Islamic extremism to blame as Christian deaths nearly double in a year – report

by RT.com  |  published on January 9, 2014

ChristianPersecution
At least 2,100 Christians died because of their beliefs in 2013 according to a group monitoring persecution of Christians worldwide. Most of the dead were in Syria, where radical Islamist groups have clamped down on a long-established religious minority.

Open Doors, a US-based non-denominational group that first formed in the 1950s smuggling Bibles into Communist Eastern Europe, conducts an annual survey of 50 countries where Christians suffer the worst discrimination.

“Overwhelmingly, the main engine driving persecution of Christians in 36 of the top 50 countries is Islamic extremism,” write the authors.

North Korea, which is officially atheist but is dominated by the Kims’ personality cult, and where merely owning a Bible is reportedly grounds enough for a life sentence or execution, remains the worst country in the world for Christians. Open Doors claims that as many as 70,000 believers are in North Korean labor camps and prisons.

But the rest of the top five is made up of Muslim states suffering from internal instability, with Somalia, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan all earning a place.

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