The World Council of Churches Executive Committee issued a statement condemning attacks and persecution of Christian communities in Asia.
“Throughout history, religious communities living in contexts in which other religions predominate have been among the most vulnerable groups in society,” the statement reads. “In many parts of the world today, Christians in such contexts are among the most persecuted communities.”
The statement acknowledges that, in in some contexts, Christian communities are unfairly or mistakenly linked to the colonial histories of their countries. “They are frequently scapegoated in the context of prevailing geopolitical and religious undercurrents and narratives of retaliation, and their dignity and freedoms violated, often with impunity,” the statement reads. “And they are increasingly targeted in brutal violent attacks.”
The violence occurs in the context of systematic marginalization, unequal citizenship rights, and discriminatory and blasphemy laws, the statement continues.
“In many contexts, the vulnerability of Christian communities is accentuated by their socio-economic situation, race, ethnic and or caste identity, and lack of access to land, resources, and education,” the statement reads. “Women are particularly vulnerable, being subjected to physical, and sexual violence, rape, abductions, forced marriages, and in cases of conversion, also to shaming, shunning, forced divorce and denial of custody of children.”