We French Christians often find it difficult to imagine that some Christians around the world are victims of persecution while they want to live their religion in peace. We often talk about Africa and the Middle East in the media, but know that there are also persecuted Christian minorities in Asia and even in Europe, not so far from home!
And yet Christianity is the first religion in the world with 2.2 billion followers! But this number has been declining for several years and in Europe, the number of Christians in proportion to other religions has dropped from 95% to 76%, a not insignificant figure. The same phenomenon occurs in the United States, where Christians went from 96% to 86%.
Fortunately, the number of Christians is not decreasing as much in the countries of the South, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the proportion has instead blown up: from 9% in 1910, it nowadays reaches 63%! If we can rejoice in these figures and the increase in the number of Christians in the world, we must however realize that they cause serious problems, since they make rise movements and anti-Christian violence .
A short tour of the Christian world not exhaustive …
There are not only Jews in Israel! But nearly 150,000 Christians, who represent 2% of the population. These Israeli Arabs enjoy Israeli citizenship, but have no political weight. They do not suffer the fate of the Palestinians, even if they are considered to be Arabs …
The Christian community of Jordan is protected by the monarchy, even if it does not enjoy any political power. Jordanian Christians represent less than 6% of the population, or 350,000 Christians, including 120,000 Catholics: Maronites, Greek-Melkites, Chaldeans and Latin.
The Copts, Christians of Egypt, represent about 10% of the population of the country, or 8 to 10 million people, and it is therefore a very important Christian community. Targeted by several attacks, the Coptic community is also sidelined from official institutions and power (out of 508 seats in the Egyptian National Assembly, only 3 elected Copts …). It should be noted, however, that Copts enjoy freedom of worship, even though they must obtain permission from the authorities to build or restore a church.
In Iraq, Christians are few, with less than 3% of the population, or 600,000 Christians. Their situation is worsening from year to year and Iraqi Christians are facing a resurgence of attacks. Many migrate to the West or Kurdistan.
The Islamic Republic has 135,000 Christians, 20,000 of whom are mainly Chaldean Catholics, less than 0.3% of the population. This community, because of its small size, is accepted without problem by the Iraqi population, just like the Jewish community.
Lebanon has about 40% of its population of Christians, or 1.5 million mainly Maronites. The country hosts 18 religious communities, 13 of which are Christian and it is one of the few countries where the Christian community plays a political role. But economic crisis and political tensions mean that many Christians leave the country every year.
Syrian Christians are not too much to complain about since their freedom of worship is guaranteed by the secular nature of the regime. They represent about 4.5% of the population, less than one million people.
The 3.5 million Christians of different churches can worship anywhere except Saudi Arabia, which only allows Islam.
Christians represent a very small 2% of the population, or 60,000 people, and many of them are forced into exile.
In 1900, Turkey had 20% Christians and today, more than 0.1% of the population, or 80,000 Christians. A decrease to be attributed to the Armenian genocide and the many massacres and conflicts in this country.