OVER THE PAST SEVEN YEARS, the number of physical reprisals and terrorist acts against Christians in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East has increased by 309%.
The Arab Spring has added momentum to this process, causing it to snowball. By the end of last year, 200,000 Copts had left their homes to escape the repressions of the new Egyptian authorities. Notwithstanding the NATO contingents deployed in the country, the reprisals aimed against Christians in Iraq have reduced their numbers from one million to less than 500,000. According to UN data, in South Sudan, in spite of the world community's intermediation, between 53,000 and 75,000 people have been forced to leave their historical place of residence. Furthermore, they, like thousands of other Christian refugees from the East, have little chance of returning - their homes are being torn down and plundered.
Whereas at the beginning of the 20th century, 25% of Christians of all confessions lived close to their main shrines in the Middle East, today this number has shrunk to less than 5%. It is worth noting that acts of vandalism and physical reprisals are frequently carried out with the tacit support or direct assistance of the governments of Muslim countries.