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The number of Christians facing persecution for their faith is on the rise worldwide and the international community “must hear their cry for help”, Hungary’s state secretary in charge of aiding persecuted Christians told an international conference. The international community must not forget about those for whom “coronavirus seems like the lesser evil” compared with an existential crisis they are forced to face every day, Tristan Azbej told an online conference organised by International Christian Concern, a Washington-based rights group. The number of Christians facing persecution around the world has risen from 245 million to 260 million over the past year, Azbej said, adding that close to 3,000 Christians had been murdered and 3,700 arrested for their beliefs during this period. Also, nearly one hundred places of worship have been attacked, he added. Around one-third of the world’s population faces some form of persecution over their religious beliefs, with Christians being the most persecuted community, the state secretary said. Their situation has now also been made worse by the pandemic, Azbej said. He said that rather than encouraging persecuted communities to leave their homelands, help should be taken where the problems arise.