90,000 Christians Killed for Their Faith in 2016, 1 Christian Killed Every 6 Minutes
“Several Muslim countries still have laws punishing apostasy—converting from Islam to another religion,” he noted. “Others have laws against blasphemy, and some tend to consider any criticism of Islam as blasphemy.”
While tens of thousands of Christians are killed for their faith, Introvigne said, they are just the tip of the iceberg and much persecution takes place on a daily basis that never makes news.
CESNUR’s annual study, which is slated for release next month, indicates that between 500 and 600 million Christians were in some way persecuted and prevented from freely practicing their faith.
1 Christian killed for their faith every 6 minutes in 2016
Ninety thousand Christians were murdered for their faith around the globe this year, which amounts to one being killed every six minutes, Italy’s CESNUR religious study group said.
Christians are now the most persecuted religious group in the world, Massimo Introvigne, director of the Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR), told Vatican Radio.
According to CESNUR statistics, around 500,000 Christians around the globe are unable to practice their faith completely freely, Introvigne said.
Seventy percent of the killings of Christians in 2016 occurred during tribal conflicts in Africa, he said, referring to data from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity.
The large number of deaths may be explained by the fact that many devoted Christians refuse to take up arms, he added.
The remaining 30 percent, or 27,000, lost their lives in terrorist attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or persecution by the authorities, Introvigne said.
However, he said that the number of Christian killings has decreased, compared to 105,000 deaths in 2015.
The data in the report may be incomplete as it doesn’t include India and China, where the Christian community survives in secrecy, he added.
The religious study group is due to release the full statistics on Christian persecution in January.
Introvigne also said that the Catholic Church is currently considering sanctification for Christian individuals killed by terrorist group Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq.
Earlier this year, the Chaldean Bishop of Aleppo, Antoine Audo, said that during the five years of the Syrian conflict, the Christian population of the country had declined from 1.5 million to 500,000.
Christians are among the most persecuted religious groups in the world, with approximately 90,000 killed for their faith in 2016, stated representatives of a leading religious study group.
Christians are among the most persecuted religious groups in the world, with approximately 90,000 killed for their faith in 2016, stated representatives of a leading religious study group. Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR) director Massimo Introvigne told Vatican Radio that half a billion Christians around the globe are unable to express their faith completely freely, while estimates indicate one Christian died every 6 minutes for their faith during 2016.
Referring to statistics from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity, Italian sociologist and intellectual property consultant Introvigne said 70 percent of Christians murdered in 2016 died in tribal conflicts in Africa. These deaths were included, he said, because very often they involved Christians who refuse to take up arms for reasons of conscience, reports Breitbart.
“The other 30 percent, or 27,000, were killed in terror attacks, the destruction of Christian villages, or government persecution,” he said.