Two-thirds of the world's 2.3 billion Christians currently live outside the West, but they also tend to be poor and often belong to ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities. As a result, they have become increasingly convenient targets of violence
The estimated number of Christians being killed for their faith today varies widely, but according to Allen, "even the low-end estimate puts the number of Christians killed every day on the basis of religious hatred at twenty, almost one per hour."
In order to escape persecution, many Christians have left areas where they have played a vibrant role in social, political and cultural life for centuries.
Worldwide, the number of people forced from their homes has surged past 50 million for the first time since World War II, according to a June 2014 report of the U.N. Refugee Agency.
Before the Iraq War in 2003, Christians in Iraq numbered approximately 1 million out of a population of 25 million. In September 2014, an estimated 300,000 Christians remained in the country. In the ancient city of Mosul, where some 60,000 Christians lived prior to 2003, today there are none. Iraq's Christians have perhaps suffered more than any other group since the Islamic State formerly known as ISIS rose to power, but Christianity is in decline all over the Middle East. Just 5% of the regions population identifies as Christian, and that figure is dropping
Likewise, the combined effects of five years of civil war in Syria and the Islamic State onslaught there have been devastating. The war alone has left 220,000 people killed, 7.6 million internally displaced, and 3.9 million refugees. Whereas Christians used to make up 10 percent of Syria's 22 million people prior to the war, Islamic State militants have ensured that large swaths of the country have now become "Christian-free zones." In Aleppo, Christians fear that they could suffer the same fate as Mosul.
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