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The unprecedented scale of anti-Christian persecution in Asia

This report details how Christians are facing increased persecution in China, India, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka, but unfortunately, persecution of Christians is not found only in Asia. There are increasing threats to religious freedom worldwide. Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, as many world leaders have noted, and as we see in the news items we post daily here at

What we do not see is any sustained or concerted effort by government authorities or international human rights organizations to stop this persecution. There is no country in the world today that we can point to and say that while Christians were once persecuted there, now they live in safety and security. The international indifference to the persecution of Christians is a scandal of monstrous proportions. Please continue to pray that the hearts of world leaders would be softened, and that they would finally be moved to act to end this scourge.

For previous coverage of the threats to religious freedom worldwide, see here.

“The unprecedented scale of anti-Christian persecution in Asia,” by John Pontifex, Catholic Herald, October 24, 2019:

When an elderly Christian woman in a village in India’s Tamil Nadu state was beaten by extremists, her attackers defended their actions by saying that she had defiled the road by walking on it during a Hindu festival. A dozen Christians who tried to rescue her were also injured when the extremists threw stones at them.

The incident is part of a surge in attacks against Christians in India. The number of reported incidents rose from 440 in 2017 to 477 in 2018, and more than 1,000 attacks on Christians were reported in the 15 months to March 2019.

Investigating the reasons for this outbreak of anti-Christian hatred shines a light not just on the problem in India but also elsewhere in the region, where the complex range of threats has shifted dramatically to pose a unique challenge to the faithful. The result is that South Asia and East Asia have become the new hotspots of persecution of Christians, and the indications are that the situation will only get worse.

That the phenomenon of anti-Christian persecution in Asia is little known iTn [sic] the West compounds the problem. The necessary spotlight on genocidal violence against Christians in the Middle East has run the risk of eclipsing worsening persecution elsewhere.

This new crisis for Christianity in Asia emerges as a principal finding in Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2017-19, a global study released this week by the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.

Of the 12 countries around the world examined in depth for the report, five – Burma, China, India, the Philippines and Sri Lanka – indicate that the situation for Christians has worsened markedly over the past two years.

The underlying causes are complex but three factors primarily account for this new climate of violence and oppression. The threats – sometimes found separately but more frequently in combination – involve nationalist extremists; authoritarian regimes; and/or Islamist militants….

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