"I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life"

Father God, thank you for the love of the truth you have given me. Please bless me with the wisdom, knowledge and discernment needed to always present the truth in an attitude of grace and love. Use this blog and Northwoods Ministries for your glory. Help us all to read and to study Your Word without preconceived notions, but rather, let scripture interpret scripture in the presence of the Holy Spirit. All praise to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The 50 Countries Where Christians Face the Worst Persecution


2015 Open Doors WORLD WATCH LIST - Persecuted Christians

Open Doors’ annual list of 50 countries where Christians face the worst persecution

Each year, Open Doors releases a list of the top 50 countries where Christians are facing the worst persecution because of their faith. The Open Doors World Watch List (WWL) is the only annual survey of religious liberty conditions of Christians around the world, and measures freedom in five key areas of life: private, family, community, national and church life, plus a sixth sphere measuring the degree of violence.

The Open Doors’ WWL 2015 tracks a marked increase in persecution for Christian communities in a large number of African states. Sudan, Eritrea and Nigeria make their appearance in the Top 10 of the Open Doors WWL 2015. Kenya and Djibouti have marked the steepest climb on the list, and Tanzania and Eritrea also scored significantly higher compared to 2014.

While Africa saw the most rapid growth of persecution, the Middle East saw targeted attacks, resulting in a mass exodus of Christians. In forty countries of the Top 50, Islamic extremism was a major source of persecution. It would be fair to say that the WWL 2015 again shows that the persecution of Christians seems to become more intense in more countries of the world.

Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world. While persecution can take many forms, Christians throughout the world risk imprisonment, torture, rape and even death as result of their faith.

Mexico, Turkey and Azerbaijan are entering the WWL 2015, with Morocco, Bahrain and Niger dropping out of the top 50, although no improvement for the situation of Christians was noted.

North Korea remains the toughest state in which to practice Christianity for the 13th consecutive year.

The top ten countries where Christians faced the most pressure and violence in the reporting period of the WWL 2015 were: North Korea, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan, Eritrea and Nigeria.

The Middle East remains one of the most violent areas of the world for Christians. Violence against Christians by the Islamic State and other Islamic terrorist groups increased in countries like Iraq (3) and Syria (4). More than 70 percent of Christians have fled Iraq since 2003, and more than 700,000 Christians have left Syria since the civil war began in 2011. Afghanistan (5) and Pakistan (8) have both increased in persecution.

Another newcomer in the Top 10 is Nigeria, ranking 10, where pressure for Christians in Northern Nigeria is especially high. In the run up to the 2015 elections, religious tensions have risen, while scores of Christians are internally displaced, accounting for a higher pressure. Boko Haram has been blamed for nearly 4,000 deaths in 2014, mostly Christian.

For 60 years, Open Doors has worked to strengthen Christians in the world’s most oppressive and restrictive countries. The WWL has also been independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom to help make the information gathering and calculation process more transparent.

RANK WWL                                                                                                              TOTAL            RANK        TOTAL
2015                    1. Private 2. Family 3. Comm 4. National 5. Church 6. Violence  WWL 2015 WWL 2014  WWL 2014
1 North Korea       16.667       15.476    16.472     16.667        16.667    10.000        92                   1                   90
2 Somalia              16.667       16.228    16.667     16.256        16.667       7.037        90                   2                   80
3 Iraq                      13.921       13.988    14.063     13.651        14.713     16.112        86                   4                   78
4 Syria                    13.068       13.616    12.956     13.103        13.889     16.112        83                   3                   79
5 Afghanistan       15.909       15.923    14.974     13.706        15.799        5.185        81                   5                   78
6 Sudan                  14.205       12.798    13.412     11.513        13.281     15.186        80                 11                   73
7 Iran                      13.163        13.318   13.412     14.200        15.495     10.000        80                    9                   77
8 Pakistan              13.731        13.021   13.998     13.487          9.332     15.186        79                    8                    77
9 Eritrea                 16.667        13.311   12.643     15.461        16.667       3.889         79                 12                    72
10 Nigeria              11.742       11.905   13.347     11.623         12.630    16.667         78                 14                    70
11 Maldives          16.099       14.881   13.151      16.228        15.885       1.482         78                   7                    77
12 Saudi Arabia    14.678       13.616   13.998      14.090        16.233       4.074         77                   6                    78
13 Libya                 14.489       13.467   12.435      12.500        13.889       8.889         76                  13                   71
14 Yemen               14.205       13.914   13.867      14.035        14.453       2.407          73                 10                   74
15 Uzbekistan       15.152        10.938   11.458      12.062        15.364       4.074          69                 15                   68
16 Vietnam            13.324          6.257   11.836       14.205        14.149       7.963          68                 18                   65
17 Central Af Rep 11.269         7.515    12.044       11.623          9.245    15.556           67                16                    67
18 Qatar                  13.258        12.723   11.719       12.336        13.542      0.185           64                19                    63
19 Kenya                11.487        10.119   10.964         7.802        10.100     12.963          63                 43                   48
20 Turkmenistan   15.057          9.673   11.328       12.226        14.713       0.185          63                 20                   62
21 India                  10.606        10.342      9.961       10.362          9.375     10.926          62                 28                   55
22 Ethiopia            11.970        10.938   10.130          8.553       11.102       8.704           61                 17                   65
23 Egypt                 10.511        10.714     9.961          7.237         7.205     15.186           61                 22                   61
24 Djibouti             12.661        10.313  10.208        10.806       13.129       2.593           60                 46                   46
25 Myanmar             9.953           8.266    8.887          7.220       10.100     15.185           60                  23                  59
26 Palestinian Ter 11.174         12.574  10.547       10.855       12.500        0.741           58                  34                  53
27 Brunei                14.299         13.318  10.352         7.127       12.543                0           58                  24                  57
28 Laos                    11.203           6.265  11.543       12.051       14.483        2.037           58                  21                  62
29 China                 10.578            7.701    7.611         9.150        14.275        7.222           57                 37                  51
30 Jordan                 11.648         11.756    9.570         8.991        10.894        3.519           56                 26                  56
31 Bhutan                  9.886         10.037  11.218      10.176        13.932         1.111           56                 31                  54
32 Comoros             11.648         11.682    9.310      10.252        12.847         0.556           56                 42                  48
33 Tanzania             10.701           9.226  12.370        9.265          8.941          5.185          56                  49                  46
34 Algeria                12.879         13.170    8.854        9.814          9.288           1.482          55                 32                  54
35 Colombia             6.600            8.162    9.948        9.315          9.961         11.111          55                 25                  56
36 Tunisia               11.553          11.905  10.612       7.456        10.764           2.593           55                 30                  55
37 Malaysia            11.174           11.905   8.919        9.265       10.460            2.963           55                40                  49
38 Mexico                 8.277             6.369   9.961        6.716          9.818         13.519            55           (new)            (new)
39 Oman                  13.352           11.161   8.333        9.594       12.153                    0            55                27                  56
40 Mali                    11.458           11.830   9.050        8.059         9.505             2.593            52                33                  54
41 Turkey               10.890              8.408   9.115      10.143       10.590            2.407             52          (new)             (new)
42 Kazakhstan       12.027              8.036   7.357      10.197       12.587            1.111             51                39                  49
43 Bangladesh       10.303              8.542 10.020        8.262         6.615            7.407             51                48                  46
44 Sri Lanka             9.233              5.915    8.763        9.699         9.700            7.408             51                29                  55
45 Tajikistan          12.689              8.854    7.617        8.224      11.849             0.741            50                 45                 47
46 Azerbaijan         11.932             7.664     8.399        8.827      12.022            1.111             50            (new)            (new)
47 Indonesia             8.428             9.449      9.701       8.279        7.422            6.482              50                 47                 46
48 Mauritania        10.606           11.235      8.659     11.020        8.116                    0              50                36                  51
49 U A E                  13.258           10.193      8.594       8.608        8.420            0.185              49                35                  51
50 Kuwait                13.352           10.342      6.250       7.785     10.807                    0               49               38                  50