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ICC Note: A recently released report on human rights by the UK government seems to pay relatively little attention to the persecution of Christians worldwide. While some estimates place the number of Christians who face persecution of some form at between 100 – 200 million per year, the report makes little mention of some of the worst cases, especially in the Middle East. This unwillingness to highlight Christian persecution is common in many Western governments, including the United States. 
4/19/2013 United Kingdom (Christian Today) – The UK head of an international Catholic charity has attacked a government report on human rights violations, saying it “glosses over” the growing problem of persecution against Christians.
Neville Kyrke-Smith, national director of Aid to the Church in Need (UK), said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office 2012 Report on Human Rights and Democracy published this week “downplays the scale of Christian persecution”.
Although he praised the FCO for considering religious freedom issues in its report, he criticised the coverage of intolerance towards Christians.
He highlighted the exodus of Christians from the Middle East, especially Iraq, describing the report’s references to this as “woefully inadequate”.
Mr Kyrke-Smith said: “While the report describes attacks on members of the Iraq’s LGBT community and Emos, it is virtually silent about the various attacks on Christians.”
Noting that up to three quarters of Christians have fled Iraq, he added: “Perhaps there are so few left in the country after repeated attacks and bombings that they are no longer seen as significant.”
Referring to research showing that 75 per cent of all religious hatred in the world is directed against Christians, Mr Kyrke-Smith said: “The FCO must not gloss over the problems faced [by Christians] in these countries, leaving serious cases of religious hatred unacknowledged and unmentioned.
“It must make sure that the voices of all persecuted groups are heard and responded to.”
Mr Kyrke-Smith cited research showing that 200 million Christians face discrimination or persecution and other reports that at least 100,000 are killed for their Christian faith every year.

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