NORTH KOREA — More than 360 million Christians worldwide suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith – that’s a staggering 1 in 7 believers. Open Doors has launched this year’s World Watch list highlighting the 50 countries where faith costs the most, with North Korea returning to number one as the world’s worst persecutor of Christians.
What would you dare to do for Jesus? Would you defy dictators? Worship in secret? Sacrifice your safety? Over 360 million Christians around the world face persecution and discrimination every day.
And these are the top 10 countries where Christians risk everything for Christ.
Number 10 Sudan. Western Sudan has increased following a military coup violence and pressure against Christians have worsened.
At number 9 Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover those Christians who have not fled the country have been forced deep underground. If discovered, they face death.
Iran is at number 8. Iranian house churches are seen as a threat by the islamist regime. Church members who are caught are given long prison sentences.
Number 7 Pakistan. Pakistan’s infamous blasphemy laws are often used to target believers. Christian women and girls of vulnerable to kidnap and forced marriage.
Nigeria is at number 6. More Christians are killed in Nigeria than in all the other countries of the world combined. And the violence is getting worse.
Number 5, Libya. In this lawless land, both native and migrant Christians are targeted, kidnapped, and even killed.
At number 4 is Eritrea. Christians who dare to meet without official permission risk arrest. Over a thousand believers are in jail without charge.
Yemen is number 3 on the list. the humanitarian crisis continues and anyone suspected of being a Christian will be deliberately overlooked for aid and might be expelled or killed by their own tribe.
Number 2 is Somalia. Islamic militants are intensifying their hunt for Christians and violent attacks are increasing.
And at number 1, North Korea. The most dangerous place in the world to be a Christian. Spies are everywhere. Discovery means death, either by execution or by being worked to death in a labor camp.
Despite the danger in all these countries, the church is not defeated. It is living, powerful, defiant and for over 65 years Open Doors has stood with this church. Where Christians risk persecution our underground network support millions of Believers with emergency food and aid, spiritual care, smuggled Bibles and Christian books, training and legal advice. And where Christians enjoy freedom, we work with local churches to raise prayer and support and to speak truth to those in power.
Every day around the world Christians risk everything to follow Christ. Will you dare to stand with them?
About Open Doors UK
Open Doors is a non-denominational mission that supports persecuted Christians in over 70 countries where Christianity is socially or legally discouraged or oppressed. In their work, they provide vital support, training, and resources to those facing persecution or discrimination.
Resources that they provide include distributing Bibles and literature, running leadership training, assisting with socio-economic development and intercessory prayer. They also help victims of violence and disaster, including widows and orphans, with practical support such as relief aid, livelihood support, and community development projects.
Their vision is of a world in which every Christian who is persecuted is remembered and supported by other Christians. They pray for a world where there is no persecution.