The new edition of this report by Aid to the Church in Need spans two years, and measures religious freedom around the world. From June 2014 to June 2016, violent acts of religious persecution have taken place in 38 countries, mainly in Northern Africa, Middle East, Asia, and especially North Korea, the most dangerous countries for Christians.
Amongst the people attending there were cardinal Mauro Piacenza, president of Aid to the Church in Need, Assyrian-Catholic Archbishop Jacques Hindo, from Raqqa (Syria), the capital of the Islamic State, who has contributed with his valuable testimony to the understanding of the situation of Christians in the Middle East.
At the same time, yesterday, the statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro was lit up. The lighting up of Westminster Abbey is also expected in the coming days. They are strong signals that the world is growing aware that persecuted Christians and minorities cannot be abandoned. The report, in fact is not limited to data for persecuted Christians; it includes information about other religious minorities.
Even though religious persecution is on the rise in many countries (in others the situation is improving) “our weapon is hope.”