UCA News writes that around one out of every seven Christians today is at risk of persecution, especially in Asia, where there have been recent high-profile incidents in India, Pakistan, Iraq, and China.
While often overlooked in Christianity-majority nations of the West, there is a rise in international violence against Christians in areas where the religion is a distinct minority. A Vatican report also noted growing concern in Nicaragua, over recent, anti-clerical statements by the ruling government of Daniel Ortega.
The article continues:
Christians in Asia as well as across the world are facing a rising tide of various forms of persecution, which require global attention and action, says a report.
The recent deadly violence against Christians in Pakistan’s Punjab province and India’s Manipur state are examples of an increase in violent attacks on Christians in Asia, Catholic Peace Broadcasting Corporation of Korea reported on Aug. 22.
In Nigeria, Islamic extremist armed groups continue to attack churches. The whereabouts of Oblate missionary Father Nwaoucha, who was kidnapped in June, is still unknown.
The abduction of Father Nwaoucha is the ‘tip of the iceberg’ in Nigeria’s Catholic persecution, the report noted.
In June alone, a priest in his first year of ordination was shot dead, and Father Mbamara of the Diocese of Nnewy was kidnapped and later released. According to local human rights groups, the number of Nigerian Christians who lost their lives ‘because of religious belief’ in 2021 reached 4,600.
According to the new measures on religious matters issued by the State Administration for Religious Affairs, from September all religious activities can only be held in places authorized by the government. The installation of religious symbols is also limited to indoors.
The report noted that the authorities in China’s eastern province of Zhejiang were forcibly removing crosses installed outside churches. The work of removing crosses, which had been carried out intermittently, seems to be starting in earnest after Xi Jinping’s third term in office was confirmed.