Persecuted & Forgotten? –A Report on Christians Oppressed for their Faith 2013-2015

AT A TIME when the numbers of displaced and refugees have hit an all-time high, Islamists groups—ISIS foremost—are carrying out religiously motivated ethnic cleaning of Christians, notably in the Middle East and in parts of Africa. That is the conclusion of “Persecuted & Forgotten,?” a bi-annual report on Christian persecution produced by international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Middle East

In parts of the Middle East—particularly in Syria and Iraq—the crisis is so severe that barring significant interventions on the part of world powers, the Christian presence may disappear completely within a decade or even sooner. For example, there may be as few as 275,000 Christians left in Iraq, down from 1 million 12 years ago.

The report notes that this trend, “combined with increasing pressures on the faithful in Saudi Arabia and Iran, means that the Church is being silenced and driven out of its ancient biblical heartland.”


In addition, the rise of militant Islamist groups in Nigeria—where Islamist terror organization Boko Haram has killed thousands—Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and other parts of Africa is destabilizing the Christian presence on the one continent which until now has been the Church’s brightest hope for the future.Church on Fire


In Asia, Christians have been targeted by nationalist religious movements—Muslim, Hindu, and Buddhist in such countries as Pakistan, Hindu and Myanmar—many of which look upon Christianity increasingly as a foreign ‘colonial’ import, leading to suspicion of Christians as doing the bidding of the West.

Last but not least, China is putting increasing pressure on Christianity, along with other religious minorities, to enforce further state control over the public practice of religion. North Korea remains one of the worlds’ biggest offenders, whose ranks also include Eritrea.


The decline of Christianity in what the report labels as “countries of concern” may significantly damage the prospects for peace in nations and regions where Church leaders—lay and clergy—have played important roles in promoting and providing education, community development and interfaith cooperation.


Please click here to access the executive summary of the report

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