100,000 Christians killed each year due to faith

The Vatican has announced that around 100,000 Christians are killed each year due to their faith, in a worrying trend affected the Middle East and Africa

by The Commentator on 30 May 2013 11:56

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The Vatican has announced that it believes 100,000 Christians are killed annually around the world due to their faith.

Following a spate of attacks in Africa and the Middle East, the Vatican announced the figures which are somewhat backed up by recent reports by human rights groups which claim anti-Christian violence is on the rise. 

Countries such as Egypt, Nigeria and Pakistan have experienced the trend in recent years.

Vatican spokesman Monsieur Silvano Maria Tomassi said Tuesday in a radio address to the United Nations Human Rights Council that "Credible research has reached the shocking conclusion that an estimate of more than 100,000 Christians are violently killed because of some relation to their faith every year."

"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.

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."

Iran is also a serious area of concern, it is reported. The country's largest Persian-language Pentecostal church was recently closed down just one week after one of its pastors was arrested and taken away during a service. 

Central Assemblies of God church in Tehran is the latest example of the Islamic Republic cracking down on Christian faith and according to BosNewsLife, a news agency that specialises in the plight of Christians in Middle Eastern nations, Christians fear their faith is being stamped out in Iran. 

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