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Nigerian Christians attend a worship service. Photo: video GCR

New database tracks violent religious persecution worldwide

Global Christian Relief, a U.S. group that monitors persecution of Christians, has launched the Violent Incidents Database to track worldwide religious persecution.

The database, which is accessible to the public, catalogs more than a dozen types of violence, including killings, arrests, abductions, sexual harassment, pressure and forced marriages. It allows searches by country, religion and perpetrator, offering an unprecedented level of verification, the group said.

“This database helps give a voice to the voiceless by recording and sharing details of specific attacks suffered by Christians and other people of faith globally,” CEO David Curry said. “Our hope is that this remarkable resource will be utilized by anyone advocating and reporting on behalf of the persecuted church.”

The Violent Incidents Database’s research is funded by Global Christian Relief and conducted by the International Institute for Religious Freedom, a leading thinktank focused on religious freedom.

“We live in a world where the violent persecution of Christians and other religious groups is rampant and increasing,” said Ronald Boyd-MacMillan, Global Christian Relief’s chief of global strategy and research. “This database not only helps us track the violence but helps us better understand what persecuted Christians really need from their brothers and sisters around the world.”

Nearly five billion people in 61 countries live with severe violations of religious freedom., according to Aid to the Church in Need. “It means that 62 percent of humanity lives in countries where people are not free to practice, express or change their religion,” according to the organization. “Culprits of religious freedom violations range from armed terror groups to authoritarian governments, but the rule continues to be one of impunity for attackers who are rarely, if ever, brought to justice or criticized by the international community.”

Of the 61 countries, 28 were marked in red, denoting “hot countries” where persecution is rampant, while an additional 33 were marked in orange, indicating high levels of discrimination.

For more information, visit www.globalchristianrelief.org.

–Dwight Widaman | MV

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