by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A new study shows that hate crimes against Protestants and Catholics increased by 70% in Europe last year, the Christian Post (CP) reports. The Observatory on Intolerance Against Christians in Europe (OIDAC) presented its report amid concerns about an ongoing decline in religious, parental, and conscience freedoms for European Christians.
The OIDAC report focussed on collecting data from France, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the United States over two years, CP said. These particular countries were chosen because researchers found that Christians face the most difficulties in them. “We found that the area of church life is the most visibly affected due to an increasing number of hate crimes in most countries, but education, the workplace, and politics are following shortly after,” the report states.
The report documented 981 anti-Christian crimes in Europe for 2020, compared to 578 in 2019, an increase of 70%, CP said. Researchers found there was “increasing intolerance and discrimination” against Christians from governments, and individuals were found to be subject to “social exclusion and criminal acts.”
According to the report, secular intolerance and Islamic oppression are a strong contributing factors in the rising number of hate crimes against Christians. “[W]hile secular intolerance is the driving dynamic in most of the cases and areas of life we observed, Islamic oppression mainly occurs in concentrated hotspot areas, in which Christian converts are the group that is mostly affected along with other residential Christians,” the report says.
Christian converts from Islam, in particular, are “very vulnerable,” the researchers found. “Our data indicates that many of them face intolerance and violence from their social environment, and the danger they face is often ignored by state authorities,” the report attests.
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