2016: 90,000 Christians killed for their faith in the world. Radio Vaticano. [Google translated].
"between 500 and 600 million Christians who can not practice their own faith in complete freedom."According to Massimo Introvigne, director of the Centro Studi Nuove Religioni ( CESNUR ), the number of Christians killed for their faith in the world in 2016 would be 90 000 - and the year is not over -: 1 Christian all 6 minutes! As for Christians prevented from freely professing their faith, they would be between 500 and 600 million .
R. - The influential Center for Study of Global Christianity next month will publish its statistics in 2016, about 90,000 Christians killed for their faith, one death every six minutes, a bit 'decreased compared to 105,000 two years does. Of these, 70 percent, or 63,000, were killed in tribal conflicts in Africa. The American Center include them in the statistics because they believed that in large part it is Christians who refuse to take for reasons of conscience weapons. The other 30 percent, or 27,000, comes instead from terrorist attacks, destruction of Christian villages, governmental persecution, as in the case of North Korea.
Q. - As for an estimate of Christians persecuted in the world, how many you are around?
R. - Combining statistics from at least three different US research centers as well as mine, Cesnur, and comparing them with each other in 102 countries around the world, estimates vary between 500 and 600 million Christians who can not practice their own faith in complete freedom. Without wishing to forget or belittle the suffering of members of other religions, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world.
Someone may remain puzzled by the statistics because somewhere the Center for Study of Global Christianity gives us this figure of 90,000 while others speak of a few thousand, others several hundred. When the discrepancies are so large, it is clear that you are counting different things.
Who counts people confronted consciously to tragic choice: "Either he must deny your faith or perish", it counts every year several hundred.
Those with a wider notion: not "candidates for beatification" but people who put in mind that they could be killed making certain gestures or practices of faith, speaks of several thousand. But if you talk to people who are killed in a broad sense because they are Christians, then we come to 90,000 ie one death every six minutes.
Q. - you can not fail to mention one that is precisely the brutal persecution of Christians, and others, perpetrated by the self-styled Islamic State in the conquered territories. There are examples of Christians who have lost their lives to remain faithful to the Lord in these territories?
R. - Yes, in the territories of the so-called Islamic State there are several cases, including some that the Church is studying in preparation for a possible beatification; There are Christians who have consciously chosen to remain in these areas and to continue, as they could, to bear witness to their faith.
Speaking of the Islamic state must not forget that the Islamic state also kills many Muslims and that in 2016, according to our estimates, the number of Christians killed for their faith and the number of Muslims killed for their faith, except for the ' Africa, but we speak of the other continents, particularly Asia, is a very similar number.
Muslims generally are killed by other Muslims: Shia Muslims are killed by Sunni Muslims and this is the most frequent case. Sometimes Sunni Muslims are killed by Shiite Muslims, Muslims who do not agree with a certain declination of Islam are killed by extremist Muslims, as in the case of the Is.
Q. - What strikes you most about this phenomenon of persecution?
R. - Two points. The first is that a little 'in all countries growing intolerance and intolerance is the antechamber of discrimination which then in turn is the antechamber of the persecution. And then the calm attitude, noble, many times exemplary Christian minorities subjected to all sorts of harassment but only in rare cases have responded to violence with violence, while in most cases they peacefully demonstrated their faith, very often persecutors, forgiving and praying for them.