Africa with its caliphates is the land that suffers from anti-Christian persecution and violations of religious freedom by those who diverge from the mantra of jihadist, Hindu or totalitarianism extremisms. Alessandro Monteduro director of ‘Aid to the Church in Need’ (ACS) draws up an assessment with Adnkronos on the occasion of the third annual March for the martyrs which tomorrow will support the persecuted in the world at the National Mall in Washington. “After the military disarticulation of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the extremism of those countries found refuge in Africa. Since 2016 and in the first months of 2017 we have witnessed a progressive and constant radicalization of communities and an increase in phenomena jihadists “. These are the refuge areas: “Mali, Niger, northern Nigeria, Mozambique, Cameroon, Chad, Burkina Faso in particular, which despite having never known violence today is the epicenter of persecutions, as well as the fourth poorest country in the world with over 60% of the population unreachable due to the risky situation of the territories “. The aggressive and terrorist action develops in two ways: “the conquest of the territory and the suppression of everything that does not refer to the deviant religious policy of the persecutors”. Going into detail, “Boko Haram, (literally ‘Western education is a sin’), one of the most ruthless extremist organizations in existence, has been operating in northern Nigeria since 2003 with its acclaimed and dramatic deeds. But it is not the only one. There are dozens of terrorist groups: there are, for example, extremists within the pastoral communities such as the Fulani, who migrate in search of increasingly flourishing and luxuriant lands for the breeding of livestock and who clash with landowners and peasants, who instead are predominantly Christians. Today Nigeria, whose 46% of the population is Christian and concentrated mainly in the south, has become the epicenter of those persecutions with Burkina Faso “. “Then there is Mozambique, with Al-Shabaab and the other extremist movements increasingly widespread in the last 6 years, especially in the northern area in the province of Capo del Gado. And there too the brutality of their action is something that it comes to the surface in the media from time to time, when the deeds cannot fail to be told – explains Monteduro – The time in which Mozambique has been talked about in recent years is when the news has had to tell the mass beheadings in football fields “. Violence directed by “a mantra that everything that is alternative to their society must be suppressed: that is to say Christians, inter-religious and imams of their own Islam, who contest those extreme and violent models”. “I add an element – he continues – there are also totalitarian regimes such as China, North Korea, Eritrea and other equally violent religious extremisms as in India, Hindu extremism, which feels supported by the conservative party in power and doubles every year. anti-Christian attacks “. To the point that Indian states are constantly increasing in which “anti-conversion laws are introduced that punish conversion from Hinduism to Christianity with severe penalties”, placing particularly Catholic charity organizations accused of favoring conversions on the dock. Finally Monteduro recalls: “According to the latest report of the Church suffering from April 2020-21, today in the world 416 million Christians live in lands of persecution, that is, in which it is dangerous to profess faith in Christ. And I am speaking of persecution, not of discrimination, which would take us even further “. (by Roberta Lanzara)
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