(AFP) Christians are being driven out of some of the religion’s historic heartlands through discrimination and violence, a British government minister warned on Friday.
Sayeeda Warsi, the first Muslim woman to hold cabinet office in Britain, said religious persecution of all faiths “has become a global crisis.”
In an article for the Daily Telegraph newspaper, she noted recent attacks on churches and their congregations in Pakistan and Egypt.
“Christian populations are plummeting and the religion is being driven out of some of its historic heartlands,” wrote Warsi, whose family is originally from Pakistan.
“There is even talk of Christianity becoming extinct in places where it has existed for generations–where the faith was born.”
Warsi, a member of the unelected House of Lords and currently minister for faith at the Foreign Office, said perpetrators ranged from states to militants to ordinary people.
She urged a “cross-faith, cross-continent unity” to address the issue, “because a bomb going off in a Pakistani church shouldn’t just reverberate through Christian communities; it should stir the world.”