World Watch List Reveals 260 Million Christians Face Persecution in Top 50 Countries

LONDON – 123 UK politicians gathered in the House of Parliament to hear first-hand about the persecution of Christians around the world, and listen to the recommendations from the Open Doors World Watch List report about how our Parliament can best respond.

MPs heard about the 5,500 churches destroyed or closed down in China, the 1,445 physical attacks of Christians in India and the 1,350 believers murdered in Nigeria over the past twelve months.

The world has become a less tolerant and less safe place for hundreds of millions of Christians around the world. That’s one of the findings of the latest World Watch List, Open Doors’ annual research into the 50 most dangerous nations to practice one’s faith as a Christian.

North Korea remains the most dangerous place for Christians, having been number one since the inception of the list in 2002. In the top 50 countries alone, 260 million Christians face a level of persecution measured as extreme, very high or high.

Speaking at the Parliamentary launch of the World Watch list in London Henrietta Blyth CEO of Open Doors UK and Ireland said Christians faced an unprecedented amount of attacks in 2019.

“Throughout the past year many vulnerable Christian communities have experienced grand scale destabilization through attacks specifically targeted to strike fear into the wider Christian community forcing them to renounce their faith, damaging their resilience and completely destroying any possibility they might have to have a positive impact on their community.

The launch was attended by 123 Members of Parliament to offer their support for those persecuted for their faith, including The Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Freedom of Religion or Belief Rehman Chisti,

“Far too often individuals face persecution for practicing their religion and that is something that our government, the United Kingdom government and our Prime Minister has made a key priority to ensure that the United Kingdom will always stand up to individuals to be able to be able to practice their religion openly and freely.”

Theresa Villiers MP,

“We’ve had something well over 100 Parliamentarians here to express their strong support for the work of Open Doors and to maintain the pressure on the UK government to support Christians and freedom of religion around the world in its trade policy, in its work in development.”

Kate Green MP,

“I look forward to working with campaigners until freedom of religion and belief can be taken as a given in every country and for every faith right around the world.”


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