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Christian Communities Facing Increased Persecution in 2024

Hungary Today 2024.01.19.

Rampant violence against Christians has been reported by the Open Doors organization that publishes the Christian Persecution Index every year. The index shows the extent to which religious hatred has deepened compared to previous periods, writes Magyar Nemzet.

It is 2024, and we are witnessing rampant violence,” expressed Markus Rode, head of the German Christian aid organization Open Doors.

Between October 2022 and September 2023, almost 5,000 Christians were killed for practicing their faith. However, the actual number may be much higher, but it is challenging to determine due to different conflicts, making it impossible to document all cases accurately.

The figures paint a bleak picture of the treatment of the followers of Christ, which numbers more than two billion people in total. Tens of thousands of people are being expelled, beaten, murdered, oppressed in labor camps and prisons worldwide.

In the year between October 2022 and September 2023, nearly 43,000 believers experienced physical violence or death threats.

Attacks on Christians’ homes have increased particularly rapidly. Compared to the same period last year, the number of such incidents rose by 371%, from around 4,500 to around 21,500.

Churches have also been attacked or closed down; in some cases, by extremists, but sometimes by governments themselves. The situation is most dramatic in countries such as China, India, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Sudan, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Angola. The situation in Latin America has also deteriorated particularly dramatically, most rapidly in Nicaragua, where the government is increasingly openly hostile to churches.

Authorities in Europe also recorded several cases of hostility to Christians last year.

Statues were stolen from several churches, stone crosses vandalized in a cemetery, a nativity scene on display stolen, and in another case, a nativity scene completely destroyed.

In Cologne Cathedral, the Christmas midnight mass was held under heightened terror alert, and Christmas and Santa Claus celebrations were banned in some schools. These are just a few examples of attacks on Christian symbols, sacred places, and traditions in Europe in recent weeks. As we have reported, even in Hungary attacks against Christian symbols are not unheard of, as the recent destruction of a Virgin Mary statue by a Romanian national has shown.

Hungary stands up for persecuted Christians. To this commitment, the Hungary Helps Agency was created to help alleviate humanitarian problems in a particular regions by providing various types of aid. The Agency’s priority is to work with local churches and NGOs to provide assistance according to local needs, with a particular, but not exclusive, focus on persecuted or suffering Christian communities.

As an expression of this focus on Christian communities abroad, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán received a visit from the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, on Thursday. During their meeting, the Prime Minister assured the Patriarch that Hungary stands by Christian communities and that the survival of Christianity in the Holy Land and the Middle East is crucial. In this context, he said that the Hungary Helps Agency would continue to support Christian communities in the region.

Viktor Orbán Discusses the Survival of Christianity in the Holy Land
Viktor Orbán Discusses the Survival of Christianity in the Holy Land

Viktor Orbán received Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem.Continue reading

Via Magyar Nemzet; Featured Image: Pixabay

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