260 million christians “strongly persecuted” in 2019 because of their faith

Some 260 million christians have been “greatly persecuted” in the world in 2019, an increase even if the number of them killed because of their faith has declined, according to a report from the NGO open doors published on Wednesday.

This protestant organization has published on Wednesday stis annual index of the 50 countries where christians are the most targeted, for the period ranging from November 2018 to October 2019.

In total, 260 million christians (catholics, orthodox, protestants, baptists, evangelicals, pentecostals, etc) have been ” greatly persecuted “, compared to 245 million in 2018, ” she says.

The organization means by “persecution” at the time of the violence, up to murder, but also year oppression to-day is more discreet.

“This increase is mainly explained by a deterioration of the situation of religious freedom in China at the national scale, affecting more and more regions, and by the deployment of jihadism in Africa “, writes the NGO.

The number of christians killed is increased from 4305 to 2983, a decrease of 31% compared to the previous year. “For three years this number had grown steadily “, according to open Doors, which explains this decrease by the decrease in the number (known) of christians killed in Nigeria “.

In this country, “there was a partial change in the tactics of the shepherds fulani, who, in addition to the assassinations, are also going to be the kidnappings and abductions for ransom,” says the AFP Patrick Victor, director of open Doors France.

So far, Nigeria remains “in the head” of the countries with the largest number of christians killed for their faith (1350 dead).

Moreover, in a year, the number of churches targeted (closed, attacked, damaged, burned…) has been multiplied by 5 in the world, from 1847 to 9488. An increase in ” particularly due to the action of the chinese system against the churches in China (at least 5576) “, according to open Doors.

Another indicator: the number of christian prisoners has increased from 3150 to 3711, mainly in China, Eritrea and India.

All the persecutions combined, North Korea was again at the top of its annual ranking. “The totalitarian grip of the regime on each individual makes faith in God a crime against the system, sufficient reason to end his life in forced labor camp “, according to the NGO.

After Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Sudan, Yemen, Iran, India, Syria.

“West Africa is becoming a new fireplace, burning with a very high violence, for example in Burkina Faso, also noted Mr. Victor.

Open doors partner Open Doors international (which is in 60 countries), says that its figures are ” below reality “. This association, which supports spiritual, moral, and humanitarian to persecuted christians, has existed in France since 1976.