Christians in Asia and across the world are facing a rising tide of various forms of persecution, which require global attention and action, according to a new report. Source: UCA News.
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 Tuesday.
The report refers to a statement from Archbishop Fortunatus Nwachuku, the permanent observer of the Vatican to the United Nations, who denounced at the General Assembly of the UN Human Rights Council in March that “one in seven Christians today is persecuted”.
The Nigerian prelate’s statement echoed Pope Francis’ lament in 2014 when he said: “There are more witnesses, more martyrs in the Church today than there were in the first centuries.”
Besides Pakistan and India, Christian persecution is rampant in Asia’s communist nations – China, Vietnam and Laos, as well as in African nations like Nigeria where armed extremist outfits continue to attack and kill Christians, the report stated.
The burning of churches and Christian houses on false allegations of blasphemy has shown the insecure life of Christians amid threats from Islamic hardliners.
The death of 190 people and destruction of churches and Christian homes in sectarian violence in India’s Manipur state has revealed the ruling government has failed to act but stoked the conflict to gain votes, the report noted.
India is among those countries where “cunning persecution” exists, where political parties “shout tolerance in the front and secretly oppress Christians behind the scenes.”