340 million: this is the number of Christians persecuted for their faith to varying degrees around the world, throughout the year 2020. A wave that most Western media have difficulty seeing.
Each year, the NGO Open Doors publishes a detailed index of the persecutions suffered by Christians: the figures unveiled on January 12, 2021 show that the disciples of Christ are the primary victims of religious violence in the world, and this in almost complete—or complicit?—indifference from the West.
In the 50 countries on which Open Doors based its study, the number of Christians killed for their faith increased by 60% between 2019 and 2020, from 2,983 to 4,761: on average, thirteen Christians are murdered daily.
There are also 4,277 Christians arrested without trial, an average of more than eleven per day.
1,710 Christians were abducted during 2020, which is an average of more than four per day.
In presenting the report, Cristian Nani, Director of Open Doors, identifies what he calls the “nine matrices” of anti-Christian persecution: among which the main matrix of persecution remains—not surprisingly—Islam, followed closely by religious nationalism, especially Hinduism. Then comes the communist ideologies, which some in the West have buried a little too fast.
If we consider the persecution state by state, for the twentieth consecutive year, North Korea has won the black jersey of anti-Christian violence, since in this country, “to be discovered to be a Christian is the same as a death sentence,” underlines the NGO’s study.
After North Korea, other states share the prizes for oppression: Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, India, Iraq, and Syria.
According to Open Doors, violence in Nigeria has reached “the level of genocide” as Christians’ lives are threatened by militant Fulani, the militant group Boko Haram, and the West African branch of the organization the Islamic State (ISWAP).
Finally, it should be noted that the pandemic caused by Sars-CoV-2, or COVID-19, was an opportunity for certain states—such as China—to increase their control, even their grip, over the religious practice of Christians.
The only positive fact: the sharp drop in the destruction of churches and religious buildings - oratories, seminaries, schools, hospitals. 9,488 were destroyed in 2019, versus “only” 4,488 in 2020.