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The Number of Persecuted Christians in the World Increases in 2018 – Survey Shows

According to a Protestant NGO, one in nine Christians is persecuted in the world. Africa is the continent most affected by this violence, even though the country in the world where Christians are the most persecuted is North Korea.

Assassinations, attacked churches, daily pressure: The persecutions of Christians in the world rose in 2018 for the sixth year in a row, says the NGO Doors Open on the occasion of the publication of its annual “index” on January 16th.

This Protestant organization follows the situation in 50 countries where Christians experience both violence and sometimes even murder, but also oppression or discrimination on a daily basis, more discreetly.

A total of 245 million Christians – Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Baptists, Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Christian expats, converts – are persecuted, or “one in nine Christians,” according to the organization, while a year ago, this figure reaching 1 out of 12.

The number of Christians killed rose from 3,066 to 4,305 between November 2017 and October 2018, an increase of 40%. “The index reveals a persecution against Christian minorities that is growing year by year. In 2018 it continues, “writes Michel Varton, director of Portes Ouvertes.

“What is striking is that Africa has become the home of violence against Christians, with 4,165 killed.” Nigeria alone has 3,731 deaths on its soil [against 2,000 in 2017], he says with AFP.

This country faces a double threat, that of the jihadist group Boko Haram which is “more and more violent”, and that of “Peul herders, who descend to the south of the country and systematically attack the Christian villages”.

However, it is North Korea, which is again, as in previous years, at the top of this annual ranking, even if it is not possible to know, for lack of “reliable data”, the number of died in this country. The NGO notes that “tens of thousands of Christians [are] locked up in forced labor camps”.

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Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, India and Syria are all countries classified as “extreme persecution” by the NGO.

Churches closed in Algeria

The NGO estimates that “Islamic extremism,” from “Africa to the Middle East to Asia,” is “in 38 of the 50 countries in the index, an important factor in persecuting Christians.”

Other figures in this index: in one year, “the number of targeted churches closed, attacked, damaged, burned … nearly doubled, from 793 to 1,847”, while “the number of Christians detained passes from 1,905 to 3,150 “in the same period.

Among the countries on which the NGO intends to alert public opinion is Algeria, where “since November 2017, committees representing the Algerian authorities visit the churches of the EPA [Protestant Church of Algeria] under the pretext of sanitary inspection. , bringing closure of many of them, “she says.

“We are still living in a situation where maybe tomorrow [they] come with an order to close the church,” AFP Youssef Ourahmane, an Algerian pastor and vice president of the EPA, told AFP. targeted by several assassination attempts because of his religion. “They want to choke us. We always put in fear.

The NGO also points to China, which “abuses religious freedom” and where the situation has “deteriorated”: in this country, which has 100 million Christians, “the state persecution was up to last year still circumscribed to certain provinces “but it” is now becoming a national phenomenon “. In total, the number of Christian detainees and targeted churches in China has increased tenfold in one year.

Open Doors, a partner of Open Doors International [which operates in 60 countries], also warns that its figures, which only concern assassinations “proven certain” on the basis of information cross-referenced, are “below the reality”.

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Written by How Africa

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