Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group
by another individual or group. The most common forms are religious
persecution, racism and political persecution, though there is
naturally some overlap between these terms. The inflicting of
suffering, harassment, imprisonment, internment, fear, or pain are all
factors that may establish persecution, but not all suffering will
necessarily establish persecution. The suffering experienced by the
victim must be sufficiently severe. The threshold level of severity
has been a source of much debate.
1 International law
2.3.1 Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism)
2.3.2 Jehovah's Witnesses
2.4 Falun Gong
3.2 Hazara people
4 Based on genetics
4.1 People with albinism
5 Of people with autism
7 Based on military service
8 See also
10 External links
As part of the Nuremberg Principles, crimes against humanity are part
of international law. Principle VI of the
Nuremberg Principles states
The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane
acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on
political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or
such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with
any crime against peace or any war crime.
Telford Taylor, who was Counsel for the
Prosecution at the Nuremberg
Trials wrote "[at] the Nuremberg war crimes trials, the tribunals
rebuffed several efforts by the prosecution to bring such 'domestic'
atrocities within the scope of international law as 'crimes against
humanity'". Several subsequent international treaties incorporate
this principle, but some have dropped the restriction "in connection
with any crime against peace or any war crime" that is in Nuremberg
Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is binding
on 111 states, defines crimes against humanity in Article 7.1. The
article criminalises certain acts "committed as part of a widespread
or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with
knowledge of the attack". These include:
Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on
political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious,
gender...or other grounds that are universally recognized as
impermissible under international law, in connection with any act
referred to in this paragraph [e.g. murder, extermination,
enslavement, deportation, imprisonment, torture, sexual violence,
apartheid, and other inhumane acts] or any crime within the
jurisdiction of the Court
Main article: Religious persecution
Religious persecution is systematic mistreatment of an individual or
group due to their religious affiliation. Not only theorists of
secularization (who presume a decline of religiosity in general) would
willingly assume that religious persecution is a thing of the
past. However, with the rise of fundamentalism and
religiously related terrorism, this assumption has become even more
controversial. Indeed, in many countries of the world
today, religious persecution is a Human Rights problem.
Persecution of atheists
Atheists have experienced persecution throughout history. Persecution
may refer to unwarranted arrest, imprisonment, beating, torture, or
execution. It also may refer to the confiscation or destruction of
Persecution of Bahá'ís
The persecution of Bahá'ís refers to the religious persecution of
Bahá'ís in various countries, especially in Iran, which has one
of the largest Bahá'í populations in the world. The Bahá'í Faith
originated in Iran, and it represents the largest religious minority
in that country.
Persecution of Christians
Christian Dirce, by Henryk Siemiradzki. A
Christian woman is
Nero in this re-enactment of the myth of Dirce
(painting by Henryk Siemiradzki, 1897, National Museum, Warsaw).
The persecution of Christians is religious persecution that Christians
may undergo as a consequence of professing their faith, both
historically and in the current era.
Early Christians were persecuted
for their faith at the hands of both Jews from whose religion
Christianity arose and the Roman Empire which controlled much of the
land across which early
Christianity was distributed. Early in the
fourth century, the religion was legalized by the Edict of Milan, and
it eventually became the State church of the Roman Empire.
Christian missionaries, as well as the people that they converted to
Christianity, have been the target of persecution, many times to the
point of being martyred for their faith.
There is also a history of individual
suffering persecution at the hands of other Christians under the
charge of heresy, particularly during the 16th century Protestant
Reformation as well as throughout the Middle Ages when various
Christian groups deemed heretical were persecuted by the Papacy.
In the 20th century, Christians have been persecuted by various
groups, and by atheistic states such as the
USSR and North Korea.
Second World War
Second World War members of many
Christian churches were
Germany for resisting the
In more recent times the
Christian missionary organization Open Doors
(UK) estimates 100 million Christians face persecution,
particularly in Muslim-dominated countries such as
Pakistan and Saudi
Arabia. According to the International Society for Human Rights,
up to 80% of all acts of persecution are directed against people of
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism)
Main article: Anti-Mormonism
With the Missouri extermination order Mormons became the only
religious group to have a state of the
United States legalize the
extermination of their religion. This was after a speech given by
Sideny Rigdon called the July 4th Oration which while meant to state
that Mormons would defend their lives and property was taken as
inflammatory. Their forcible expulsion from the state caused the death
of over a hundred due to exposure, starvation, and resulting
illnesses. The Mormons suffered through tarring and feathering, their
lands and possessions being repeatedly taken from them, mob attacks,
false imprisonments, and the US sending an army to Utah to deal with
the "Mormon problem" in the
Utah War which resulted in the Mormons
massacring settlers at the Mountain Meadows Massacre. A government
militia slaughtered Mormons in what is now known as the Haun's Mill
massacre. The founder of the church, Joseph Smith, was killed in
Carthage, Illinois by a mob of about 200 men, almost all of whom were
members of the Illinois state militia including some members of the
militia who were assigned to guard him.
Persecution of Jehovah's Witnesses
Throughout the history of Jehovah's Witnesses, their beliefs,
doctrines and practices have engendered controversy and opposition
from local governments, communities, and mainstream
Persecution of Falun Gong
Falun Gong was introduced to the general public by Li
Hongzhi(李洪志) in Changchun, China, in 1992. For the next few
Falun Gong was the fastest growing qigong practice in Chinese
history and, by 1999, there were between 70 and 100 million people
Falun Gong in China. Following the seven years of
widespread popularity, on July 20, 1999, the government of the
People's Republic of
China began a nationwide persecution campaign
Falun Gong practitioners, except in the special administrative
Hong Kong and Macau. In late 1999, legislation was
created to outlaw "heterodox religions" and retroactively applied to
Amnesty International states that the persecution is
"politically motivated" with "legislation being used retroactively to
convict people on politically-driven charges, and new regulations
introduced to further restrict fundamental freedoms".
Persecution of Hindus
Persecution of Hindus
Persecution of Hindus refers to the religious persecution inflicted
upon Hindus. Hindus have been historically persecuted during the
Islamic rule of the Indian subcontinent and during Portuguese rule
of Goa. In modern times, Hindus in
Bangladesh have also
suffered persecution. Most recently, thousands of Hindus from Sindh
Pakistan have been fleeing to
India voicing fear for their
safety. After the Partition of
India in 1947, there were 8.8 million
Pakistan (excluding Bangladesh) in 1951. In 1951, Hindus
constituted 22% of the Pakistani population (including present-day
Bangladesh which formed part of Pakistan). Today, the Hindu
minority amounts to 1.7 percent of Pakistan's population.
Bangladesh Liberation War (1971) resulted in one of the largest
genocides of the 20th century. While estimates of the number of
casualties was 3,000,000, it is reasonably certain that Hindus bore a
disproportionate brunt of the
Pakistan Army's onslaught against the
Bengali population of what was East Pakistan. An article in Time
magazine dated 2 August 1971, stated "The Hindus, who account for
three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne
the brunt of the
Muslim military hatred." Senator Edward Kennedy
wrote in a report that was part of
United States Senate Committee on
Foreign Relations testimony dated 1 November 1971, "Hardest hit have
been members of the
Hindu community who have been robbed of their
lands and shops, systematically slaughtered, and in some places,
painted with yellow patches marked "H". All of this has been
officially sanctioned, ordered and implemented under martial law from
Islamabad". In the same report, Senator Kennedy reported that 80% of
the refugees in
India were Hindus and according to numerous
international relief agencies such as
UNESCO and World Health
Organization the number of East Pakistani refugees at their peak in
India was close to 10 million. In a syndicated column "The Pakistani
Slaughter That Nixon Ignored", Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist
Sydney Schanberg wrote about his return to liberated
1972. "Other reminders were the yellow "H"s the Pakistanis had painted
on the homes of Hindus, particular targets of the
Muslim army" (by
Muslim army", meaning the
Pakistan Army, which had targeted Bengali
Muslims as well), (Newsday, 29 April 1994).
In Bangladesh, on 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal
sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the
Jamaat-e-Islami to death for the war crimes committed during the 1971
Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of
Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked
the Hindus in different parts of the country.
Hindu properties were
Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and
Hindu temples were
desecrated and set on fire. While the government has held the
Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for the attacks on the minorities, the
Jamaat-e-Islami leadership has denied any involvement. The minority
leaders have protested the attacks and appealed for justice. The
Supreme Court of
Bangladesh has directed the law enforcement to start
suo motu investigation into the attacks. US Ambassador to Bangladesh
express concern about attack of Jamaat on Bengali Hindu
community. The violence included the looting of Hindu
properties and businesses, the burning of
Hindu homes, the rape of
Hindu women, and the desecration and destruction of
According to community leaders, more than 50
Hindu temples and 1,500
Hindu homes were destroyed in 20 districts.
Persecution of Jews
Persecution of Jews and The Holocaust
Persecution of Jews
Persecution of Jews is a recurring phenomenon throughout Jewish
history. It has occurred on numerous occasions and in widely different
geographical locations. It may include pogroms, looting and demolition
of private and public Jewish property (e.g., Kristallnacht),
unwarranted arrest, imprisonment, torture, killing, or even mass
World War II
World War II alone, approximately 6 million people were
deliberately killed for the sole reason of being Jewish). They have
been expelled from their hometowns/countries, hoping to find havens in
other polities. In recent times anti-Semitism has often been
manifested as Anti-Zionism, despite the fact that there
are various Jewish groups whose members themselves oppose the idea of
Mass grave where events of the
Srebrenica massacre of Bosnian Muslims
Persecution of Muslims
Persecution of Muslims and
Persecution of Ahmadis
Persecution of Muslims
Persecution of Muslims has been a recurring phenomenon throughout
the history of Islam.
Persecution may refer to unwarranted arrest,
imprisonment, beatings, torture, or execution. It may also refer to
the confiscation or destruction of property, or incitement to hate
Persecution can extend beyond those who perceive themselves to be
Muslims and include those who are perceived by others as Muslims, or
it can include Muslims who are considered non-Muslims by fellow
Ahmadiyya regard themselves as Muslims, but are seen by
many other Muslims as non-Muslims and "heretics". In 1984, the
Government of Pakistan, under General Zia-ul-Haq, passed Ordinance
XX, which banned proselytizing by Ahmadis and also banned Ahmadis
from referring to themselves as Muslims. According to this ordinance,
any Ahmadi who refers to oneself as a
Muslim by words, either spoken
or written, or by visible representation, directly or indirectly, or
makes the call for prayer as other Muslims do, is punishable by
imprisonment of up to 3 years. Because of these difficulties, Mirza
Tahir Ahmad migrated to London, UK.
Sikh holocaust of 1746,
Sikh holocaust of 1762, and
See also: Category:Massacres of Sikhs.
1984 anti-Sikh riots
1984 anti-Sikh riots or the 1984
Sikh Massacre was a series of
pogroms directed against Sikhs in India, by anti-Sikh
mobs, in response to the assassination of Indira Gandhi, on 31 October
1984, by two of her
Sikh bodyguards in response to her actions
authorising the military operation Operation Blue Star. There were
more than 8,000 deaths, including 3,000 in Delhi. In June
1984, during Operation Blue Star,
Indira Gandhi ordered the Indian
Army to attack the Golden Temple and eliminate any insurgents, as it
had been occupied by
Sikh separatists who were stockpiling weapons.
Later operations by Indian paramilitary forces were initiated to clear
the separatists from the countryside of Punjab state.
The Indian government reported 2,700 deaths in the ensuing chaos. In
the aftermath of the riots, the Indian government reported 20,000 had
fled the city, however the
People's Union for Civil Liberties reported
"at least" 1,000 displaced persons. The most affected regions were
Sikh neighbourhoods in Delhi. The Central Bureau of Investigation,
the main Indian investigating agency, is of the opinion that the acts
of violence were organized with the support from the then
officials and the central government headed by Indira Gandhi's son,
Rajiv Gandhi was sworn in as Prime Minister after
his mother's death and, when asked about the riots, said "when a big
tree falls, the earth shakes" thus trying to justify the communal
There are allegations that the government destroyed evidence and
shielded the guilty. The
Asian Age front-page story called the
government actions "the Mother of all Cover-ups" There are
allegations that the violence was led and often perpetrated by Indian
National Congress activists and sympathisers during the riots. The
chief weapon used by the mobs, kerosene, was supplied by a group of
Indian National Congress Party leaders who owned filling stations.
Main article: Racism
Ethnic persecution refers to perceived persecution based on ethnicity.
Its meaning is parallel to that of racism, (based on race). The
Rwandan genocide remains an atrocity that the indigenous
Tutsi peoples still believe is unforgivable. The Japanese occupation
China caused the death of millions of people, mostly peasants who
were murdered after the
Doolittle Raid in early-World War II.
Main article: Organised persecution of ethnic Germans
This section does not cite any sources. Please help improve this
section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material
may be challenged and removed. (December 2009) (Learn how and when to
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The persecution of ethnic Germans refers to systematic activity
against groups of ethnic Germans based on their ethnicity.
Historically, this has been due to two causes: the German population
was considered, whether factually or not, linked with German
nationalist regimes such as those of the
Nazis or Kaiser Wilhelm. This
was the case in the World War I era persecution of Germans in the
United States, and also in Eastern and Central Europe following the
end of World War II. While many victims of these persecutions did not,
in fact, have any connection to those regimes, cooperation between
German minority organisations and
Nazi regime did occur, as the
Selbstschutz shows, which is still used as a pretense of
hostilities against those who did not take part in such organisations.
After World War II, many such
Volksdeutsche were killed or driven from
their homes[who?] in acts of vengeance, others in ethnic cleansing of
territories prior to populating them with citizens of the annexing
country.[where?] In other cases (e.g. in the case of the formerly
large German-speaking populations of Russia, Estonia, or the
Transylvanian (Siebenbürgen) German minority in Rumania and the
Balkans) such persecution was a crime committed against innocent
communities who had played no part in the Third Reich.
Persecution of Hazara people
Hazara people of central
Afghanistan have been persecuted by
Afghan rulers at various times in the history. Since the tragedy of
Muslim terrorists have been attacking the Hazara community
in southwestern Pakistani town of Quetta, home to some 50,0000 Hazara
who fled persecution in neighbouring Afghanistan. Some 2,400 men,
women and children have been killed or wounded with Lashkar-e-Jhangvi
claiming responsibility for most of the attacks against the community.
Consequently, many thousands have fled the country seeking asylum in
Antiziganism and Porajmos
Antiziganism is hostility, prejudice, discrimination or racism
directed against the
Romani people as an ethnic group, or people who
are perceived as being of Romani heritage.
Porajmos was the planned and attempted effort, often described as
a genocide, during
World War II
World War II by the government of
its allies to exterminate the Romani (Gypsy) people of Europe. Under
the rule of Adolf Hitler, a supplementary decree to the Nuremberg Laws
was issued on 26 November 1935, defining Gypsies as "enemies of the
race-based state", the same category as Jews. Thus, the fate of Roma
in Europe in some ways paralleled that of the Jews. Historians
estimate that 220,000 to 500,000 Romani were killed by the
their collaborators, or more than 25% of the slightly less than 1
million Roma in Europe at the time.
Ian Hancock puts the death
toll as high as 1.5 million.
The UN human rights chief slammed Myanmar's apparent "systematic
attack" on the
Rohingya minority, warning that "ethnic cleansing"
seemed to be underway. Ethnic
Rohingya Muslims fleeing security forces
in Myanmar’s Rakhine State have described killings, shelling, and
arson in their villages that have all the hallmarks of a campaign of
“ethnic cleansing,” Human Rights Watch said. “
have harrowing accounts of fleeing Burmese army attacks and watching
their villages be destroyed,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia
director. “Lawful operations against armed groups do not involve
burning the local population out of their homes.” 
Based on genetics
People with albinism
Persecution of people with albinism
Persecution on the basis of albinism is frequently based on the belief
that albinos are inferior to persons with higher concentration of
melanin in their skin. As a result, albinos have been persecuted,
killed and dismembered, and graves of albinistic people dug up and
desecrated. Such people have also been ostracized and even killed
because they are presumed to bring bad luck in some areas. Haiti also
has a long history of treating albinistic people as accursed, with the
highest incidence under the influence of François "Papa Doc"
Of people with autism
Persecution of people with autism
People with autism spectrum disorders have commonly been victims of
persecution, both throughout history and in the present era. In
Cameroon children with autism are commonly accused of witchcraft and
singled out for torture and even death.
Additionally, it is speculated that many of the disabled children
Action T4 in
Germany may have been autistic,
making autistic people among the first victims of The Holocaust.
The examples and perspective in this section may not represent a
worldwide view of the subject. You may improve this article, discuss
the issue on the talk page, or create a new article, as appropriate.
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A number of countries, especially those in the Western world, have
passed measures to alleviate discrimination against sexual minorities,
including laws against anti-gay hate crimes and workplace
discrimination. Some have also legalized same-sex marriage or civil
unions in order to grant same-sex couples the same protections and
benefits as opposite-sex couples. In 2011, the
United Nations passed
its first resolution recognizing LGBT rights and, in 2015, same-sex
marriage was legalized in all states of the United States.
Based on military service
Persecution on the basis of army service (or the lack of it) operates
in Israeli society. In the State of Israel, Jewish citizens who
receive an exemption from service in the
Israel Defense Forces
Israel Defense Forces cannot
take up many prestigious career options, especially in the field of
security. The root of discrimination on the basis of army service lies
in the practice that at age 17, non-Arab citizens (including Druze)
are called up to be examined for eligibility to compulsory military
service. A record for each potential conscript is made. Those who
actually serve in the military are distinguished from those rejected
from service by a Discharge Card, which has additional information on
it, including the soldier's rank, military profession, and behavior
during army service. Potential employers show a particular interest in
Discharge Cards, since they constitute a universally available source
of information about a potential employee. Employers frequently look
down upon citizens rejected from the army, typically believing that
"those who are unfit for army service are also unfit for the work
environment", and that those who succeeded in the
army are also likely to become good employees. Job advertisements in
Israel very frequently specify a requirement of "Full Army Service",
thus the decisions taken by the draft board regarding a 17-year-old
minor may affect entire careers.
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert A. Heinlein depicts a society where suffrage rights
depend on military service in his 1959 novel Starship Troopers.
Latter-day Saint martyrs
Right to asylum
^ S. Rempell, Defining Persecution, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1941006
Telford Taylor "When people kill a people", The New York Times,
March 28, 1982.
^ Article 7.3 of the Rome Statute, which constitutes "compromise text"
states that "For the purpose of this Statute, it is understood that
the term 'gender' refers to the two sexes, male and female, within the
context of society. The term 'gender' does not indicate any meaning
different from the above." While under international criminal law
persecution based on Gender Identity is also prohibited, during the
Rome Diplomatic Conference that adopted the ICC Statute, it was
decided to define gender narrowly in order to overcome opposition from
the Holy See and other states that were concerned that the ICC could
theoretically also look into discriminatory practices of religious
institutions. This provision was balanced with that of Article 10,
which states that "Nothing in this Part shall be interpreted as
limiting or prejudicing in any way existing or developing rules of
international law for purposes other than this Statute."
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^ Open Doors: The worst 50 countries for persecution of Christians
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^ Open Doors: Weltverfolgungsindex 2012 Archived 2012-07-13 at the
Wayback Machine., p. 2
^ Philpott, Daniel, Pope Francis and Religious Freedom, Washington,
DC: Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs
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^ Leung, Beatrice (2002) '
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^ Durant, Will. The Story of Civilization: Our Oriental Heritage.
p. 459. The Mohammedan Conquest of
India is probably the
bloodiest story in history. It is a discouraging tale, for its evident
moral is that civilization is a precarious thing, whose delicate
complex of order and liberty, culture and peace may at any time be
overthrown by barbarians invading from without or multiplying within.
The Hindus had allowed their strength to be wasted in internal
division and war; they had adopted religions like Buddhism and
Jainism, which unnerved them for the tasks of life; they had failed to
organize their forces for the protection of their frontiers and their
capitals, their wealth and their freedom, from the hordes of
Scythians, Huns, Afghans and Turks hovering about India's boundaries
and waiting for national weakness to let them in. For four hundred
years (600–1000 AD)
India invited conquest; and at last it
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percent and Hindus were 22 percent."
^ Census of
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assassination revives stark memories of some 3,000 Sikhs killed
brutally in the orderly pogrom that followed her killing
^ Nugus, Phillip (Spring 2007). "The Assassinations of Indira &
Rajiv Gandhi". BBC Active. Retrieved 23 July 2010.
Delhi court to give verdict on re-opening 1984 riots case against
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^ "NeuroTribes, Steve Silberman on a haunting history and new hope for
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Look up persecution in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Language alternatives to creating and being persecutors
Cruelty to animals
Abusive power and control
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder
Race / Ethnicity / Nationality
Disability hate crime
Enemy of the people
LGBT hate crime
Violence against women
White power music
Age of candidacy
Cleanliness of blood
Crime of apartheid
Gender pay gap
Jim Crow laws
Law for Protection of the Nation
MSM blood donor controversy
Numerus clausus (as religious or racial quota)
Same-sex marriage (laws and issues prohibiting)
Racial bias in criminal news
Racism by country
Second-generation gender bias