Christian Persecution Increases Globally

The persecution of Christians around the world has intensified over the last two-and-a-half years, according to a review of religious freedom in 30 countries by the United Kingdom branch of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need. Christians also are persecuted by religious nationalists in some countries where they find themselves in a minority, said the Aid to the Church in Need report, which was published on Oct. 17. Persecution of Christians was a phenomenon “happening in many different contexts,” said John Newton, a co-author. Among the main culprits were the adherents of violent interpretations of Islam. Newton said that in recent years, the problem of attacks by “well-resourced” Islamist groups has reached into several continents, spreading to such African nations as Nigeria, Mali and Tanzania. Christians in India, Sri Lanka and Myanmar also faced persecution from majority Hindu or Buddhist nationalists. Some of the worst instances of persecution, however, continued to be found in Communist or former Communist states. Foremost of these was North Korea, where imprisoned Christians routinely faced torture and beatings.

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