A recent report released by international human rights watchdog group Open Doors which revealed that in 21 countries around the world experienced hundred percent faith based persecution. The report said that Christians in these 21 countries where the level of persecution was high and unprecedented. This report was released on Wednesday, January 11; which included a list of top 50 countries where Christians face the most persecution.
Addressing a press conference Open Doors USA CEO David Curry stated: “2016 was the worst year of persecution on record with a shocking 215 million Christians experiencing high levels of persecution for their faith.”
“It is worth repeating that nearly one in every 12 Christians today lives in an area or culture in which Christianity is illegal, forbidden or punished. Yet, today the world is largely silent on the shocking wave of religious intolerance,” he stated.
A fact sheet released by Open Doors states:
1.North Korea remains the most difficult and dangerous place in the world to be a Christian for the 16th consecutive year, again ranking No. 1 on the Open Doors World Watch List.
2.One in 12 Christians today experiences high, very high or extreme persecution for their faith.
3.In the countries on the Open Doors World Watch List, approximately 215 million Christians face high persecution, with 100 million of those living in Asia.
4.In the top 21 countries on the Open Doors World Watch List, 100 percent of Christians experience persecution.
5.Christians are a minority in all countries on the list, accounting for only 13 percent of the total population.
6.It is difficult to obtain an accurate number of Christians who were killed because of their faith. Even though persecution has spread, 1,207 Christians were killed worldwide for faith-related reasons. (This figure does not include North Korea and some of Syria and Iraq, where accurate records do not exist, nor instances of war where it is difficult to determine the killing motive).
7.The 2017 list includes a rare report where the killings of Christians have been more geographically dispersed.
8.Approximately 1,329 churches were attacked or damaged.
9.Islamic extremism is the lead generator of persecution for 35 out of 50 countries on the list.
10.Mali and Bangladesh made the biggest leaps on the list, from No. 44 to No. 32 and No. 35 to No. 26.
11.Yemen is the only new country to join the top 10ten list.
12. Sri Lanka returned to the list at No. 45, boosted by Buddhist nationalism, while Mauritania also joined the list at No. 47.
13.Pakistan had the most overall violence against Christians.
14.Afghanistan, Maldives, North Korea, Somalia, Turkmenistan and Yemen are the most dangerous countries to own a Bible, where Christians are killed or put in labor camps if caught with a Bible.