World News

New research shows sexual violence against Christian women is a global calamity

Open Doors has released the 2020 Gender-Specific Religious Persecution Report which reveals prevalence of violence committed against Christian men and women.


The report studies the 50 countries on the organization’s 2020 World Watch List. The data confirms religious persecution is gender-specific. Men and women are targeted by different means. Sexual violence against women is so high in the studied regions that Open Doors declared it a global calamity.

“No demographic is spared from religious persecution,” said Open Doors CEO David Curry. “The research shows that women are specifically targeted by efforts to hijack their faith through forced marriage to a spouse of another faith. (…) Christian women are routinely victimized by sexual assault. These egregious abuses are rooted in the belief that a Christian woman is of inherently lesser value than a man or woman of another faith.

For Christian women and girls who have been forced to marry or divorce, the home is not a place of refuge. Instead, it’s a hidden, inescapable source of pressure and violence applied by families to “correct” their choice of religion. Such forms of persecution are often hidden behind the more visible, physical persecution of men, which is more easily monitored and recorded.


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