Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Number of Christian martyrs continues to cause debate

Estimates range from between 1,200 to 100,000 per year

Ninety-six Christians died in the twin attacks
 on All Saints Church in Peshawar.
World Watch Monitor
The debate over the precise number of Christians martyred each year continues.

Researchers from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity estimated that around one million Christians were martyred in the first 10 years of the 21st Century, leading to an average of around 100,000 a year. However, Open Doors International has a much lower figure – that of 1200.

The huge disparity between the figures can be explained by the CSGC’s decision to also include Christians killed in conflicts. The CSGC notes that some 900,000 Christians died in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the first decade of the 21st Century, and this comprises 90% of the total number of Christians killed in that period.

John Allen, author of the book The Global War on Christians, believes the precise figure is ultimately less important. “I think it would be good to have reliable figures on this issue, but I don't think it ultimately matters in terms of the point of my book, which is to break through the narrative that tends to dominate discussion in the West – that Christians can't be persecuted because they belong to the world's most powerful Church,” he said.


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