Most Americans want Trump and Clinton to address Christian persecution

76 per cent in a poll commissioned by Open Doors USA said they wanted Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton to address persecution of ChristiansReuters

Over three quarters of Americans want the next president to address Christian persecution, according to a Harris poll commissioned by Open Doors USA.

Seventy-six per cent of respondents agreed with the statement: "It is important to me that the next US President be committed to addressing the persecution that some Christians face around the world (eg., imprisonment, beheadings, rape, loss of home and assets)."

David Curry, the Open Doors USA President and CEO, said: "Persecution of Christians, as well as adherents of other faiths, has grown exponentially in recent years. Governments are clamping down on religious freedom of expression, causing millions to face displacement, harassment, imprisonment, beatings and even death. Americans are looking to each presidential candidate for clear and decisive plans to address this growing global crisis."

The organisation has set up a petition calling on the candidates to address the issue of persecution of Christians around the world.

Curry added: "At Open Doors, our work brings us up close and personal with the suffering of persecuted Christians—and that means we are also a witness to the heartbreaking persecution faced by those belonging to other faiths. This campaign is an effort to urge the candidates to state clearly their plans of action for addressing the drastic rise in religious persecution faced by millions around the globe."

The Open Doors website said: "At Open Doors, we believe that the next president of the United States should be equipped with a plan of action to address the onslaught of unprecedented persecution."

Christians around the Middle East and Africa are facing persecution at the hands of Islamic militants, especially in Iraq and Syria, while increasing numbers of Christians are leaving the Holy Land of Israel-Palestine.

At a campaign event in New Hampshire last December, Clinton agreed that Christian persecution at the hands of Islamic State is "genocide".

A voter asked: "Will you join those leaders, faith leaders, and secular leaders and political leaders from both the right and the left, in calling what is happening by its proper name: genocide?"

Clinton replied: "I will because we now have enough evidence".