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Christian women most persecuted in world says global survey

by Hannah Tooley

According to anti-persecution charity, Open Doors, the level of violence against Christians around the globe stands at an all-time high and numbers are increasing year-on-year.

The charity has revealed that female Christians fall amongst the most persecuted group of people in the world.

Emily Fuentes, from Open Doors, said: "Unfortunately, more and more women are the target of terrorist groups."

She continued: "There are numerous international incidents of women being kidnapped, raped, and forced to convert from Christianity to Islam by radical extremist groups like Boko Haram.

"Many are also sold on the open market. This brutality is not only occurring in the Middle East but in Africa and in many other places."

The report also identified Islamic extremism as the main factor in 35 out of 50 states on their 2016 World Watch List of persecution. It tracks incidents and evaluates the situation for Christians.

Emily Fuentes told The Washington Post: "In many of these countries, women are subject to persecution because they are considered second-class citizens because of their gender.

"As minorities in both gender and faith, Christian women face double the persecution. Although, we don't have an exact number, we know that millions of women are being persecuted."

It is thought that in the last two years Islamic State alone has killed an excess of 250 girls and women for refusing to move into sexual slavery.

In 2014, terror group, Boko Haram, kidnapped 276 school girls whilst they were sleeping in their schools, many of whom are still missing.


Open Doors said Nigeria and the Central African Republic were the hardest places to be a follower of Jesus, with 2,484 and 1,088 people killed in each in 2015.

Emily Fuentes said women tend to be very devoted to faith and suffer more because of it.

She said: "Christian women tend to be more outspoken and devoted to their faith than men.

"Unfortunately, they end up paying a price for it.

"Women are seen as valuing their faith and serving a God that is higher than the government and that is unacceptable to foreign governments."

The Pew Research Centre says Christian women make up the largest faith group in the world, around 34% of the global population.

It showed women pray more often and attend church more regularly.

Emily Fuentes added: "There definitely needs to be a lot more education and advocacy on behalf of women who are facing persecution all over the world.

"It is vital to assess international aid and relations with different governments to see how they are treating Christian women."

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