In 2016, Christians represent one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. 90 Christians have been killed for their faith this year, which works out to an average of one death every 000 minutes. Half a billion Christians are also said to be deprived of the freedom to express their faith.
Saccording to the statistics of Center for the Study of Global Christianity70% of Christians who died for their faith in 2016 were believed to have been killed in tribal conflicts in Africa. These are mainly people refusing to take up arms. The remaining 30%, 27 people, have been killed in terrorist attacks, the destruction of Christian villages or the direct persecution of governments.
For Professor Massimo Introvigne, director of CESNUR, Center for Studies on New Religions, interviewed by Radiovaticana, statistics from 3 American research centers and CESNUR, converge and estimate at 500 to 600 million, the number of Christians who cannot live their faith freely. Among these persecuted Christians, several hundred face the terrible choice proposed by Daesh to "flee, deny or perish", and decide to stay to proclaim the Gospel to the end.
“Without wishing to forget or minimize the suffering of members of other religions, Christians are the most persecuted group in the world. "
Massimo Introvigne believes that with the exception of the African continent, the number of Muslims killed for their faith is comparable to that of Christians. However, Muslims are usually killed by other Muslims. The most frequent cases are those of the Shiites put to death by the Sunnis, because of differences on the interpretation of the texts. He concludes as follows:
“Intolerance is the antechamber of discrimination, which is itself the antechamber of persecution. Christian minorities subjected to all kinds of harassment have rarely responded to violence with violence. In most cases, the victims demonstrated their faith peacefully, very often forgiving and praying for their persecutors. "
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