ROME, JUNE 3, 2011 (Zenit.org).- A sociologist representing a European security organization says that the number of Christians killed each year for their faith is so high that it calculates to one martyr’s life being taken every five minutes.
Massimo Introvigne of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported this data at a conference on Christian-Jewish-Muslim interfaith dialogue, which concluded today in Hungary. The conference was sponsored by the Hungarian presidency of the Council of the European Union, and included a variety of high-level representatives from the three monotheistic religions, as well as political and social leaders.
Introvigne reported that Christians killed every year for their faith number 105,000, and that number includes only those put to death simply because they are Christians. It does not count the victims of civil or international wars.
“If these numbers are not cried out to the world, if this slaughter is not stopped, if it is not acknowledged that the persecution of Christians is the first worldwide emergency in the matter of violence and religious discrimination, the dialogue between religions will only produce beautiful conferences but no concrete results,” he stated.
Egyptian diplomat Aly Mahmoud said that in his country laws have been passed that will protect Christian minorities, for example, prosecuting those who give speeches that incite hatred and banning hostile crowds outside churches.
“However, the danger is that many Christian communities in the Middle East will die from emigration, because all Christians, feeling threatened, will flee,” he said.
The diplomat suggested Europe prepare for “a new wave of emigration, this time from Christians fleeing the persecutions.”
For his part, Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev, chairman for the Russian Orthodox patriarchate’s Department of External Church Relations, reminded that “at least 1 million” Christian victims of persecutions are children.