Map reflects the 30 most recent Persecution Reports. Click HERE
for the Map Legend.
Friday, December 6th, 2013
Slowly there is a rising awareness throughout Europe and elsewhere of the brutal treatment of Christians throughout much of the Middle East. Cases such as the murder of Jessi Boulus, a 10-year-old girl in Cairo, highlight the tragedy they face. Alan Howe, executive editor of the Herald Sun, describes Jessi’s “an almost forgotten footnote in what can only be described as a war that strands Middle Eastern Christians somewhere between the Exodus and a Holocaust.” This is a wake-up call for those in the Western who have somehow missed the reality of what is unfolding across the region.
Tuesday, November 26th, 2013
A recent report highlights that in the midst of rising persecution more and more people want access to the scriptures. The distribution of Bibles has continued to increase around the world. In places like Syria, Iraq, and throughout North Africa access to the Bible is crucial to sustaining the church in the midst of the harsh realities of persecution they are suffering.
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Following a meeting with the leaders of churches across the Middle East Pope Francis spoke out calling for the church to support the continued existence of the church in areas that have increasingly become hostile to Christians. “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians,” Pope Francis said. This further highlights the work that is necessary to support the church and to address the political and cultural dynamics that are driving their exodus and in some cases martyrdom.
Thursday, November 21st, 2013
Over the past decade more than a million Iraqi Christians have left the country. 2013 has seen a rise in violence as the nationwide death toll is approaching 6,000, the highest since 2008. The lack of security has once again triggered the departure of Christians who have lost any semblance of safety. Just one Baghdad neighborhood, in 2003 home to 150,000 Christians has now dwindled to just 2,000.
Wednesday, November 20th, 2013
The violence and instability in Iraq has led to a largescale emigration of Christians from the country over the past decade. The number of Christians who have left is likely over 1 million. In a recent address to a UN audience Patriarch Sako emphasized the massive loss to the culture that is taking place by the departure of Christians. He called on religious communities to be proactive in seeking to keep religious diversity in Iraq, which is only possible if the culture of violence and persecution is minimized.
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
Government leaders throughout the Western world are beginning to wake up to the fact that the intense persecution that has been allowed to persist throughout much of the Middle East is emptying the region of its Christian communities. It is the responsibility of politicians to “set the tone” for tolerance of religious minorities, Lady Warsi, a UK Minister said. Christians are the victims of persecution at the hands of both states and extremist organizations, and the results have been horrific.
Saturday, November 16th, 2013
According the Britain's Minister for Faith Christian communities across the world, particularly in the Middle East, are in danger of becoming extinct due to targeting by Islamic extremists. From Egypt to Syria to Pakistan, Christian communities across the Middle East and South Asia have come under attack as extremists gain influence. In Pakistan, a church of 600 attendants was attacked by two suicide bombers shortly following a Sunday service. Around 130 Christians were killed as a result of this attack. Scenes of destruction like this are being faced by Christian in many of Christianity's ancient homelands. Please pray for these persecuted brothers and sisters.
Thursday, November 14th, 2013
Across the broader Middle East, from Morocco to Pakistan, Christians have repeatedly come under attack in recent months. The tragedy of these attacks extends beyond just the individuals and families directly attacked, but extends to the societies involved and the region overall. The attacks are threatening to drive Christians from areas that have been the homeland of Christianity for two millennia. Some are now beginning to consider what is actually at stake if Christians are cleansed from the region. What would be lost if Christians were erased from the map in these countries?
Sunday, October 27th, 2013
Christian communities across the Middle East and South Asia continue to endure ever increasing levels of persecution and religious intolerance. This has lead to the decline of many Christian populations in these countries. In Syria, one of Christianity's oldest homes, the Christian population has declined by 25 %. As the world continues to sit in watch this injustice continue, please remember to pray for these communities.
Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013
A string of bombings has further shaken the region of northern Iraq. The northern part of the country has been the most stable area since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the fall of Saddam Hussein. The latest bombings, some of which have been targeted at Christians, are causing many of those who have stayed to reconsider.
Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013
While violence continues to rage in neighboring Syria, the region of Northern Iraq that had once been a safe haven for many of the Christians of the region is also in turmoil. A string of bombings and other attacks have set people on edge. There also seems to be a growing feeling of social hostility to the presence of Christians in the area as well. There have been some faith leaders taking efforts to combat these trends, but it remains a daunting and challenging task.
Monday, October 14th, 2013
In the coming year there will be major decisions forthcoming on a number of issues from Syria and Egypt to Iran and Afghanistan. While many of these decisions are viewed as largely political, the impact of these decisions will have serious implications for the Christian community in these countries. The church must be actively engaged in the political process to ensure that their basic rights are protected, otherwise the exodus of Christians from the region will continue.
Friday, October 11th, 2013
Iraqi church leaders addressed the conditions that led to a mass exodus of Christians out of the country in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki. During the meeting they discussed endeavors to provide protection for Churches and other property owned by Christians that have repeatedly been attacked. They also acknowledged the need for addressing the underlying culture in the country that has promoted violence and been slow to embrace religious diversity. Over the past decade the number of Christians in Iraq has decreased to less than 500,000 from nearly 2 million.
Friday, October 11th, 2013
The European Parliament passed a resolution on Thursday, October 10th, condemning the violence and persecution against Christians in Syria, Pakistan, and Iran. The past few months have seen a dramatic increase in hostilities against the minority Christian community in these countries as extremist interpretations of Islam that promote violence to create an Islamic state have gained greater influence.
Wednesday, October 9th, 2013
In the last century there were Muslim and Christian martyrs killed mostly in defense of their homeland. In the 21st century they are now being killed because of their religious identity. The Christians in the Middle East suffer because they are Christians. A rising current of extremist ideology is threatening to tear apart the diverse social fabric of the region and replace it with one-faith, one-ideology.
Tuesday, October 8th, 2013
“We ignore too many things, and even more indefensibly, we pretend not to see too many things.” This is the reality for how much of the world has treated the intensifying war against Christians in much of the Middle East. Among many in the West there is a massive, and sometimes willful, ignorance of the realities confronting Christians around the world who are paying a high cost because of their faith. Many often thing of Christianity as a Western religion, though the reality is that nearly two thirds of the 2.2 billion Christians (Protestant and Catholic combined) live outside of the West and that number is rising. They are also far more likely to be the victims rather than the perpetrators of religious persecution.
Monday, October 7th, 2013
One of the most overlooked factors in understanding the political and cultural dynamics of the Middle East is the presence of the regions Christian communities. As the region has been in a state of upheaval for the past two years it has left many of these Eastern Christians wondering what future is left for them in the lands where they have lived for 2000 years. The reasons they are being driven out are numerous. They range from the very real threats of violence that has seen thousands killed as a result of their faith, to more subtle but just as damaging legal and political repression that clearly communicates they are no longer welcome as full members of society.
Thursday, October 3rd, 2013
There has been a steady increase in the number of direct attacks on Christians because of their faith. In many places it has been a result of greater influence from radical Islamic groups that has been the impetus for what is an attempt at religious cleansing to create an Islamic state. In other places it is the result of government restrictions on religion that lead to severe repression of rights and imprisonment as a result of exercising fundamental rights of religion and belief. Unfortunately, this is a trend that has largely escaped the eye of many in the public and there is a need for greater engagement by both the general public and decision makers to protect minority communities.
Tuesday, October 1st, 2013
The plight of Christians in the Middle East is a story that often never makes the headlines. Unless the persecution of Christians happens to overlap with a major political interest, chemical weapons in Syria, a potential military coup in Egypt, etc., the story hardly gains any traction among the media and the political elites. There are many reasons for this, but among this that the decision makers are not made aware that this is an issue that people are personally concerned about and that their elected representatives ought to care about.
Wednesday, September 25th, 2013
In the turbulent and dangerous region of the Middle East the Kurdish controlled region of northern Iraq has been one of the most stable areas. The region has become known as one of the only places of refugee for many of the Christian minorities that have been targeted by extremists who want to expel non-Muslims from their lands. There are increasing complaints about the lack of representation and rights being granted in this region. Protecting the rights of these minority groups is an issue that must continue to be emphasized and focused on.
Wednesday, September 11th, 2013
This article provides an overview of numerous cases of persecution that occurred in the month of June in Africa and the Middle East. There were particular abuses faced by women at the hands of radical Muslim extremists, often justified by Islamic religious leaders. Also, many churches and other places of worship were attacked and in some instances completely destroyed.
Tuesday, September 10th, 2013
In the past decade a hundreds of thousands of Iraqi’s fled the country as violence and lawlessness became commonplace. Christians were often targeted as various Islamic groups battled for influence and control. Since the withdrawal of US forces the situation has not improved. The fear of kidnapping and attacks continues to drive many Iraqi’s to seek a place of refuge, leaving behind their homeland, further dwindling one of the most ancient Christian communities.
Friday, September 6th, 2013
At a gathering of Christian leaders from around the Middle East region many of them shared their concerns about military intervention from the United States or other Western countries. They see the massive humanitarian need and the personal crisis that has affected people and feel that the USA does not have any plan to assist them. They want the world to speak out for peace and justice and to work to ending the violence, not escalating it.
Wednesday, August 28th, 2013
The violence and unrest across the Middle East has resulted in the Christian population of the region falling from 20% a century ago to about 5%. In some cases Christians have been the direct targets of violence from militant Islamic groups and campaigns of repression by Islamic governments that see little place for Christians in their society. While there are occasional bright spots the prospects for the future appear bleak.
Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
In Egypt and Syria, Iran and Iraq, and elsewhere across the region, Christians have repeatedly come under attack in the Middle East. In some places it has been the result of government regulations and attempts to stifle them as a minority. Increasingly, it is the result of militant Islamic groups that have targeted Christians. In Iraq, it is al-Qaeda linked groups that are targeting Christians. While in many places this fact is overlooked, there are a dedicated group of people, including Christians, Sunni Muslims, and Shi’ite Muslims, working to minimize the hostilities that produce violence.
Friday, August 16th, 2013
Many of Iraq’s Christians had fled to the Northern Iraq region that is governed by a regional Kurdish government. The area for many was viewed as the best chance at a safe and stable region for Christians to live in community. Many have not found the region to be a refugee, as a host of reasons have led to the further emigration of Christians out of Iraq altogether. It has not only been violence, but the lack of jobs, difficulties of transitioning to a rural lifestyle, culture and language differences, are all factors affecting the displaced Christian community.
Friday, August 2nd, 2013
In the midst of one of the most deadly months in Iraq, it has emerged that a Christian journalist faces death threats. Jinan Bolous, the editor-in-chief of a local newspaper, was recently threatened in response to an article she had published. Societal violence remains high in Iraq. Also, a number of needed legal reforms to provide greater protections for journalists and activists.
Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
Christians throughout the Middle East are living in the midst of radically changing circumstances. The various political movements, regime changes, civil wars, and terrorist attacks can have terrible consequences for those on the fringes of society, as Christians generally are. In Iraq, for example, the Christian population has shrunk by 87% from 1.5 million to just 200,000. Though there is intense suffering there are amazing things happening as well and there is hard work to be done to pursue a better future.
Monday, July 1st, 2013
Iraq’s Christian community fears that it will again become the target of violence across the country. A recent string of attacks have rocked the country and Christians have been among those most affected by the violence. During the past ten years there has been an exodus of Christians from Iraq amid fears of violence as a result of the political instability and infighting across the country.
Wednesday, June 26th, 2013
Two security guards were injured in a shooting outside the St. Mary Assyrian Church in eastern Baghdad. Amidst a wave of bombings and violence throughout the country the shooting on the church is the latest in a long trend of violence directed towards the Christian community. Since 2004 more than 70 churches have been attacked or bombed according to the Assyrian International News Agency.