Every year, the Christian watchdog organization Open Doors USA creates a list of the most dangerous countries in the world for Christians. The organization lists the top 50 countries that have been ranked for having the worst persecution among followers of Jesus.
There are three main factors that are analyzed when conducting research about Christian persecution. The first is the rise of "rogue agencies," including examples like the Islamic State group and the North Korean government. The second factor is "Islamic extremism."
The final factor includes harmful actions, such as forced marriage or assault. They also noted that there are variations in the point value appointed to specific acts of persecution, such as attacks on churches, arrests, forced conversions, etc. The total number of points a country can get is 100, with high numbers equalling higher persecution.
David Curry, the Open Doors USA's CEO and president, said, "Open Doors exists to support and to advocate for persecuted Christians where ever they may be in the world. We are asking that the world would begin to use its power and influence to push for justice, that we would use the list to direct us where justice is needed most in the world today."
The list has been compiled for the last 26 years. The organization says that they hope people will use the information on the list for awareness. Additionally, it would be helpful if Christians around the world would partner with those living in these countries through prayer.
Below is the list of the top ten countries where Christians are being the most persecuted:
1. North Korea (94 points). Christian Headlines noted that this is the 16th year in a row that North Korea has topped the list.
2. Afghanistan (93 points).
3. Somalia (91 points).
4. Sudan (87 points).
5. Pakistan (86 points).
6. Eritrea (86 points).
7. Libya (86 points).
8. Iraq (86 points).
9. Yemen (85 points).
10. Iran (85 points).
The source of persecution for eight of the ten countries listed above was "Islamic Oppression." North Korea's main source was "Communist and Post-Communist Oppression," while Eritrea's main source was "Dictatorial Paranoia."
For the all 50 countries listed by the organization, see the full list on the Open Doors website.
Please use this list as a focal point for prayer in 2018. As Christians, we have brothers and sisters all around the world who we may or may not actually know, who are suffering every day for their faith. Let's partner in prayer and compassion! In other recent news, a beloved sports figure is mourning the loss of another child. However, his strength is shining through the sadness.