A new interim report on Christian persecution requested by the UK’s Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Jeremy Hunt, states that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world
In the report, the Bishop of Truro (the Right Reverend Philip Mounstephen), claims that 80% of those persecuted on religious grounds around the world were Christians.
The report defines persecution as “discriminatory treatment where that treatment is accompanied by actual or perceived threats of violence or other forced coercion.”
In the Middle East and North Africa, the report found that Christian persecution came close to meeting the UN definition of genocide. The report also states that, in the Middle East and North Africa, the Christian population has substantially declined over the past century, from 20% to less than 4% today.
In Syria, the Christian population has gone from 1.7 million in 2011 to 450,000 in 2019. In Iraq, the number of Christians has declined from 1.5 million in 2003 to below 120,000 today.
The report claims that political ineptitude, an increase in religious fanaticism (primarily Muslim), and a rise in radical Islamic militants are mostly to blame although no mention is made specifically of illegal wars or enforced mass migration plans such as the UN and EU’s Replacement Migration plan.
The report also states that, in communist China, despite or as a result of it being on the rise, the Christian church is also increasingly under attack.
In 2016, Pew Research found that Christians were targeted in 144 countries, up 19 from 125 in 2015.
Jeremy Hunt also added that “political correctness” played a role in not confronting the issues sooner.
Main picture: Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican taken by Stanislav Traykov under CC BY 2.5 licence.