In 2018 Asia Bibi was released after serving a 10-year prison sentence in Pakistan. She had been imprisoned on trumped-up charges of blasphemy, a crime punishable by death.
He currently says that the situation in Pakistan has not improved and that blasphemy laws continue to be abused.
“There are many other laws that discriminate against us and allow the legal persecution of Christians in the country.”
But Pakistan is not the only country in which violations of religious freedom have increased in recent years, according to the 2021 Aid to the Church in Need Report.
Director of ACN (Italy)
“In 2018 violations against religious freedom were detected in 38 countries and currently there are 62. In 2018 there were 21 countries with extreme persecution, today there are 26”.
And although countries like Iraq and Syria have lessened the persecution, they now have other serious problems to contend with.
Director of AIN (Italy)
“For the first time, Syria and Iraq, in the Middle East, are among the countries marked by violations of religious freedom, but they are no longer in the category of extreme persecution. It is not that the situation is resolved. The problem there now is of another nature, much more serious. It’s called poverty. It’s called unemployment. It’s called economic sanctions ”.
Terrorist groups, dismantled in Iraq and Syria, brought their radicalized jihadist ideals to African countries such as Chad, Mozambique, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso.
And persecution also takes many other forms. In North Korea and China, religious groups are systematically repressed by authoritarian regimes.
Whereas in countries like India, Myanmar and Thailand, religious nationalism fuels the persecution of religious minorities.
Although the statistics are not encouraging at all, there is still hope that the international community will work to deal with this increasingly serious situation.