This Saturday at six in the evening, simultaneously, the Colosseum in Rome, the Church of St. Paul in Mosul and the Church of St. Elijah in Aleppo were illuminated in red by the persecuted Christians.
Christians are persecuted in 23 countries and discriminated against in 15
This initiative of Aid to the Church in Need was not intended to create a curious record or highlight those architectural works. It has been an initiative to draw attention to persecuted Christians. Unfortunately, the martyrdom of the followers of Christ is not a fact of the past. According to data of Aid to the Church in Need, at this moment, Christians suffer persecution in 23 countries: Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the Palestinian territories, Iraq, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, Burma, Indonesia and North Korea. In addition, Christians are discriminated against for their faith in 15 other countries: Mauritania, Algeria, Egypt, Ukraine, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Qatar, the Maldives, Iran, Bhutan, Laos, Vietnam and Brunei.
The most widespread religion and also the most persecuted
Of every 4 people persecuted for their religion in the world, 3 are Christian. Christianity is the most widespread religion and also the most persecuted. In total, 60 million Christians live in countries where they are discriminated because of their faith, and 334 million Christians live in countries where they suffer persecution. The most alarming is that some of these countries, such as Saudi Arabia, India and China, maintain fluid commercial relations with the West, without the free world showing a special interest in demanding respect for religious freedom.
The most terrible figures are those of Christians who are killed every year for their faith: between 7,000 and 10,000 worldwide. The worst situation is in Nigeria due to the actions of the terrorists of the Islamist group Boko Haram. To this day, Islamic extremism is the worst cause of persecution of Christians in the world, followed by communism.
The situation of Christians in the West is getting worse
In parallel, the situation of Christians in many Western countries is being aggravated by the hostility and violence of the far-left, but also by the hatred generated by part of the political class and the media. The Report attacks on Religious Freedom in Spain 2016 of the Observatory for Religious and Conscience Freedom warned that in 2016 the attacks on religious freedom in Spain increased 11% compared to the previous year, going from 187 to 205 incidents. At the same time, the vexations to believers have skyrocketed 62.5% (the Communists of Izquierda Unida now announce that they even want to legalize them, which would be completely forsaking believers in the face of these situations of persecution).
Significantly, the majority of attacks against believers (152 in total, 73%) were launched against Christians; of them, 147 (70%) were against Catholics, in spite of which the vast majority of public institutions and certain NGOs that claim to watch over tolerance systematically hide that reality, to extremes that are already suspect. The Observatory warned that “the fear of manifesting one’s beliefs grows due to the different types of attacks: from vexations against the person to violence against the believer or places of worship.”
We can not remain silent in front of this panorama: we must firmly denounce those attacks and the situation of fear that they intend to generate among believers. The alternative is to remain silent, to give in and encourage, with this, that Western countries also become places of discrimination and persecution against Christians.
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