In 2016, at least 90,000 Christians lost their lives because of their faith
According to a Fox News report, nearly a third of the deaths in 2016 were at the hands of Islamic extremists like ISIS, and others were killed by state and non-state persecution. Massimo Introvigne, director of CENSUR, told Vatican Radio that approximately 70 percent of the martyred Christians in 2016 were from tribal villages in Africa, and their deaths were partially a result of the fact that Christians often refuse to take up arms during conflicts.
The Center for the Study of Global Christianity also studies Christian martyrdom, both historical and contemporary, and estimates that between 2005 and 2015 there were 900,000 Christian martyrs worldwide—which comes out to an average of 90,000 per year. The Center says historical, sociological, and theological arguments in quantifying Christian martyrdom throughout time must be considered. Their definition of a Christian martyr is: “Believers in Christ who have lost their lives prematurely, in situations of witness, as a result of human hostility.”
The number of Christians martyred in 2016 is likely more than 90,000, however, because studies were not able to include data from China and India — two countries with large Christian populations, but with “underground” churches, so the numbers of persecuted and martyred Christians are hard to come by.
If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.
Here are some numbers:
- 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
- Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
- Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
- Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
- Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
- We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)
As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.
Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!