Last year was the most violent for Christians in modern history, rising to “a level akin to ethnic cleansing,” according to a new report by Open Doors USA, a watchdog group that advocates for Christians.
In total, the survey found that more than 7,100 Christians were killed in 2015 for “faith-related reasons,” up 3,000 from the previous year, according to the group’s analysis of media reports and other public information as well as external experts. Open Door’s report is independently audited by the International Institute of Religious Freedom. Open Doors USA is an organization that works with Christians worldwide to “equip and encourage” those living under persecution while also helping churches in America advocate for the persecuted around the world.
The group’s report defines Christian persecution “as any hostility experienced as a result of one’s identification with Christ.” Open Doors found this persecution ranged from imprisonment, torture, beheadings and rape to the loss of home and assets, the loss of a job, or even rejection from a community.