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International Reports 6/2011

The Situation of Christians in: the Middle East and North Africa | Sub-Saharan Africa | Central and South Asia | North East Asia and South East Asia

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  • Editorial

    Religious freedom can only be guaranteed by countries which are based on the fundamental principles of a free democratic legal and constitutional structure. A recent survey on the situation of Christians which was carried out in around 40 of our field offices produced a very varied picture. The results of this survey are summarised in four articles in this edition.

    by Gerhard Wahlers

  • The Situation of Christians in the Middle East and North Africa

    The Middle East and North Africa are the cradle of not only Christianity but also of two other great religions, Judaism and Islam. Despite a mutual origin, pressure is building up on the Christians in this region. The Christian community, although well acquainted with its minority situation in the eventful history of the Orient, is increasingly losing faith in a future that guarantees them a secure existence.

    by Matthias Riemenschneider

  • The Situation of Christians in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Christian communities in Africa do not need to worry about declining membership and empty churches. On the contrary, membership of churches is rocketing. As a result Christianity in the African continent is as diverse as anywhere in the world. Although religious freedom is enshrined in the constitutions of most countries and Muslims and Christians do live peacefully together, there is also evidence in Africa of growing restrictions on religious freedom and targeted persecution of Christians.

    by Maria Zandt

  • The Situation of Christians in Central and South Asia

    Christians overall in South and Central Asia belong to a small minority, whose number lies nearly exclusively in the one figure percentage. Even if there may be not many Christians in South- and Central Asia, there are many different denominations. Freedom of religion is mentioned in all constitutions of the twelve Central and South Asia states. Christians are being attacked violently time and again in some countries of South Asia. But such persecutions are mainly conducted by nationalistic or religious extremists, less from the state itself.

    by Thomas Kunze

  • The Situation of Christians in North East Asia and South East Asia

    The situation of Christians in a specific country is closely connected to the way in which active and passive religious freedom is allowed. The freedom of religion in itself does not only express the degree of a guaranteed rule of law but also indicates the cultural tolerance within the country. However, another decisive factor is the engagement of religious communities and the attitude of religious leaders for a religion to be acknowledged in society.

    by Peter Hefele, Andreas Dittrich

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About this series

International Reports (IR) is the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung's periodical on international politics. It offers political analyses by our experts in Berlin and from more than 100 offices across all regions of the world. Contributions by named authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial team.

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Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of the Department International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Dr. Sören Soika


Editor-in-Chief International Reports (Ai) +49 30 26996 3388