A well-known researcher recently told Vatican Radio something shocking: More than 90,000 Christians were reportedly killed last year because of their faith, meaning that about one Christian died every 6 minutes, the Christian Post reported.
Massimo Introvigne, founder of the Italy-based Center for Studies on New Religions, gave a highlight of some soon-to-release statistics that paint a picture of how dire Christian persecution truly is across the globe. One measure he shared is the estimate that between 500 and 600 million Christians worldwide can’t freely practice their beliefs.
It should be noted, however, that the 90,000 figure, while quite high, is actually down from the 105,000 Christians who were estimated to have been killed the previous year.
Around 70 percent of the deaths from Introvigne’s estimates emerged as the result of tribal conflicts in Africa, with the sociologist saying regional Christians’ unwillingness to use arms to defend themselves contributed to the high proportion.
As the Christian Post noted, Introvigne said his measure is a bit more liberal than estimates from other organizations such as Open Doors USA, which ranks the worst countries across the globe where it is the toughest to be a Christian.
While the latest Open Doors USA “World Watch List” doesn’t release until next week, the 2016 report — which included incidents collected and counted in 2015 — concluded that the persecution problem was worsening from the 2014 statistics.
“In 2015, Christian persecution not only increased, but expanded into areas where there was not the same level of persecution in the previous year,” read last year’s report.
Open Doors USA estimated the number in 2015 was at just 7,000, much lower than what Introvigne estimated for 2016. It will be intriguing to see what Open Doors says next week about the 2016 numbers, considering that the 2014 report claimed “Christians faced the worst persecution in modern history,” which, again, worsened in 2015.
Will this year’s report follow suit, or will there be an estimated decrease?
Just to put it in perspective, last year’s rankings for the top 10 most dangerous countries in Open Doors’ World Watch List were as follows: North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Iran and Libya. You can see the top 50 countries in order here.
(H/T: Christian Post)
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