WETZLAR (ANS) -- At least 200 million Christians suffer persecution or discrimination for their faith. For most of them there is no sign of improvement.
In some countries the situation has deteriorated over the last year. In the Middle East three in four Iraqi Christians have left their country in fear of harassment, assassination and kidnappings.
These are some of the findings included in the German yearbook "Maertyrer 2007" (Martyrs 2007) published by the evangelical news agency "idea" in Wetzlar in conjunction with the German Evangelical Alliance and the International Society for Human Rights.
According to the yearbook one in ten Christians is subject to severe restrictions or hostilities. A rise in acts of violence directed at Christians is recorded in India and Pakistan. Some Pakistani Christians are confronted with the choice of converting to Islam or being expelled.
Most of the countries in which Christians suffer severe discrimination are predominately Muslim. Converts to the Christian faith face the harshest persecution, even murder. But also Socialist and Communist dictatorships tend to suppress Christians.
At the official presentation of the yearboo k the human rights expert Max Klingberg accused large parts of the European public of ignorance towards Christian persecution.
Prof. Thomas Schirrmacher, a member of the Religious Liberty Commission of the World Evangelical Alliance, welcomed the fact that the attention of the German media for the subject has increased.
Other articles by Wolfgang Polzer: Infants watch TV before they walk and talk
Wolfgang Polzer (56), is senior news editor of the Evangelical News Agency (idea) Wetzlar (Germany), which he joined in 1981. In all, he has spent 30 years in Christian media.
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