A new report has revealed the “deepening plight of Christians” across 22 countries.
Released by Aid to the Church in Need, a Catholic charity, the report is titled “Persecuted and Forgotten?” and charts the persecution of Christians over the period 2013-2015.
“Christians are fast disappearing from entire regions” the report laments, “most notably a huge chunk of the Middle East but also whole dioceses in Africa. In large part, this migration is the product of an ethnic cleansing motivated by religious hatred.”
It notes the Islamic State drove out 120,000 Christians when it captured Mosul and Nineveh in Iraq last year, with similarly large numbers fleeing Syria.
Thousands of Christians are now living in Iraqi Kurdistan, living in the half-constructed shells of hotels that were never finished and instead converted into shelters for refugees.
In Nigeria, 100,000 Catholics fled Maiduguri from Boko Haram in March this year.
Radical Hindu and Buddhist groups in places such as India and Sri Lanka also persecuted Christians according to the report, as did totalitarian regimes such as that of China.
The report focused on Islamist persecution of Christians, which it said produced “the very real possibility that Christianity could soon all but disappear from much of its ancient homeland.”
It predicted that Christianity could be wiped out totally in Iraq within five years.
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Get a preview of Clarion Project’s upcoming film, Faithkeepers, about the violent persecution of Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. The film features exclusive footage and testimonials of Christians, Baha’i, Yazidis, Jews, and other minority refugees, and a historical context of the persecution in the region.