Christians suffered an increase in persecution last year

Christians suffered an increase in persecution last year with 245 MILLION facing violence or oppression around the world – 30 million more than a year ago

  • Around 30million more Christians than a year ago suffered from persecution 
  • Open Doors, a Dutch charity, published a report into Christian persecution 
  • It said millions more Christians in India and China had been targeted last year

Christians around the world suffered a huge increase in persecution last year – with around 30 million more people being targeted than in the previous year. 

A report by Open Doors, a Dutch charity that supports persecuted Christians showed that in total, 245 million faced violence or oppression in 2018, with 73 countries listed as danger zones for Christians.

China has been named among the most dangerous places to be a Christian after new laws governing religious expression led to raids and the demolition of scores of churches. 

Millions more Christians suffered persecution this year thanks mainly to deteriorating relgious rights across Asia, including in China and India

At least 50 million people expected to experience some form of repression this year as the government tightens its controls over religious worship 

While India has also seen ‘waves of violence’ against ultra-nationalists against non-Hindu minorites – the report claimed. 

‘Rising nationalism is leading to similar persecution in other countries such as Bhutan, Myanmar and Nepal where national identity is tied to religion,’ the charity said.

Open Doors said in its 2019 World Watch List, which ranks 50 countries, that One in three Christians face high levels of persecution in Asia – as India entered the top 10 for the first time.

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Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt (front row second left) attending a meeting on Christian persecution in December last year, as he urged urgent action over the crisis

It comes just three weeks after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt ordered an independent review into the persecution of Christians worldwide.   

Hunt said: ‘Britain has long championed international religious freedom, and the prime minister underlined our global leadership on this issue when she appointed my excellent colleague Lord Ahmad as her special envoy on freedom of religion or belief.

‘So often the persecution of Christians is a telling early warning sign of the persecution of every minority’.

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