REX/Sipa Press

Christian persecution set to rise in 2019

Christian persecution charity Release International is warning that Christians in Nigeria, China and India may face even more violence this year.

The news comes after Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt insisted the UK must do more to help persecuted Christians around the world.

 

Andrew Boyd from Release International told Premier that attacks in several countries were intensifying.

He said: "In the first six months of 2018 [in Nigeria] 6,000 people were killed and 50,000 Christians were driven from their homes.

"In China we're seeing a growing number of attacks against unregistered house churches, and the bigger higher profile churches that are now being closed down and the pastors arrested."

"One of the reasons the partners on the ground gave is that "there are very few protests from the West against this behaviour."

This Christmas, militants attacked Christians in Nigeria; a planned attack was foiled in Karachi, Pakistan, and security has been tightened around churches in Egypt ahead of the Coptic Christmas, on January 7.

Jeremy Hunt has ordered a review into an estimated 215 million Christians who face violence and discrimination. According to official figures, violence against Christians is rising, with 250 killed each month.

Andrew Boyd told Premier this was a sign of hope.

"If you get the UK government along with other governments saying these are countries of particular concern, then the message to those who are running those countries is 'we are watching you, we want to help you, help you deal with the problems of your militants, we expect you to deal with it and we're watching to see that you do'."

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