Christians Are Still Persecuted Around the World. Here’s Where.

Apr 5, 2016

Photo credit: Fayaz Aziz/Reuters

By Brandon Withrow

A tragic Easter evening at a crowded park in Lahore, Pakistan, is the latest reminder that outside of the Western world, Christianity is increasingly a targeted minority. 

The Taliban faction, Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, claimed responsibility for the suicide attack that killed more than 70 and wounded hundreds, mostly children. More than 5,000 militants were rounded up in Pakistan and all but approximately 200 were released during the government’s investigation.  

Attacks against Christians are a pattern in Pakistan in recent years. In March of 2015, for example, 14 people were killed and more than 70 injured after suicide bombers targeted two churches in Lahore, and at least 80 were killed in a church bomb attack in 2013 in the city of Peshawar.

Human-rights organizations have an uphill battle when it comes to raising Western awareness of incidents like these. David Curry, CEO of Open Doors U.S.A., part of an international organization that tracks and brings awareness of Christian persecution, sees the Western focus on persecution in America and Europe as part of the problem.

“I don’t believe most Americans have an accurate understanding of the real state of Christian persecution around the world,” says Curry. News coverage is selected according to consumer demand, he adds. “But for news consumers to clamor for such coverage, they need to be aware of the extent of the problem.” 

Open Doors reports a significant increase in attacks against Christians during 2014-2015. Last year, more than 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith, which they note is “almost 3,000 more than the previous year.” The largest areas of growing Christian persecution occur in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. Those numbers are expected to scale upward.

The Center for Inquiry (CFI), an organization whose Campaign for Free Expression promotes the rights of religious and nonreligious individuals globally, has seen the same patterns. “We were the sole secular humanist organization to press the State Department to label ISIS’s crimes against Muslims and Christians as genocide,” says Paul Fidalgo, the communications director for CFI. 

Open Doors agrees with the genocide assessment, noting that persecution in the Middle East and Africa, “increasingly takes the form of ethnic cleansing.”


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10 comments on “Christians Are Still Persecuted Around the World. Here’s Where.

  • @OP – “I don’t believe most Americans have an accurate understanding of the real state of Christian persecution around the world,” says Curry.

    How could they have an accurate understanding when their own moronic politicians and faith groups are constantly ranting in the media about delusional persecution, in developed countries?

    Open Doors reports a significant increase in attacks against Christians during 2014-2015. Last year, more than 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith, which they note is “almost 3,000 more than the previous year.” The largest areas of growing Christian persecution occur in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia. Those numbers are expected to scale upward.

    Bbbbbut a couple of US Christian shop keepers and an hotel owner, had to provide normal service to a gay couple, and their god-delusions went bananas with “persecution”!
    Next they will have to be paying towards employee heath insurance! Horrors!!!



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  • Any religion will feel virtuous about making life hell for any less popular religion.

    Religion is an outdated bad habit, life defecating in your yard. Just because we have been doing it for such a long time is no reason to continue.



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  • Last year more than 7000 Christians were killed..
    How many (innocent) Muslims (including a lot of children) were killed by the hands, or rather guns and bombs, of the ´Christian´ West??
    A lot of us couldn´t care less about how many over there (syria and the like) are killed innocently, but when a handfull or more Christians are killed, we´re supposed to get of our backsides and let the world know, this cannot be tolerated at all.. Every human life wasted this way is a shame on us all as human beings, but that being said: as Long as all these rambling believers get about killing each other off, we may still get to live in a world free of these stupid god-believers.. (allthough that is more than just a bit of wishfull thinking, I dare say).
    I´m an Atheist, I don´t really care how many Christians, Muslims or whatever get killed, as long as they go and meet their maker, I´m plenty happy..



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  • to #3

    I´m an Atheist, I don´t really care how many Christians, Muslims or
    whatever get killed, as long as they go and meet their maker, I´m
    plenty happy.

    .

    How about if they come to burn you at the stake for being an atheist (as I am).



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  • How many (innocent) Muslims (including a lot of children) were killed by the hands, or rather guns and bombs, of the ´Christian´ West??

    You claim “I’m an atheist” after using a sins-of-the-father argument to justify your point (I think this makes you an “atheist-but” and certainly no humanist). Similarly the regressive-left have defended the killing of Charlie Hebdo staff on the grounds of historical wrongs committed by French imperialism.

    The enduring appeal of religious violence is that each religion subscribes to a belief that believers of another religion are somehow responsible for the actions of believers of that religion in the past. Sadly when converting to a religion these days there’s no part where you go among the community and apologise for things you didn’t do personally (e.g. Jews coming round your house saying sorry about having Jesus put to death exactly as your prophesies demanded we do etc,).

    Your argument supporting the death of people who’s beliefs differ from your own is a good reminder that claiming to be an atheist is no more proof of rational thinking and a desire for an enlightened world than claiming to be a muslim is proof you’ve never eaten a sausage, and something we should all bear in mind before we start suggesting the world would be a less violent place without religion



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  • At what point do we evolve past slaughtering one another over petty differences? Of course there is persecution of (fill in the blank) somewhere on the vast planet earth. I do not believe in much. But, I believe that this paradigm is archaic and needs to be left in the past. How about tolerance? How about decency? Kindness?
    These people (of all stripes, including atheists) seem to care so so so very much about what I think that they’d murder me over it.
    If you give such a damn about what’s in my head and what I think, then LISTEN to me.



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