The persecution of Christians around the world has intensified over the last two-and-a-half years, according to a review of religious freedom in 30 countries.
Not only are Christians in the Middle East and Africa suffering increasingly from Islamist terror attacks, but they continue to endure severe persecution and hardship in Communist, Marxist or post-Communist states, said a 192-page report by the United Kingdom branch of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need.
Christians also are persecuted by religious nationalists in some countries where they find themselves in a minority, said the report, which was published Oct. 17.
John Newton, a co-author of the report, told Catholic News Service Oct. 18 that the plight of Christians had deteriorated since early 2011, when the last biennial report on the global problem was published by the charity.
"Out of the 30 countries that we have assessed, in 20 of them, the situation has worsened in some way, but in some of these where there has been no change, the problems were already extreme any way," Newton explained.