The Global Christian Persecution Index 2023 has just been published by the NGO Open Doors, which states that "Nigeria is the first country in terms of violence against Christians".
LONG France/Belgium Open Days has just made public the 2023 results of theWorld Index of Persecution of Christians, a report published 30 years ago. It reveals that 360 million Christians are today heavily persecuted and discriminated against, that is 1 out of 7 Christians in the world.
Among the trends observed, one country is “on the edge of the precipice” according to the NGO: Nigeria.
“Nigeria is the first country in terms of violence against Christians: it represents 89% of Christians killed and 90% of Christians kidnapped in the world. It also ranks second in terms of churches attacked. »
In the Global Christian Persecution Index, Nigeria ranks sixth out of 50 countries. The intensity of the persecution there is "extreme" and "increasing" since last year.
It is in the north of the country and in the Middle Belt, the central belt, that violence and insecurity "take on proportions beyond comprehension" according to Portes Ouvertes.
“Unlike all other countries, Christians killed have not been counted in the hundreds, but in the thousands for several years. Solving the problem of the persecution of Christians in Nigeria would thus theoretically reduce the number of martyrs by 90%. »
Since the 2015 Index, Nigeria remains the number one country where Christians are murdered because of their faith.
“The rise of Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa has led to many abuses. But in recent years, it is extremist Fulani militants who are primarily responsible for the massacres of Christians. »
And the organization is alarmed by an “upward” trend. The Index reports 5014 Christians killed in Nigeria. During the first Index, in 2012, there were 300.
“Most alarming is that the trend is up (by almost 8% from the previous year) and the number of Christians killed in Nigeria has never been so high since we began recording these figures (Index 2012). »
But Nigeria has another sad record, that of the number of Christians kidnapped. 5259 Christians were kidnapped in 2022. 4726 were kidnapped in Nigeria, representing 90% of Christian kidnappings worldwide. Portes Ouvertes denounces a "strategy of terror", a "business" managed by the Fulani for years, but now also by Boko Haram militants and ISWAP, the West African Province of the State Islamic. During these raids, reports the organization, the women are raped, then become sexual slaves, are forced to marry or killed. Back home, they are discriminated against. Their children are nicknamed “Boko Babies”. Church leaders are also regularly targeted, in the hope that the kidnappers will obtain a ransom.
The organization calls for focus your prayers on Nigeria, which "sinks deeper and deeper into violence".
Image credit: Shutterstock/ Hyotographics
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