During the year 2016, some 90,000 Christians were killed for their faith around the world, according to a new study from the Turin-based Center for Studies on New Religions (CESNUR).
The director of CESNUR and leader of the study, Dr. Massimo Introvigne, told Breitbart News that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world, and the numbers of those affected are staggering.
Christians are targeted primarily for two reasons, Introvigne said, “first because their proclamation of peace disturbs more belligerent groups; and second, because their social teachings on life, family and poverty are opposed by powerful forces.”
While in the past century, atheistic communist regimes were the greatest persecutors of Christians, Introvigne added, the geopolitical landscape has changed considerably since then and the actors have changed as well.While “Communism’s last salvoes” are still responsible for some ill-treatment of Christians, Introvigne told Breitbart, “Islamic ultra-fundamentalism” has taken its place as the number-one agent of persecution.
Introvigne’s findings coincide with those of other scholars and human rights groups. According to the 2016 “World Watch List,” for example, published by the Open Doors organization, nine out of the top ten countries where Christians suffer “extreme persecution” had populations that are at least 50 percent Muslim.