“Persecution of Christians has increased in recent years. 2023 seems destined to continue this trend,” said Paul Robinson of Release International.
Newsroo (14/01/2023 17:41, Gaudium Press) The persecution of Christians in Asia will increase in 2023, assures the report entitled “Persecution Trends 2023”, presented by Release International, a group that aims to support Christians who are persecuted for their Faith around the world.
According to the document, during this year, Christians in seven Asian nations will suffer even more from these attacks. In this list are the following countries: China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Malaysia and Iran.
Christianity is Listed as Unacceptable in China
The report warns the Chinese about the extensive control imposed by President Xi Jinping on the country’s Christians, labeling them as unpatriotic in his official messages, and also highlights the numerous Christian leaders and followers imprisoned in China.
“Xi Jinping’s government wants to control everything, and currently Christianity is not fully under his control. Christianity is being portrayed as unacceptable to an atheist and communist country, rather than an acceptable but minority belief,” the report says.
In addition, several Christians are being accused by the Chinese Communist government of promoting illegal religious activities. Beijing also calls on its citizens to report people involved in religious activities of Christian belief to the authorities.
North Korea: The Harshest Country on Christians in the World Today
The document also discusses North Korea, labeling the country as the “most severe persecutor of Christians in the world today.” According to Release International, Kim Jong-un’s regime sees Christianity as a tool used by Western powers to colonize other countries and “continues to educate the public about the ‘dangers’ of clergy, missionaries and Bibles.”
It also highlights the crackdown on North Korean Christian defectors taking refuge in China. According to the report, Chinese authorities have expressed their intention to deport the defectors to North Korea, where they will likely be interrogated about their church attendance, missionary interaction, and receipt of Bibles.
More than 700 attacks against missionaries in India in the last two years
In dealing with India, the report states that ongoing attacks on Christian missionaries by Hindu nationalist groups continue to increase. In 2021 alone, some 500 attacks were reported, and in the first five months of 2022 the country’s Christians reported another 200.
Since 2014, several anti-conversion laws have been implemented in ten states in India. Despite this, Christians and other minority groups have complained that this law is often used against Christian groups for political motivations.
Routine attacks and threats against Christians in Pakistan
Christians in Pakistan face “frequent attacks and threats, including accusations of blasphemy, targeted killings, mob violence, forced conversions, and destruction of places of worship and graves.
Malaysia, Iran, and other Muslim-majority nations were also cited as places where Christians face restrictions and hardships under strict laws that prohibit the practice of their Faith. “Many Afghan Christians have fled the country or live temporarily in neighboring countries such as Pakistan or Iran, while those who remain have gone into hiding,” the report concludes.” (EPC)
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