by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – A new report shows that the number of documented anti-Christian hate crimes in Europe rose to 749 incidents across 30 countries last year. The data was released by the Austria-based Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians (OIDAC) in the 2022/23 issue of its annual report on anti-Christian hate crimes in Europe.
While the organization documented 749 anti-Christian hate crimes, OIDAC said in its report that the number was likely higher. “There is a reasonable probability for higher dark numbers due to limited reporting on anti-Christian hate crimes, the “chilling effect” among victims, and the lack of media coverage,” the report reads.
The crimes documented for 2022 included 38 incidents of physical assault and three cases in which Christians were murdered. Notably, OIDAC said there was a rise in arson attacks between 2021 and 2022.
OIDAC suggested a number of possible causes for the spike in cases, including “an increasing trend in hate crimes perpetrated by radicalized members of ideological, political, or religious groups that follow an anti-Christian narrative.”
Moreover, OIDAC said: “The war in Ukraine, apart from being a terrible humanitarian crisis, has also affected religious freedom in the region.
Many of these incidents are highly political and ethnic-related, but they have led to different forms of discrimination towards Christians. Russian authorities and troops have repeatedly violated the religious freedom of Christians by closing churches and kidnapping or arresting pastors. Orthodox Christians have also faced discrimination in many European countries because of the war.”
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