Close to 100,000 Christians are being killed every year because of their faith, according to statistics from a Pew Research Survey and the International Society for Human Rights, a non-religious organization.
These figures, which represent an “unprecedented,” number of death per year amount to 273 Christian killed daily, or 11 every hour, said Bishop John McAreavey, chairman of the Council for Justice and Peace.
McAreavey, speaking to the Irish parliament on behalf of the Irish Catholic Bishop's Conference, said, “Eighty percent of all acts of religious discrimination in the world today are directed against Christians."
The bishop added that an ever great number of Christians are "being tortured, imprisoned, exiled, threatened, excluded, attacked and discriminated against on a widespread scale."
McAreavey quoted the former Chief Rabbi of Britain, Lord Jonathan Sacks, who said that the persecution of Christians is "one of the crimes against humanity of our time." Sacks compared the reality of today’s suffering Christians to the Jews were were terrorized by the pogroms in Europe. Sacks said he was "appalled at the lack of protest it has evoked."
As to reasons why Western governments have not helped these populations, McAreavey suggested, “Perhaps because of a fear of being seen as less than aggressively secular in their own country, many governments of majority Christian countries in the West seem reluctant to give direct aid to churches and religious minorities."
A Catholic nun who escaped from Iraq after being driven out of her home by the Islamic State in August, 2014, recently testified before Congress.
"This is cultural and human genocide," said Sister Diana Momeka. “Christians have for centuries been the bridge that connects Eastern and Western cultures. Destroying this bridge will leave an isolated, inculturated conflict zone emptied of cultural and religious diversity."