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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-10-24 17:49:50
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Aid to the Church in Need: Christians are Persecuted in many countries around the World

The international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need has launched a report with the title: Persecuted and Forgotten? The report examines the situation of Christians in 30 different countries, including Afghanistan, China, Laos, Pakistan, Vietnam and Zimbabwe. It analyzes the situation in a number of countries where Moslems are a majority and in those states whose political systems have a pronounced authoritarian character. The reporting period covers the past 30 months. The principal finding of the report is that in two-thirds of the countries where persecution of Christians is most severe, the situation has become even worse. The Church’s very survival in some countries, especially in the Middle East, is now at stake. The report notes that for Christians the so-called Arab spring has in many cases become a nightmare, with Christians being targeted by fundamentalist organisations and sometimes used as scapegoats. Indeed, Christians have become victims of every kind of political, economic, social and religious conflict, most notably the conflicts between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims. The report describes the escape of Christians from the Middle East as reaching almost biblical proportions. From all accounts, the report stresses, the incidents of persecution are now relentless and worsening; churches being burned; Christians are under pressure to convert; there is mob violence against Christian homes, as well as abduction and rape of Christian girls; there is anti-Christian propaganda in the media and from governments, in addition to discrimination in schools and in the workplace.
The report warns that the influence of fundamentalist Islamist groups has increased sharply in the past 30 months. They represent possibly the greatest threat to religious freedom in the world today. Their goal is the elimination, or the subjugation, of Christians. In communist countries efforts to exert control over the Christian population have also increased. However, in these countries Christians tend to be persecuted above all on account of their contacts with dissidents and with the West, and not because of their faith alone.


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