Christians remain the target of more persecution than any other group in the world, according to a new study set to be released in February from the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions.
These findings are consistent with those of the Clarion Project, an organization that tracks Islamic extremism. The group’s national security analyst told Fox News that the U.S. government is doing very little to stem this tide of hate.
“U.S. policy has not had a strategy for specifically addressing the persecution of Christians,” said Ryan Mauro. “For example, very few people are even aware that Iraqi Christians began organizing to defend themselves and needed our help.”
The report outlines the stark data of persecution, finding that 90,000 Christians around the world died for their faith in 2016. One-third of these fatalities were a direct result of Islamic extremists, like ISIS, while other believers perished as a result of the hostile policies of anti-Christian states like North Korea.
A staggering 600 million Christians could not openly practice their faith due to that observance being illegal.
Christians in Iraq, for instance, have suffered a steady decline in membership since 2003. A relatively thriving population of 1.5 million adherents has declined to an estimated 275,000 today.
The Italian study confirms information from 2015 that indicated a growing intolerance towards Christians around the world – especially where extreme Islamic practices flourish – that increasingly manifests itself in acts of violence, including beheadings.
Aid to the Church in Need conducted one such study that also indicated Christianity to be under fire in Africa and Asia, as well as the largely Muslim Middle East. In Africa, the group found that Islamic terrorists like Nigeria’s Boko Hara were routinely targeting Christians for kidnapping and killing.
In Asia, Christians are attacked as a foreign influence and rejected by religious group who narrowly define what religious beliefs are indigenous to a country.
As Robert Nicholson of the Philos Project told Foxnews.com: “There are many places on earth where being a Christian is the most dangerous thing you can be. Those who think of Christianity as a religion of the powerful need to see that in many places it’s a religion of the powerless. And the powerless deserve to be protected.”
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