More than 340 million Christians were severely persecuted in 2020 and the phenomenon worsened during the coronavirus pandemic, announced last week Portes Ouvertes, the Frech partner of Open Doors International.
The numbers have gone up since the 2019 report, which found 260 million Christians persecuted globally.
The organization monitors all the incidents, from daily soft oppression to grave violence.
“Persecuted Christian minorities were confronted with unprecedented violence and a higher level of discrimination. The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the trends we have monitored for years,” estimates Portes Ouvertes, which makes an annual index of the persecution of Christians in 50 high-risk countries.
The most persecuted are Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa, which has 90% of the Christians killed for their faith.
On the other hand, the number of attacked churches was slashed to half the number in the 2019 report (4,488 compared to 9,488).
In 2020 China had by far the highest number of attacked churches, even though the trend was decreasing (3,088 compared to 5,576 in 2019), followed by Nigeria.
In North Korea, faith in God remains a crime against the political regime and it can send a person to a forced labour camp, announced the organization.
Other countries where Christians are oppressed are Afghanistan, Somalia, Libia, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, India, Irak and Syria.
Open Doors International is a global network of Christian NGOs active in 60 countries. It offers spiritual and moral support and also humanitarian aid to persecuted Christians.
Photo courtesy of Facebook / Open Doors