2015 was the worst year for the persecution of Christians in the modern world. Open Doors analyzed countries and headlines from around the world to determine which places were the most challenging for Christians to live in. From ISIS attacks in Libya, Kenya and Egypt to fleeing refugees forced out of their homes to recent attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, the world feels less safe than ever. The 2016 World Watch List from Open Doors gives a list of 50 countries where it’s most difficult to be a Christian. Here are a few facts you should know:
Over 7,000 Christians were killed this past year for their faith. This number does not include deaths in North Korea and parts of Iraq and Syria where it’s difficult to acquire accurate numbers.
The number of churches attacked or damaged doubled from 2014 to amount to 2,400 churches in 2015. “More than 60 percent of the total number of churches attacked happened in China.”
Islamic extremism is to blame for this violence. It is “the lead generator of persecution for 35 out of the 50 nations on the list. Its two hubs are in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, regions where persecution has risen to a level akin to ethnic cleansing,” Open Doors stated.
North Korea has been the most difficult country for Christians for 14 years in a row, but other countries are closing the gap. Christianity Today wrote, “Up to 70,000 Christians are in labor camps there.” CONTINUE