Persecution of Christians likely to rise in 2019, report warns

The two most populous nations on Earth, India and China, are increasingly hostile toward Christians.

March 8, 2019 10:00
1 minute read.
Persecution of Christians likely to rise in 2019, report warns

Iraqi Christians attend a mass on Christmas Eve at the Grand Immaculate Church in Qaraqosh (al-Hamdaniya), near Mosul. (photo credit: THAIER AL-SUDANI/REUTERS)


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Christians are facing an alarming rise in persecution this year, according to a report from the Open Doors organization. 

Open Doors provides support for Christians persecuted for their faith in various countries around the globe.
The report predicted a 14% increase in the number of persecuted Christians worldwide in 2019. Currently, the report states, " 1 in 9 Christians experience high levels of persecution worldwide." 
Eleven Christians are killed each day for faith-related reasons, and 4,136 were killed in total in 2018.

The most dangerous country to be a Christian is North Korea, where members of the faith are targeted because they are seen as dangerous to the Communist regime.

All but two of the top 15 most dangerous countries for Christians are majority-Muslim. Pakistan, which ranks as the fifth-most dangerous, was in the spotlight last October when its Supreme Court overturned the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of four originally found guilty of blasphemy in 2010 and who sat on death row for eight years.

Both China and India also ranked as dangerous countries to be a practicing Christian, but for the first time India entered the top ten - making it to the tenth spot on the list of countries in which it is dangerous to practice Christianity.

This means that the nation is more hostile to Christians than Syria, which came in at  number 11),or Iraq at 13.

According to the report, "Since the current ruling party [BJP, a Hindu-nationalist party] took power in 2014, attacks have increased, and Hindu radicals believe they can attack Christians with no consequences. The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith- including Christianity- is viewed as non-Indian." In China, Christians are "monitered via CCTV and spies," and worship is difficult even in state-approved churches.

The report also notes that it is a cause for concern that the world's two most populous nations, each with over a billion people, are so hostile to Christianity.

The Palestinian Territories (the West Bank and Gaza) come in at 49 on the report's list. Palestinian Christians face persecution from their Muslim counterparts, and the worst persecution is reserved for those who convert to Christianity from Islam. 

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