Home > Radical Islam, Wars and Rumors of War > Expert: Christians Are The Most Persecuted Religious Group In The World

Expert: Christians Are The Most Persecuted Religious Group In The World

By Michael Gryboski, The Christian Post – “WASHINGTON – The head of a California-based evangelical religious liberty group stated Thursday that Christianity is presently the most persecuted religion on earth based on evidence gathered.

Dr. Carl Moeller told The Christian Post at an event on rising religious intolerance abroad that Christians are ‘the most persecuted in the world’ when the nonprofit examined religious groups suffering from increased persecution.

‘In terms of sheer numbers, the large size of the Christian populations around the world, where they’re repressed or restricted… Whether you count martyrs, those killed, or you count those living in regimes, sizable Christian populations live under extreme restrictions in places like China, Indonesia, and of course the Middle East,’ said Moeller…

‘Where we see it most notably is in Islamic societies where an intentional misrepresentation of other faiths is primary…’

Moeller’s remarks came at a press conference focused on the increased persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East and North Africa…

… Moeller spoke about the growing problems for Christians in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, and Nigeria. When talking about Nigeria, which is in the news regularly for bomb attacks by an extremist Islamic group called Boko Haram, Moeller held up photos of bombed churches and businesses taken over the past few months.” Read more.

Flashback: ‘Bloody’: Christian Persecution is ‘Coursing Through Muslim-Majority Nations from One End of the Globe to the Other’ – “We hear so often about Muslims as victims of abuse in the West and combatants in the Arab Spring’s fight against tyranny. But, in fact, a wholly different kind of war is underway—an unrecognized battle costing thousands of lives. Christians are being killed in the Islamic world because of their religion. It is a rising genocide that ought to provoke global alarm… The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity—and ultimately of all religious minorities—in the Islamic world is at stake.” Read more.

  1. cody
    12/13/2012 at 3:02 PM

    This article could easily have been titled: Christianity the most oppressive religion in the world. The number of people who have died as a result of christian oppression throughout history is astounding. Im not saying Christians in Muslim countries are not threatened but its really the pot calling the kettle black isnt it?


  2. ICA
    12/13/2012 at 11:16 PM

    Hi cody, thank you for your comment. The answer to your questions is no, not according to history. Although there had been periods when Christianity was “oppressive” — the Spanish Inquisition, for instance, is estimated to have killed approximately 6,000 people over its 350 year history, which averages to fewer than 18 people a year — Christians have been and continue to be the most oppressed religious group on earth. Take Islamic jihad, for example. Jihad has been the greatest mass murderer in the history of the world. “Jihad destroyed a Christian Middle East and a Christian North Africa. Soon it was the fate of the Persian Zoroastrian and the Hindu to be the victims of jihad. The history of political Islam is the destruction of Christianity in the Middle East, Egypt, Turkey and North Africa. Half of Christianity was lost. Before Islam, North Africa was the southern part of Europe (part of the Roman Empire). Around 60 million Christians were slaughtered during the jihadic conquest… The Jews became permanent dhimmis throughout Islam. In Africa over 120 million Christians and animists have died over the last 1400 years of jihad. Approximately 270 million nonbelievers died over the last 1400 years for the glory of political Islam. These are the Tears of Jihad which are not taught in any school.” (Bill Warner, FrontPage Magazine, Feb. 2007). That’s nearly 3 times as many people per month than all the people killed during the 350 years of the Spanish Inquisition.

    To your question specifically, the relatively brief period of Christian oppression has been a time mired by misguided, corrupt leaders who did not subdue or oppress because of the teachings of the Christian faith, but rather in spite of it. Oppression caused by anyone who claimed to carry the Cross of Christ was a terrible departure from the faith, not a reflection of it.

    Luke 6:27-31, “But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.”


  3. 12/14/2012 at 3:19 PM

    While there is no doubt Islam trounces Christianity in the number of deaths it is responsible for, the Catholic Church in particular, through its crusades and by its association with various European monarchs over the centuries who enforced the Churches’ doctrines and preeminence, is responsible for millions of deaths, to say the least.


  4. ICA
    12/14/2012 at 4:34 PM

    I’m not so sure about that, Kurt. It seems that certain historians, both Christian and secular, have repeatedly inflated the numbers, particularly those who espouse a Catholic Beast eschatology. “As for the actual numbers of people killed in the various inquisitions, one must be very careful. Some sources which have been considered ‘reputable’ by protestants for many years, have contained figures for the people killed by the inquisition as more than the present population of Europe! Almost all sources are wildly inflated.

    One example: the Cathars, who waged war on Christians and killed many of them in southern France in the beginning of the 13th century: The King of France launched a crusade in 1209 to destroy the Cathar’s military might, it was a brutal invasion where as many as 6,000 men, women, and children died. It was not an inquisition, and not run by the Church.

    The Church started it’s first ‘inquisition’ in 1231 as a response to the Cathar influence in Southern France. The numbers of people over the years actually killed by secular authorities (after having being tried by Church courts) was, inflated, maybe in the hundreds over many decades. When looking at numbers for the Church inquisitions during those centuries, remember a number of things, 1) the populate of European nations at that time was far less than it is today, 2) the number of people brought to trial were minuscule, and 3) the number actually killed was even less. If you look at actual trials and sentences from this era, you begin to realize that the Church trials were much more lenient and were actually trying to accomplish good goals; even though, in many instances, innocent people ended up harmed, and there was a lot of evil. Still you have to keep things in perspective.

    For excellent coverage of this and other issues, read Karl Keating’s Catholicism and Fundamentalism, chapter 23 on the Inquisition.” (Source).

    One person killed in the “name of Christ” is one person too many, whether it be Catholics killing Protestants or Protestants killing Catholics. But I haven’t seen anything that convinces me that the numbers were anywhere near the millions.


  5. 12/15/2012 at 12:31 PM


    I’m surprised at your stance here. It doesn’t take much in the way of research to find that over the Centuries millions, and I think tens of millions, were killed either directly or indirectly by the Catholic Church. Yes, in many cases it was in partnership with civil/royal authorities, but that is exactly the issue we are concerned with vis a vis political Islam–it offers no tolerance of other beliefs. You are in danger of blunting your message if you only see the failings of “them” and not “us” (It is mankind that is the problem, not Muslims). While I highly regard Ravi Zacharias (I followed your link to his website but not to an article listing deaths in the thousands over 350 years), if he believes that is all the persecution and torture the Catholic church is responsible for or complicit in, he is wrong.

    Here is a link to a paper that documents many different sources written over many decades, each substantiating the “millions” number: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&ved=0CHsQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.cs.unc.edu%2F~plaisted%2Festimates.doc&ei=C6jMULr9GqjyigLD14GwBg&usg=AFQjCNEAlIKeb6ADhZR_D8_uLIhP-GwtMA&bvm=bv.1355325884,d.cGE I guess you could say some of the numbers are off, but the preponderance of evidence is millions, not thousands. This justifiably includes the wars and persecutions of the state in support of church doctrine.

    An abridged list of the atrocities (I won’t list the supposed numbers of deaths for each, but its far in excess of ‘thousands’ for each of them):

    – Waldensian martyrs, 13th C France
    – the Inquisition (Zacharias’ number is off by many orders of magnitude)
    – Albigenses peoples, 13th C France, but the Crusaders
    – 30 Years’ War, Germany, instigated by Jesuits
    – Irish Rebellion
    – C. & S. American Indians, in the millions; priests were with the soldiers wherever they went, enforcing Catholic doctrine
    – “Christian” reconquest of Spain
    – Huguenots, 16th C France
    – Crusaders on the way to, and in, the M.E.
    – Extinguishing of the Arians, 6th C Medit basin
    – Heruli, Hussites and Ostrogoths in religious wars

    and many others, I could easily go on…

    I guess John Wesley could be wrong and you correct, but he said 40 or 50 million total dead due to Catholicism, whether directly, at the behest of, with the complicence of, approval of the Church.

    I respect you a lot, as you know, and I don’t understand why you believe what you do regarding Catholic persecution of just about anybody who didn’t bow their knee to their system, well into the 19th Century?



  6. ICA
    12/15/2012 at 2:38 PM

    Remember, I’m not saying that the numbers are not in the millions, only that I haven’t seen anything that convinces me beyond a reasonable doubt that they are. What I am confident in is that the number of Christians killed by other Christians (either Catholics killing Protestants or Protestants killing Catholics) is that the totality of the number likely extends into the hundreds of thousands throughout the dark period of Christianity’s history. Depending on the sources cited, however, the numbers vary so widely that it seems impossible to gauge any accurate data after reading both sides of the arguments. Protestant enemies of old of the Catholic church will understandably inflate the numbers of fellow Christians killed at the hands of the Catholic Church, intentionally or not. They believed, after all, that the Pope was the Antichrist. Catholics will likely do the same. (That doesn’t necessarily mean that the numbers always were). Moreover, secular historians will also be all too willing to inflate the numbers of deaths perpetrated by Christians in general due to an already built-in anti-Christian bias from many of them.

    The link I included above to Ravi Zacharias’ page is to part 2 of a podcast sermon by John Dickson. He spoke briefly on the Spanish Inquisition and the numbers killed while speaking about “Violence in the Old Testament”.

    Bottom line is that one person killed in the name of Christ is one too many. Christianity has a bloody history, but we have fortunately progressed well beyond the quagmire of that dark period. Meanwhile, however, another religious system steeped in darkness during that time remains in darkness today, and would love to see the time come when Christians could never kill other Christians ever again — not because Christians have chosen to live in peace and harmony, but because Christianity would be completely eradicated from the earth and there are no more of us “infidels” left.


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