NORTH KOREA — Christian freedom in the world is marked by a deterioration that seems to be getting worse. This is reflected in reports and statistics, such as those collected by the organization Open Doors. That entity has just published the World Persecution List 2024, with data related to the period between January and October 2023.
Did you know that more than 365 million Christians are persecuted today? Our brothers who face pressure and violence simply because they chose to follow Jesus.
Puertas Abiertas investigates the persecution rate of Christians for more than 30 years and publishes the world’s list of persecution. a ranking of the 50 countries where our brothers in faith are harassed by governments, extremist groups, or even by their own families, losing their lives. In just one year, 4,998 Christians were murdered, and thousands of Christian churches and properties were attacked as a result of the increase in violence in various countries.
This is the case of Laos, which went from 31st to 21st place on the list. In the country, the death of Christians prevented the growth of the local church. Leaders avoid evangelizing as they face deadly risks.
In Somalia, the actions of the violent group Al-Shabaab seek to achieve their main objective, eradicate Christianity in the country. That is why it is in the second position of the ranking. The attacks of radical groups have raised the level of violence in the entire region of Sub-Saharan Africa.
Here in Latin America, Nicaragua had a great increase in the degree of persecution and rose 20 positions in the ranking 2024. The growing pressure and the constant hostility towards Christian leaders try to suffocate the local church.
In addition to being intimidated, the leaders are processed and arrested, which makes it difficult for Christians to be communicated, who are monitored, harassed and frequently attacked. With anti-reactionary laws in force since 2020,
North Korea remains in the first place in the ranking. In the most closed country in the world, the state is the biggest source of persecution. With the application of the new laws, Christians are imprisoned for the simple fact of having a Bible. Thus, entire families are condemned to forced labor camps.
Being a Christian in North Korea means living a life of faith in secret. Every year, persecution of Christians intensifies. The believers hide, flee their homes and lose everything. But there is light in the midst of darkness. The light of Jesus that shines in darkness, and darkness does not prevail against it. The love of Christ in us is like light in darkness. Through him we can support the persecuted church so that it continues to grow.
Learn more about this reality and make light shine in the darkest places for the Gospel. puertasabiertasal.org/listamundial
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.
Source: Global News Alliance, In The First 10 Months of 2023, 5,000 Christians were Killed