Britain has launched a review into the persecution of Christians worldwide in response to a surge in violence against members of the faith, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced Wednesday.

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The report will make recommendations on steps the government can take to better support persecuted Christians.

The Foreign Office cited a “dramatic rise” in violence that saw 215 million Christians face persecution for their faith last year.

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Women and children are particularly vulnerable and often subjected to sexual violence, the ministry said.

Last year, on average 250 Christians were killed each month because of their faith, the Foreign Office said.

“So often the persecution of Christians is a telling early warning sign of the persecution of every minority,” Hunt said. “We can and must do more.”

The report, due in April, will attempt to map Christian persecution across the Middle East, Africa and Asia, analyse the levels of British government support and suggest a comprehensive policy response.

Open Doors, a non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians, said the most dangerous places for Christians to live in 2018 included North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan.

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