100,000 Christians killed every year, says Vatican official

London, May 29 (IANS) Around 100,000 Christians are killed every year around the world because of their faith, a top Vatican official has said.

Monsignor Silvano Maria Tomasi, a Catholic archbishop, said the Middle East, Africa and Asia were the worst places, the Daily Mail reported citing Vatican radio.

Tomasi said Christians were also forced to leave their homes and see churches destroyed in some parts of the world, and were often subjected to rapes, kidnappings and discrimination.

He referred to the kidnapping of two Orthodox bishops near Aleppo in Syria last month.

Religious freedom is beset by "sectarianism, intolerance, terrorism and exclusionary laws", but rights are protected in exceptions like Bangladesh, Tomasi said.

Mario Toso, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace in the Vatican, said recently that discrimination against Christians "should be countered in the same way as anti-Semitism and Islamophobia".

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