An Aid to the Church in Need Report on Christians Oppressed for Their Faith 2013-2015
- At a time when numbers of displaced and refugees hit an all-time high, Islamist groups have carried out religiously-motivated ethnic cleansing of Christians notably in parts of Africa and the Middle East, threatening the Church’s survival in these regions.
- The fear of genocide has prompted an exodus of Christians, notably from the Middle East and parts of Africa. As a result of this exodus, Christianity is on course to disappear from Iraq within possibly five years – unless emergency help is provided on a massively increased scale at an international level.
- A massive exodus of Christians in other parts of the Middle East, notably Syria combined with increasing pressures on the faithful in Saudi Arabia and Iran mean that the Church is being silenced and driven out of its ancient biblical heartland.
- The rise of militant Islamist groups in Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania and other parts of Africa is destabilising the Christian presence on the one continent which until now has been the Church’s brightest hope for the future.
- Christians have been targeted by nationalist religious movements – Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Buddhist – many of which increasingly see Christianity as a foreign ‘colonial’ import, worthy of suspicion as a result of its perceived links with the West which is seen as corrupt and exploitative.
- The decline of Christianity in many countries of concern has potentially profound significance regarding prospects for peace as Christians have traditionally been important ‘peace builders’ in society.
- Totalitarian regimes, including China, have put increasing pressures on Christianity which is perceived as a threat not least because of growing ‘underground’ support.
Published 14 October 2015
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