The head of Aid to the Church in Need reports that the year was one of the bloodiest years for Christians ever.
“2019 was a year of martyrs, one of the bloodiest for Christians in history. It culminated in the attacks on three churches in Sri Lanka that cost more than 250 people their lives. We are also very concerned about the situation in China and India.” This is the assessment by Thomas Heine-Geldern, Executive President of Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).However, he added, “politicians and opinion leaders in Western Europe are talking about religious freedom much more frequently now.” Heine-Geldern in particular cited the Christmas video message recorded for ACN by the British heir apparent, Prince Charles. He called attention to the growing suffering and persecution of Christians all over the world and urged Christians in the West to stand in solidarity with their suffering fellow believers.
Heine-Geldern called upon multinational and international organizations—such as the European Union and the United Nations—to establish and protect religious freedom as a fundamental human right on all levels and in all countries.
He said: “More and more is being said about it, but still too little is being done. It is difficult to believe that in a country like France there were more than 230 attacks on Christian churches and institutions last year.”
Also shocking were the events in Chile, where 40 churches have been desecrated and damaged since mid-October,” he added.
Heine-Geldern expressed deep concern for the situation of Christians in Nigeria, where the Islamist terrorists of Boko Haram continue to brutalize people: “On Christmas Eve, in Kwarangulum, a Christian village in the state of Borno, was attacked by jihadists. Seven people were shot dead, a young woman was kidnapped and the houses and the church were burned down.”
Only a day later, ISIS West Africa Province released a video that reportedly showed the execution of ten Christians and a Muslim in north-eastern Nigeria. We are deeply distressed by this. We are celebrating while others are in mourning and live in fear,” he said.