In one year, 4,761 believers were killed for their faith, an increase of almost 60% compared to the previous year, according to the Global Index of the Persecution of Christians, published Wednesday by the NGO Open Doors . According to the organization, more than 340 million Christians are severely persecuted and discriminated against around the world. Violence, physical or moral, is strongest in the regions of the Middle East and Southeast Asia.
The crisis generated by the Covid-19 pandemic has amplified the phenomenon. “From India to Yemen, to West Africa, many Christians have been excluded from humanitarian aid distributed by their government,” said Open Doors.
No less than 4,761 believers were also killed because of their faith. This figure, which results from information from the field or relayed by the press, means that on average, 13 Christians were killed every day in 2020. Of these, 91% were killed on the African continent.
According to the NGO, the sharp increase in the number of Christians killed is linked to the rise of jihadist groups in sub-Saharan Africa. “The latter took advantage of the measures taken by governments in the context of the health crisis to expand their activities and fields of operation,” says Open Doors. The countries most affected by this phenomenon are Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon, Congo (DRC) and Mozambique.
The persecution of Christians is not only physical, it can also manifest itself in the form of various discrimination, rejection, oppression or denial of the rights to education, employment etc. According to Open Doors, this type of persecution is on the increase in 34 out of 50 countries, particularly in Nigeria, the Comoros and Colombia.