The NGO Portes Ouvertes has just published its Global Index of Christian Persecution 2022 which reveals that the discrimination and persecution suffered by Christians has become even worse. Thus, between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, more than 360 million Christians were strongly persecuted or discriminated against in the world.
Every year, the Open Doors organization publishes its Global Christian Persecution Index, the 2022 edition reports an unprecedented level of persecution.
So it is 360 million Christians who are currently victims of persecution or discrimination worldwide, representing 1 in 7 Christians. Also, compared to the 2021 Index, the number of Christians killed increased by 24%, the number of churches targeted by 14%, while the number of Christians detained because of their faith is experiencing a 44% increase.
The period taken into account for the establishment of this World Index of the Persecution of Christians 2022 extends from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021. The NGO specifies that the persecution has been on a constant increase for 9 years, of which 9% of increase observed over the past six years.
Afghanistan at the top of the ranking
Afghanistan tops the Index. Ranked 2nd since 2018, the country recently saw the level of violence against Christians explode with the arrival of the Taliban to power last August. In this Asian country, “the Christians who have not been killed are hiding, the secret churches no longer take the risk of meeting. It has become even more difficult for Christians to leave the country to save their lives”.
North Korea, which had occupied first place in the Index for 20 years, has thus been relegated to second place, yet the NGO specifies that the situation of Christians has worsened and the number of Christians arrested as well as the number of house churches targeted by persecution have increased.
After Afghanistan and North Korea, Somalia comes third in the ranking. According to Open Doors, in the East African country, “Christians are singled out as 'high-value targets' by Al-Shabaab and other radical groups”. Next come Libya, Yemen, Eritrea, Nigeria (the country where the most Christians are killed because of their faith), Pakistan, Iran, India and Saudi Arabia which is "the 'one of the only countries where church buildings are prohibited'.
The persecution of Christians in a few figures
The Index reveals that between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021, 5 Christians were killed because of their faith, representing 898 Christians killed every day. Also, 16 Christians are currently in detention while 6 churches have been targeted for persecution, the majority (175) of which are in China.
Camille Westphal Perrier
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