A Christian persecution watchdog Release International, has predicted about rising trends of persecution in 2017. The group has warned that there will be a dramatic increase in the violent incidents against Christians all across the globe in 2017. Release International in its annual Persecution Trends report, stated that Christian will most likely face increased persecution in Muslim countries.
Release International further reported that in Islamic countries Christians face threats from militants and state. The report stated that there are concerns about Christians in China, India, Pakistan and Nigeria.
In this regard, Paul Robinson, Chief Executive of Release International said: “Around the world Christians face an increasing array of violent persecutors. These include the brutal Islamic State in the Middle East, heavily armed militants in Nigeria and Hindu extremists in India. Our report on the likely trends of persecution in 2017 is a wake-up call to take our prayers and practical support for our persecuted family to a new level.”
Release International further warned about enhanced crackdown on underground churches in Iran. The group quotes local source as saying that house churches are believed to be a threat to the state in Iran. The group further noted that Christians in India also experienced a rise in attacks. In the first half of 2016, 134 attacks were documented by the Religious Liberty Commission of the Evangelical Fellowship.
The group further documents that Chinese Christians also face immense pressure and the regime has launched a crackdown against churches.Furthermore Pakistani Christians were also subjected to violence, discrimination, persecution and extremism.
Recently, Massimo Introvigne, Director of Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), voiced his concerns about Christian persecution. He said that around 90,000 Christians were killed in 2016, and 500 to 600 million Christians across the globe were deprived of liberty to practice their faith.