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Study shows Christian persecution is on the rise
The persecution of Christians is today worse than at any time in history, a new report has revealed.
Speaking at the launch of 'Persecuted and Forgotten' by Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), the study's co-author, John Pontifex, told Premier Christianity is on the brink of being wiped out in certain countries.
He said: "We've got a ticking bomb going on here, in that Christians in certain parts of the world haven't got very much time left for their situation to be resolved.
"The ticking bomb is particularly expressed in the extent to which there is a migration of Christians. In Iraq there were 1.2 million Christians 15 years ago and there are now barely 200,000 left.
"If that rate of decline continues, what we're going to see is an end to Christianity in the foreseeable future."
His claim was supported by Archbishop Issam John Darwish, Melkite bishop of Zahle, in Lebanon, who was one of four speakers invited to the charity's event at the House of Lords to give personal accounts of Christian persecution in their countries.
He told the attendees of the event chaired by Lord Alton of Liverpool, that the number of Christians in the Middle East is declining because so many have fled.
He added: "We urge Syrians, and especially Christians to return to the homeland. We ask that Western Governments stop facilitating the immigration of Christians from the Middle East."
The report also found that the scale of persecution against Christians in China, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Sudan, Syria and Turkey had worsened in overall terms between 2015 and 2017, than within the preceding two years.
Saudi Arabia was the only country out of the 13 reviewed where this persecution remained unchanged.
The report highlighted the point that "it's now or never to save Christians from persecution" and it's vital to share light on the plight of Christians around the world.
The report concluded: "At a time in the West where there is increasing media focus on the rights of people regardless of gender, ethnicity or sexuality - to name but a few - it is ironic that in many sections of the media there should be such limited coverage of the massive persecution experienced by so many Christians."
Listen to John Pontifex from Aid to the Church in Need, speaking with Premier's Eno Adeogun:
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