Religious Persecution

Bishop José Álvarez Lagos surrounded by police officers on Aug. 4, 2022. | Credit: Diocese Media TV Merced/Diocese of Matagalpa

Victims of Persecution Testify at International Religious Freedom Summit

Jan 31, 2024

The two-day annual event includes speakers who faced religious persecution and government officials who work to promote religious freedom globally. 

A screen grab from a video shared with ACI Africa that shows the parish house at St. Raphael Fadan Kamantan Catholic Church of the Diocese of Kafanchan in flames Sept. 7, 2023. | Credit: ACI Africa

Here’s where Christians continued to face persecution in 2023

Dec 30, 2023

Christians have been persecuted by adversarial groups since the time of the apostles, and in varied parts of the world Christians continue to face existential threats.

The Palace of Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, which houses the meeting room of the U.N. Human Rights Council. | Groov3 via Wikimedia (CC0 1.0).

UN human Rights Council Passes Religious Hatred Resolution amid U.S., European Opposition

Jul 12, 2023

The United Nations Human Rights Council approved a controversial resolution Wednesday that urges member states to more aggressively prosecute acts of religious-based antagonism, with the motion passing even amid opposition from United States and European delegations. 

Pope Francis spoke about the Christian roots of Hungary during his general audience in St. Peter's Square on May 3, 2023. | Daniel Ibanez/CNA

Pope Francis Revisits "very painful" Jesuit Abductions in 1970s Argentina

May 10, 2023

Pope Francis has reflected on the “deep wounds” the Argentine dictatorship caused to two Jesuit priests the government abducted and tortured in the 1970s while the future pontiff was provincial of the Society of Jesus in Argentina.

Residents of Adunu line up to cast their ballots in Adunu Feb. 25, 2023. | Courtesy of Father Dauda Musa Bahago.

Dozens Still Captive in Nigeria After Deadly Raid on Catholic Town

Apr 6, 2023

Armed bandits killed one person and kidnapped more than 100 others in a March 14 raid on a predominantly Catholic town in north-central Nigeria, according to a Catholic priest and other local sources.

Janada Marcus with Pope Francis at the general audience on March 8, 2023. | Credit: Vatican Media

Pope Francis Meets with Two Nigerian Girls who were Kidnapped by Boko Haram

Mar 8, 2023

Pope Francis met Wednesday with two young Nigerian girls who suffered horrendous violence at the hands of the Boko Haram terrorist group.

Tudoran Andrei/Shutterstock

Report: Christian Persecution at its Highest Point in 30 years

Jan 18, 2023

The persecution of Christians is at its highest point in three decades, according to the latest report from advocacy group Open Doors.

Bishop Rolando Álvarez | Photo credit: Diocese of Matagalpa

Church in Nicaragua Asks for Continued Prayers for Abducted Bishop and Priests

Sep 27, 2022

The Diocese of Matagalpa has asked the faithful to continue praying for its bishop, Rolando Álvarez, the priests, seminarians, and the layman who were arrested and abducted in the middle of the night by the police of the Nicaraguan dictatorship, led by President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.

Sidney de Almeida/Shutterstock

Blessed Sacrament Found Intact in Tabernacle of Church Burned by Armed Men in Cameroon

Sep 22, 2022

In the aftermath of the fire that gutted a church in Cameroon, Bishop Aloysius Fondong of the Diocese of Mamfé entered the ruins to retrieve the Blessed Sacrament and found the sacred Hosts and the ciborium containing them to be intact.

Image credit: James (Unsplash)

Ortega Dictatorship Expels a Another Religious Congregation from Nicaragua

Sep 22, 2022

The dictatorship of President Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua has expelled the Religious Sisters of the Cross, thus continuing its attacks against the Catholic Church in Nicaragua.

The European Parliament building in Brussels, Belgium. | Ala z via Wikimedia (CC BY-SA 3.0).

European Parliament Condemns Repression of Church in Nicaragua, Urges Release of Bishop

Sep 16, 2022

By a broad majority, members of the European Parliament on Thursday condemned the escalating repression against the Catholic Church and others in Nicaragua. 

Formerly detained Father Oliver Opara (left) with Ummi Hassan; Bishop Matthew Kukah of the Diocese of Sokoto (not an abductee); Father Stephen Ojapah; and Hassan Fareed Hassan after the four were released from being held captive by terrorists. Photo courtesy of the Diocese of Sokoto

Freed Catholic Priest in Nigeria Recounts Details of His Kidnapping by Insurgents

Sep 10, 2022

Father Stephen Ojapah had fallen fast asleep late on May 25 after an exhausting day of parish work when two men with rifles ordered him to get out of bed and follow them.

Croatian parliament member Marijana Petir initiated the proposal to send about $30,000 in government aid to victims of the Nigerian Pentecost Sunday Mass attack on June 5, 2022. Courtesy of Marijana Petir

Croatian Aid Meant to Show Pentecost Attack Victims in Nigeria “you are not forgotten”

Jul 18, 2022

Forty-one people were killed by gunmen who opened fire during a Pentecost Sunday Mass.

Map of Nigeria. Shutterstock

Catholic Parish in Kaduna, Nigeria, Hard Hit in Last Sunday Attack

Jun 21, 2022

“We lost three of our parishioners, and 36 people were kidnapped, the majority of whom were Catholics,” a Nigerian pastor says.

Christians hold signs as they march on the streets of Abuja during prayer and penance for peace and security in Nigeria on March 1, 2020. null

Nigerian Christians No Longer View the U.S. as a "credible partner", Expert Says

Jun 14, 2022

The claim that the Pentecost Sunday attack was related merely to resources, land, or climate change is "absurd," Stephen Rasche says.

Ireland’s President Michael D. Higgins, pictured on Oct. 13, 2018. Damien Storan via Shutterstock.

Recent Church Massacre in Nigeria Not Linked to Climate Change: Bishop to Irish President

Jun 13, 2022

The bishop said Michael D. Higgins’ ‘reasons for this gruesome massacre are incorrect and far-fetched.’

Pope Francis prays with journalists on a papal flight August 14, 2014. | Alan Holdren.

“Continue to live Gospel message with fidelity, courage”: Pope to Ondo Diocese, Nigeria

Jun 7, 2022

Pope Francis has encouraged the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Ondo in Nigeria and the people of God there to remain faithful to the Gospel message, which they need to continue defending with courage.

Credit: ACN

Why Mothers and Their Children are Targeted in Egypt’s Religious Persecution

Jan 23, 2022

Radical Islamists in Egypt are using mothers and their children to wage war against Christianity in the Northern African country where religious persecution is said to be high.

Rep. Chris Smith. Public Domain. null

Nigeria's Removal from Watch List “retreat” from Religious Persecution Fight: Congressman

Nov 24, 2021

The decision to remove Nigeria from the list of “Countries of Particular Concern” was “totally unjustified,” and a backwards step in the fight against religious persecution, U.S. Rep. Chris Smith said in a speech Nov. 23.

A Mass and ceremony were held in 82 ecclesiastical territories, churches, and universities in the Philippines for those martyred for their faith and those suffering in order to live His Word. / Aid to the Church in Need (ACN).

Catholic Pontifical Organization Announces Global Campaign against Religious Persecution

Nov 12, 2020

Christians all over the world continue to be persecuted on the basis of their faith, a Catholic Pontifical organization has said while announcing this year’s global call for religious freedom.