A few days ago a report was published by Philip Mounstephen, Anglican bishop of Truro, in Cornwall (United Kingdom), on the persecution that Christians are suffering in the world.
Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world
The report (see here) states the following: “it is estimated that one third of the world’s population suffers from religious persecution in some form, with Christians being the most persecuted group.” Bishop Mounstephen warns that “acts of violence and other intimidation against Christians are becoming more widespread” and that “an increase in the severity of anti-Christian persecution”, specifically mentioning the Middle East and Africa, where the persecution against Christians is reaching levels of genocide. “The main impact of such genocidal acts against Christians is exodus,” the report says. “Christianity now faces the possibility of being wiped-out in parts of the Middle East where its roots go back furthest. In Palestine, Christian numbers are below 1.5 percent; in Syria the Christian population has declined from 1.7 million in 2011 to below 450,000 and in Iraq, Christian numbers have slumped from 1.5 million before 2003 to below 120,000 today. Christianity is at risk of disappearing, representing a massive setback for plurality in the region.“
The president of the main British Jewish group shows her support for persecuted Christians
Given this scenario of persecution, a British Catholic media, The Tablet, has collected the statements of Marie van der Zyl, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the main Jewish organization in the United Kingdom. “Nobody could have failed to be horrified by the recent murders of Christians gathered for prayer in Sri Lanka on Easter morning,” Marie said. “As Jews, who have often been the targets of persecution, we feel for the victims, and for Christians around the World suffering serious – and often violent – discrimination on the basis of their faith.” The president of the British Jewish organization also recalled that “there are many places in which Christians face appalling levels of violence, abuse and harassment.“
On April 22, after the attacks suffered by the Christian community in Sri Lanka at the hands of Islamist terrorists, the aforementioned British Jewish group published a statement by Marie van der Zyl condemning the attacks and stating: “All our sympathies are with the victims and their families at this terrible time” As a Christian, I appreciate gestures like these of the Jews, which St. John Paul II called our “elder brothers in the faith.”
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