Christian Persecution Sep/Oct 2019
Widespread evidence shows that “today, Christians constitute by far the most widely persecuted religion,” according to an interim report commissioned by British government official Jeremy Hunt. Approximately 80 percent of all global persecution is directed at Christians, and the situation has reached genocidal proportions.
The report, “Bishop of Truro’s Independent Review for the Foreign Secretary of FCO [Foreign and Commonwealth Office] Support for Persecuted Christians,” says research “consistently indicates” Christians are targeted for persecution more than any other religious group.
“Furthermore,” it reads, “the evidence suggests that acts of violence and other intimidation against Christians are becoming more widespread” and much more severe. “In parts of the Middle East and Africa, the ‘vast scale’ of the violence and its perpetrators’ declared intent to eradicate the Christian community has led to several Parliamentary declarations in recent years that the faith group has suffered genocides according to the definition adopted by the UN.”
“Against this backdrop,” it continues, “academics, journalists and religious leaders (both Christian and non-Christian) have stated that, as Cambridge University Press puts it, the global persecution of Christians is ‘an urgent human rights issue that remains underreported.’ An op-ed piece in the Washington Post stated: ‘Persecution of Christians continues . . . but it rarely gets much attention in the Western media. Even many churchmen in the West turn a blind eye.’”
The report says extremist groups in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, northeast Nigeria, and the Philippines specifically target Christians with the goal of eradicating them. “An intent to erase all evidence of the Christian presence was made plain by the removal of crosses, the destruction of Church buildings and other Church symbols. The killing and abduction of clergy represented a direct attack on the Church’s structure and leadership. Where these and other incidents meet the tests of genocide, governments will be required to bring perpetrators to justice, aid victims and take preventative measures for the future.”
Submitted on Easter of this year, the report by the Rt. Rev. Philip Mounstephen, bishop of Truro, also cited the following:
Violent persecution exists in many forms. Firstly there is mass violence which regularly expresses itself through the bombing of churches, as has been the case in countries such as Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia, whereby the perpetrators raise levels of fear amongst the Christian community and attempt to suppress the community’s appetite to practice its right to public expression of freedom of religion and belief. State militaries attacking minority communities which practice a different faith to the country’s majority also constitutes a violent threat to Christian communities such as the Kachin and Chin people of Myanmar and the Christians of the Nuba mountains of Sudan. The torture of Christians is widespread in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Eritrean prisons, and beatings in police custody are widely reported in India.
Extrajudicial killings and the enforced and involuntary disappearance of Christians are also widespread. These violent manifestations of persecution can be perpetrated by the state as has been reported by international jurists in the case of the murders taking place within DPRK prisons and as was allegedly seen in the kidnapping of Pastor Raymond Koh in Malaysia. These acts are also perpetrated by non-state actors such as Muslim extremists who systematically target and kidnap Christian girls in Pakistan and in the recent murder of Pastor Leider Molina in Colombia by a guerrilla/paramilitary group.
The report said Christian-persecution watcher NGO Open Doors “revealed in its 2019 World Watch List Report on anti-Christian oppression that ‘approximately 245 million Christians living in the top 50 countries suffer high levels of persecution or worse,’ 30 million up on the previous year.”
To read the entire report, go to tinyurl.com/RptPersecutionX.