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Almost 300 million Christians persecuted in 21 countries

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A recent report released by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) about religious freedom reveals that almost 300 million Christians faced persecution in 21 countries. The report was compiled based on data from June 2016 till June 2018; looking at 196 countries.

Christians persecuted globally

The Religious Freedom Report 2018 by “Aid to the Church in Need” (ACN), detailed that Christians are most susceptible in terms of religion based persecution. Around 61% of the global population is living in countries where religious freedom is not respected. Almost 300 million Christians. This means that 1 out 7 Christians lives in a country where he faces persecution.

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Study found grave violations of religious freedom in 38 countries; further splitting this data showed that in 17 countries people faced serious discrimination on religious grounds. In 21 countries, religious minorities face outright persecution.

It is reported that it is estimated that some 327 million Christians are living in countries where they face religious persecution. While 178 million Christians are suffering some form of religion-based discrimination.

The report signaled towards significant religious freedom violations in 18 countries. “Especially serious decline was noted in China and India. In many of the others – including North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Eritrea – the situation was already so bad, it could scarcely get any worse. Worsening intolerance towards religious minorities meant that for the first time two countries – Russia and Kyrgyzstan – were placed in the ‘Discrimination’ category.”

“Compared to two years ago, more countries with significant religious freedom violations showed signs of deteriorating conditions for faith minorities – 18 countries, up four on the figure for 2016. An increase in religious freedom violations from state actors – authoritarian regimes –resulted in more countries showing a decline in religious liberty compared with 2016,” the report said.

The Executive President of ACN, Mr. Thomas Heine-Geldern said that “Pope Francis, as well as his immediate predecessors, have all stressed that religious freedom is a fundamental human right rooted in the dignity of man. It is the purpose of this report to draw worldwide attention to this intrinsic link between religious freedom and human dignity.”