VATICAN: An overwhelming 100,000 Christians are killed yearly because of their faith, with an ever increasing rise in violence against Christians in Muslim countries like, Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt.
According to the Vatican, 100,000 Christians are killed annually because of their faith, where Several Human Rights groups claim such anti-Christian violence is to climb in countries like Pakistan, Nigeria and Egypt.
“Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that estimates of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year,” Vatican spokesman – Monsieur Silvano Maria Tomassi stated in a radio address to the United Nations Human Rights Council.
“Other Christians and other believers are subjected to forced displacement, to the destruction of their places of worship, to rape and to the abduction of their leaders, as it recently happened in the case of Bishops Yohanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji, in Aleppo [Syria],” Tomassi said.
While several human rights groups could not comment specifically on the Vatican’s number, organizations, like Persecution.Org, said the persecutions of Christians have been on the rise in places like Africa and the Middle East over the last decade.
“Two-hundred million Christians currently live under persecution. It’s absolutely on the rise,” Jeff King, the group’s president, said. “It’s easing in the old Communist world and it’s rising in the Islamic world,” King said, noting in particular countries like Egypt, Pakistan and Nigeria. King said that, “the first major killing spree in recent years happened between 1998 and 2003, when he claims 10,000 Christians were murdered in Indonesia alone during those years.”
Two-hundred million Christians currently live under persecution. It’s absolutely on the rise.
Dinah Pokempner, general counsel for Human Rights Watch, was not able to independently verify the Vatican’s figure, but said, “I think there’s little doubt that every week, every day, someone in the world is being persecuted – even to the point of losing their life – based on their religion. Persecution is a daily event on the basis of religion,” Pokempner said. “This persecution affects Christians just as it does Muslims, Jews, Bahá’ís and people of other faiths.”
Jane Zimmerman, the U.S. State Department’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, said in a statement that: “While I’m unfamiliar with the methodology that was used to reach that number, we have certainly followed numerous cases in recent years in which Christians and others of many faiths have been attacked or killed on account of their religious beliefs.”
“Whatever the numbers, no one should die for professing or practicing their faith, whatever that faith is.The United States firmly supports the freedom to profess and practice one’s faith, to believe or not to believe, and to change one’s beliefs. As Secretary Kerry said on May 20, religious freedom ‘is a birthright of every human being,” Zimmerman said.