These are not good times to be a Christian. This is because one in seven people baptized, lives in a country where they suffer some form of persecution.
This is according to the latest report of the Pontifical Foundation of Aid to the Church in Need. It reveals that out of 196 countries, 38 are exposed to serious or extreme violations of religious freedom.
For this reason, Aid to the Church in Need is carrying out this report to remind everyone that there are still people who are killed for their faith. This organization has been raising awareness about the persecution of Christians throughout the world since 1947.
President ACN, Italy
“Not being aware is one of the causes that lead to indifference. This report is not expressing an opinion, but facts.”
The facts and figures confirm that the situation is getting worse than before for countries such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Afghanistan or Eritrea.
Director ACN, Italy
“What the report reveals and contains is that the community of faith that still suffers most from religious persecution and oppression continues to be the Christian community.” FLASH “There are about 300 million Christians who suffer daily oppression for their faith.”
Persecution in hatred of the faith is also appearing in other forms. For example, religious nationalism is beginning to occur in India and is present in China, as well as North Korea.
Director ACN, Italia
“It is the reality that religious minorities, or all religions, are perceived as disloyal, foreign, and an attack on the unity of the country.”
Despite the negative reports, there are examples of courage and resistance. In Egypt, the hard-hit Christian community perseveres in faith. Additionally, in Pakistan, Christians raise their voices, so that their rights are no longer violated.
MSGR. BOTROS FAHIM HANNA
Coptic Catholic Bishop of Minya, Egypt
“I was born in a village where we were given permission to demolish the old church, but we had to wait 18 years to get permission to rebuild it.”
Advocate High Court of Sindh, Pakistán
“I think the poverty and the lack of education of our Christians is the basis on which the Islamic fundamentalists abuse their social, political, economic and religious powers.”
Religious freedom is not a lost cause though. In some countries, the situation has improved, like in Syria and Iraq after the disappearance of the Islamic State. However, they still have a long way to go to definitively eradicate the Jihadist mentality.