One Christian in the world dies for faith every five minutes - statistics

One Christian in the world dies for faith every five minutes - statistics

The Russian Orthodox Church urged well-developed countries to set up an effective system of protecting Christians, in particular using financial factors.

"The European Parliament in its Resolution of January 20 mentions the necessity to set up a specific mechanism of influencing the countries where Christians are persecuted. I think this mechanism can be reduced to a brief formula: economic and other aid should be granted in return for guaranteed security for religious minorities," head of the Synodal Department for External Church Relations Metropolitan Hilarion said at a Friday briefing in Moscow.

Citing data of well-known international organizations he said that every five minutes one Christian dies for faith, 105 thousand Christians are annually killed in interreligious conflicts and at least 75 per cent of religious persecutions are directed against Christians.

According to Commission of the Bishops' Conference of the European Community, about 170 thousand Christians in the world suffer for faith every year.

According to the Open Doors international human rights organization, about 100 million Christians are being persecuted in various countries. "We have to admit an evident fact: Christians are the most persecuted religious community in the world," Metropolitan Hilarion said pointing out that many analysts compare the level of persecutions to the first centuries of Christianity.

Speaking about the countries where situation with Christians cause special concerns he mentioned Sudan, Afghanistan, Iran, India, North Korea, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Iraq. Thus, less than a half of 1,5 million Christian who lived in Iraq under Saddam Hussein remained in the country: some were killed and some were forced to leave their Motherland, the Metropolitan said.