Christians could become extinct in certain parts of the world, according to a new report, because of “ethnic cleansing motivated by religious hatred.”
“Christians are fast disappearing from entire regions, most notably a huge chunk of the Middle East but also whole dioceses in Africa,” the British Catholic group Aid to the Church in Need said in its latest report, “Persecuted and Forgotten?”
An exodus is happening throughout the Middle East, especially in Syria and Iraq, and Christianity could disappear altogether from Iraq in the next five years if things don’t change, ACN’s John Pontifex told The Christian Broadcasting Network.
But Christianity is not only in danger in the Middle East, but also in Africa, Pontifex told CBN.
“Extremist Islam is making a definite bid for the soul of Africa, particularly in Nigeria, East Africa, Egypt, down to Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tunisia,” he said. “Each in their own ways have experienced the upsurge of extreme Islam.”
British Prime Minister David Cameron has introduced the ACN report to the House of Lords, writing in a letter that “no believer should have to live in fear, and this is why (the British) Government is committed to promoting religious freedom and tolerance at home and around the world.”
The report, he continued, “serves as a voice for the voiceless, from their prison cells and the places far from home where they have sought refuge. Now is not the time for silence. We must stand together and fight for a world where no one is persecuted because of what they believe.”
According to the ACN report, Christians are the single most persecuted faith group worldwide, quoting a 2012 report from the International Society for Human Rights, which said 80 percent of all incidents of religious discrimination are committed against Christians.