The international media has ignored or misrepresented the plight of persecuted Christians worldwide, according to the Barnabas Fund.
Despite rising anti-Christian action in many countries across the world, the populations of free countries do not understand the depth of the problem.
Speaking in response to a BBC Radio 4 programme on Easter Monday, during which the Archbishop of Canterbury highlighted the troubles endured by non-Western Christians, Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, said, ‘The persecution of Christians has increased in recent years, [but] the national and international media have too often ignored or even misrepresented it’.
The Archbishop had told the radio programme, Start the week, that, ‘We lose sight in this country of just how vulnerable are some of the Christian communities around the world. Christian minorities that have in Muslim environments been part of the furniture for many, many centuries are suddenly seen, suddenly cast as Western outposts, and that makes them particularly vulnerable’.
In recent weeks Barnabas Fund has reported on the acute sufferings of Christians in Mosul, Iraq, and Jos, Nigeria, in particular. But there are many other countries where Christians are facing discrimination, harassment and violence. These include Egypt, where mobs have been targeting Christians, destroying their property and livelihoods, and burning churches; Iran, where evangelism is being banned; and Indonesia, where Muslim groups have coerced the Government to close churches.