Persecuted & Forgotten? –A Report on Christians Oppressed
for their Faith 2011-2013
The 2013 Persecuted and Forgotten?
Report provides in-depth analysis of the situation Christians face in 30
countries where believers, to one degree or another, are not fully free to
practice their faith. In the past two years violence and intimidation targeting
Christians have increased in a number of nations. In 20 of the 30
countries surveyed in the report the situation has worsened. In other
settings, where the problems were already extreme, there has been little
or no change. In some areas, the Christian faith is actually at risk of being
Front and center is the development
that, for the Church in the Middle East, the Arab Spring has turned into
a Christian Winter. There are now grave questions about the long-term
survival of Christianity in the Middle East, its ancient heartland. All
faith communities have suffered, but Christian communities have proved
more vulnerable than most and have been disproportionately affected
by violence and turmoil.
Radical Islamist groups' objectives
include the eradication – or at least the subordination –
of Christianity. Well-funded, politically well-connected and banking
on sophisticated weaponry and military training, radical groups have struck Christian
communities hard, killing scores of Christians and damaging numerous
church buildings. Radical Muslim groups are also increasingly active in Africa—notably
in Nigeria, Mali, the Central African Republic and Tanzania—and stepping up
their already dominant role in Pakistan and elsewhere on the Asian
remains an enemy of the Church
Communist countries have renewed
efforts to crack down on Christians—more for their perceived links to the
West and dissident groups than for their beliefs per se. In North Korea,
formal religious activity remains virtually nil and is highly monitored.
China has reasserted its authority over Christian groups, especially those
not formally sanctioned by the government. Vietnam has continued to
impose serious restraints on Christians. The situation has improved
slightly in Laos and Cuba, although significant problems remain there as well.
to religious freedom is a threat to human rights across the board
Pope John Paul II said that the degree
of respect for religious liberty is "the litmus test for the respect
of all other human rights.” In that light, the Report—noting that persecution
against Christians is worsening in many countries, while remaining at a
critical level in a number of others—concludes that the struggle for
basic human freedoms is losing ground around the world.
click here to access the full report. Please click here to access the executive summary of the report.