeria, Indonesia, Egypt, Bangladesh, but the focus is usually on the perpetrators, not the victims. But the victims of atrocities, most of the time, are Christians:

According to the International Society for Human Rights, a secular observatory based in Frankfurt, Germany, 80 per cent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed at Christians. Statistically speaking, that makes Christians by far the most persecuted religious body on the planet.

According to the Pew Forum, between 2006 and 2010 Christians faced some form of discrimination, either de jure or de facto, in a staggering total of 139 nations, which is almost three-quarters of all the countries on earth. According to the Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Massachusetts, an average of 100,000 Christians have been killed in what the centre calls a ‘situation of witness’ each year for the past decade. That works out to 11 Christians killed somewhere in the world every hour, seven days a week and 365 days a year, for reasons related to their faith.

In effect, the world is witnessing the rise of an entire new generation of Christian martyrs. The carnage is occurring on such a vast scale that it represents not only the most dramatic Christian story of our time, but arguably the premier human rights challenge of this era as well.

Worth reading it all, but it's hard reading. Lord have mercy.

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