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Global persecution of Christians on the rise

Religious fundamentalism has fueled rise in oppression, report says
Global persecution of Christians on the rise
Published: January 15, 2016 05:37 AM GMT
Updated: January 15, 2016 05:38 AM GMT

Systematic religious cleansing is widespread across Africa and the Middle East, according to new figures published in January.

The Open Doors 2016 World Watch List reveals that every year well over 100 million Christians are persecuted because of their beliefs, reported the Irish Catholic.

North Korea remains the worst place to be a Christian while Iraq has replaced Somalia as the second most dangerous place. 

Eritrea follows at number three.

Afghanistan, Syria and Pakistan are the next most difficult places for Christians, according to the report.

Persecution has seen the biggest rises in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Azerbaijan and Eritrea.

Persecution in each country is recorded by Open Doors using a point system, and while the lowest ranking country in 2013 had 35 points, this year's lowest ranking country had 53 points — an increase of 50 percent.

Emerging superpower India, the second most populous country in the world, has seen persecution levels rise dramatically for the third year running, taking it up to number 17 from a ranking of 31 in 2013.

According to Open Doors, religious fundamentalism has fueled a rise in persecution in 80 percent of the countries on the list.

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