Where the world’s most persecuted Christians live
An Open Doors Australia study revealed that North Korea and Afghanistan top the list of the most dangerous countries to be a practicing Christian. Worldwide there are currently 215 million Christians that are persecuted due to their faith. That is approximately one in every 12 Christians.
In the last 17 years North Korea has continued to be the most dangerous country to practice the Christian faith. For North Koreans proclaiming Christian faith even in private settings is at their own risk. According to Fox News there are 70,000 Christians imprisoned in political camps.
“When he came to faith, he made a decision that one day he would die for Christ. Every Christian in North Korea has made that choice. My friend knew that one day he could get caught and on that day he had to be loyal to Jesus,” explains a North Korean Christian to Open Doors Australia.
Afghanistan comes in at a close second on the watch list, this is due to the Taliban and Islamic State extremists controlling 40% of the country. There have been reports that for Afghani locals who have converted to Christianity have often been placed in psychiatric wards.
Open Doors Australia identified that Pakistan is ranked fifth on the world watch list of persecution but has the highest score for violence against Christians. In the same report Open Doors also identified Egypt and India as having a high risk in religious persecution. In Egypt last year there was a number of targeted attacks against Coptic Christian churches over Easter and more recently the Christmas period. In India the rise of the Hindu radical group RSS, has seen an increase in violence with the group declaring that they plan to wipe out Christianity in the country by the end of 2021.
Vietnam, Indonesia and the Maldives, are among the popular Australian tourist destinations that have been named in the 2018 World Watch list.
Open Doors Australia is a Christian organisation that works with persecuted church in 70 countries. They provide services including delivering Bibles, training church leadership, as well as practical support including health care and safe houses for persecuted Christians. The World Watch List began in 1991 ranking the top 50 countries that are dangerous for Christians.