Christian persecution has increased worldwide in recent years. Now a new report by the Gatestone Institute shows that the number of anti-Christian attacks in Europe have reached alarming, record high levels in 2019.
Anti-Christian hate crimes which has previously been happening mostly only in Middle Eastern and Communist countries, have now started to increase more and more in European countries.
“Roughly 3,000 Christian churches, schools, cemeteries and monuments have been vandalized, looted or defaced in Europe during 2019”. Many attacks have taken place in France, with 875 of France’s 42 258 churches being vandalized in 2018.
But many anti-Christian attacks aren’t being reported in the media, and if they are reported, the identities of the perpetrators are often hidden. Many anti-Christian attacks are not reported as hate crimes, despite Christians being targets of hateful attacks and vandalism.
The Christian persecution watch group Open Doors reports that a shocking 245 million Christians worldwide experience high levels of persecution for their faith, with the most oppressive countries being Communist, Middle Eastern and North African countries.
In Nigeria this year, over 1,000 Christians have been killed in attacks by Fulani extremists and Boko Haram. Estimates are that more than 6,000 Christians have been killed in Nigeria since 2015 and that up to 12,000 have been displaced from their villages. Nigeria is ranked as the 12th worst country in the world when it comes to Christian persecution.
Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, with Christian women often facing the worst persecution. Many women experience a “double persecution”, one for being a woman and one for being Christian.
“The data prove that Christian women are the most exploited group on the earth today” said David Curry, president of Open Doors.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has recently spoken out about Christian persecution, saying that “four out of five people persecuted for their faith are Christians…And yet Europe remains silent again and again!”.
He continues with saying that “stigmatization, mockery, and the muzzle of political correctness” are forms of subtle Christian persecution that is happening in the West. He also stated that the Hungarian constitution obliges Hungary to protect Christianity.
In 2017 Hungary set up the “Hungary Helps” program to aid Christians that are suffering persecution. As of April 2019 the program had given the equivalent of $26,200,752 to Christians in different countries, including five Middle Eastern and to sub-Saharan nations.