Senior Policy Officer of the Christian Persecution charity Open Doors, Matthew Rees, revealed that Christians are heavily persecuted in eastern countries like Iraq and Syria by extremists like ISIS. As Christians in this part of the world are often in a minority they are often targeted by terrorist and extremist groups as Christianity is perceived as a western religion, despite originating in the eastern of the world. In an interview with Express.co.uk, Dr Matthew Rees explained the hardships and violent persecution that Christians face because of their faith and reiterated that persecution of Christians in some eastern nations was increasing and unlucky to fall any time soon.
Dr Rees said: “Christians around the world are not necessarily the same, they aren’t exactly the same as Christians in the UK.
“They are not rich and they are not privileged and they are not from backgrounds whereby they get the same kind of lifestyle as Christians in this country.
“Unfortunately, around the world, Christians are very vulnerable actually and often part of quite vulnerable communities particularly where they are a minority community.
“But if you go to Iraq or Syria today those Christian minority communities are extremely vulnerable.
“If there was another rise of a group like ISIS, an extremist group, next time we could be talking about the extinction of Christianity because people are very vulnerable.
“So unfortunately in the places where Christianity started some of these numbers are going down because of systematic long-term persecution, not just because of ISIS.
“For a long time now the Christian minority has been under pressure and has been pushed to the margin and so it is really important that our government but also societal in general get to grips with the fact that these people are very vulnerable.
“They are by no means privileged and they are in fact often the lowest of the low.
“Particularly a lot of Christians in places like India are the lowest caste in the caste system and these people are often the lowest of the low and are in need of our support.”
The Open Doors charity release an annual list of countries where persecution of Christians is most prevalent.
The top five countries for Christian Persecution according to the charity was North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan, countries which ISIS and its affiliated groups are known to operate in.
By: Gerrard Kaonga