Report: Christians were the most persecuted group of people in 2016

Report: Christians were the most persecuted group of people in 2016
VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 13: A woman holds rosary beads while she prays and waits for smoke to emanate from the chimney on the roof of the Sistine Chapel which will indicate whether or not the College of Cardinals have elected a new Pope on March 13, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI's successor is being chosen by the College of Cardinals in Conclave in the Sistine Chapel. The 115 cardinal-electors, meeting in strict secrecy, will need to reach a two-thirds-plus-one vote majority to elect the 266th Pontiff. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

In all of 2016, nearly 90,000 Christians were martyred around the world, according to a new study by an Italian research group.

According to the Center for Studies on New Religions, which plans to release its full report next month, a Christian was martyred about once every six minutes in 2016, making them the most persecuted religious group in the world.

Massimo Introvigne, director of CENSUR, told Vatican Radio last week that approximately 70 percent of the martyred Christians were from “tribal villages” in Africa because Christians often refuse to take up arms during conflicts.

The other 30 percent, according to the study, were Christians who fell victim to terrorism or governmental persecution.

Still, the number of Christians who were martyred in 2016 is likely more than 90,000 because the study was unable to include data from China or India, two east Asian countries that have large Christian populations, because of the “underground” nature of churches in those countries.

There is some positive news, however, according to RT.com. The number of Christians being martyred decreased in 2016 compared to 2015 from 105,000 to 90,000.

(H/T: Relevant Magazine)

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