Terrorism and violence against Christians took a horrific toll in 2016

Italian religious research group CENSUR (The Center for Studies on New Religions) has named Christians the most persecuted religious group in the world after calculating that one person of a Christian faith was murdered every six minutes in 2016.

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The group claims that almost 90,000 died worldwide, about 70 percent of them in Africa. Many died at the hands of terror group Boko Haram in Nigeria. The full report is expected next month.

In an Italian-language interview with Vatican Radio, CENSUR director Massimo Introvigne notes that this is down from 2015, in which they found that 105,000 Christians were killed for their faith.

RELATED: Check out the most religious schools in the U.S.

19 PHOTOS
Top 25 religious colleges
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Top 25 religious colleges

#25. Baylor University

Smart Rating: 93.34
Religious affiliation: Baptist
Average SAT score: 1815
Average ACT score: 27

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#20. Santa Clara University

Smart Rating: 93.52
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: 1950
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#19. Trinity University

Smart Rating: 93.548
Religious affiliation: Presbyterian Church
Average SAT score: 1897
Average ACT score: 29

(Harvey Meston/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

#18. Villanova University

Smart Rating: 93.55
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: 1960
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#17. Centre College

Smart Rating: 93.58
Religious affiliation: Presbyterian Church
Average SAT score: 1830
Average ACT score: 28

(Jonathan Palmer/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT via Getty Images)

#16. College of the Holy Cross

Smart Rating: 93.63
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: Not available
Average ACT score: Not available

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#15. Fordham University

Smart Rating: 96.91
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: 1880
Average ACT score: 28

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#14. Southern Methodist University

Smart Rating: 96.94
Religious affiliation: United Methodist
Average SAT score: 1957
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#13. University of Tulsa

Smart Rating: 96.95
Religious affiliation: Presbyterian Church
Average SAT score: 1905
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#12. Brigham Young University-Provo

Smart Rating: 96.96
Religious affiliation: Latter Day Saints
Average SAT score: 1890
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#10. St. Olaf College

Smart Rating: 97.27
Religious affiliation: Evangelical Lutheran Church
Average SAT score: 1890
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#9. Pepperdine University

Smart Rating: 97.36
Religious affiliation: Churches of Christ
Average SAT score: 1835
Average ACT score: 27

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#7. Lafayette College

Smart Rating: 97.72
Religious affiliation: Presbyterian Church
Average SAT score: 1935
Average ACT score: 29

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#5. Boston College

Smart Rating: 97.79
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: 2050
Average ACT score: 31

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#4. Georgetown University

Smart Rating: 97.98
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: 2130
Average ACT score: 31

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#3. Davidson College

Smart Rating: 98.09
Religious affiliation: Presbyterian Church
Average SAT score: 2000
Average ACT score: 30

(Photo by Davis Turner/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

#2. University of Notre Dame

Smart Rating: 98.48
Religious affiliation: Roman Catholic
Average SAT score: 2145
Average ACT score: 33

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

#1. Duke University

Smart Rating: 98.68
Religious affiliation: United Methodist
Average SAT score: 2195
Average ACT score: 32

(Photo courtesy: Getty)

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Though these numbers are high, it is important to contextualize these findings with the fact that Christianity, with over 2.1 billion devotees, is the most prolific religion in the world. About 37 percent are in North, South or Central America; a full 24 percent of Christians live in sub-Saharan Africa. It's so diverse and thoroughly spread throughout the world that no one continent or global region can claim to be the "center" of Christianity. That's according to a Pew Research study from 2011. Islam, the second-most prolific religion, counted just 1.6 billion in 2010, according to a separate Pew study.

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