Page 3

The Rise in Persecution of Christians Worldwide Persecution of Christians for their religious beliefs is on the rise around the world – 60 countries are listed in this second edition of the Church in Chains Global Guide, compared to 52 in the first edition (published in 2008). Seven of the countries listed in the Global Guide for the first time are from Sub-Saharan Africa, where persecution is mainly caused by armed Islamic terrorist groups. One major source of persecution worldwide is violent religious extremism (by, for example, Hindus in India, Buddhists in Sri Lanka and Muslims in Nigeria and Somalia and other countries), while another source is repressive totalitarian governments (in countries such as North Korea, Eritrea and Uzbekistan). The freedom to change religion is not, in practice, allowed in Muslim countries (42 of which are listed in the Global Guide). As persecution is a very broad term, the Global Guide divides the 60 countries into three colour coded categories – severe, significant and limited. Severe Many or all Christians face persecution. State persecution includes the use of blasphemy laws and apostasy laws, arrests, fines, imprisonment, torture and execution. Persecution by society includes abduction, murder and violent mob attacks (including bombings, shootings and arson). Significant Some, but not all, Christians face many restrictions on practising their faith. Persecution by the state may include arrests, fines, imprisonment, restrictions on church registration and prohibitions on meetings and possessing Bibles. Persecution by society includes attacks on pastors and churches. Limited Most Christians are permitted to meet but some churches or individuals face restriction or discrimination. Some of this persecution is by the state (such as discrimination and restrictions on church registration) and some by society (opposition from neighbours and ostracism).

Persecution of other religions

The persecution of Christians often occurs alongside the persecution of other religious minorities. Church in Chains believes in religious freedom for all and supports the provisions of the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the EU guidelines on Freedom of Religion or Belief (see p 47). Church in Chains condemns any acts of persecution perpetrated by Christians – whether against other Christians or against members of any other religion.

Introduction

3

Church in Chains Global Guide  

The Church in Chains Global Guide lists 60 countries where Christians face persecution because of their faith. The Global Guide divides the...

Church in Chains Global Guide  

The Church in Chains Global Guide lists 60 countries where Christians face persecution because of their faith. The Global Guide divides the...

Advertisement