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The #1 Most Persecuted Country for Christians

opendoors 330Christian persecution is higher than ever. That doesn’t always mean violence, it can be in the form of rights to education or employment being taken away.

For 30 years, Open Doors has conducted research in to the persecuted church and has published the World Watch List, it’s the only list of its kind, ranking the 50 countries where it is most difficult to be a Christian.
Today, North Korea is back to the top of the list with its highest-ever persecution score.

Last year on the World Watch List, Afghanistan was #1 in persecution for believers, but dropped to #9 in this year’s ranking, as the organization says “the Taliban has shifted its focus from searching out Christians to searching out those with links to the country’s former government.”

This year Open Doors Canada is seeing an “alarming” increase in violence against Christians in sub-Saharan Africa by Islamic extremists. In Nigeria, the number of religiously motivated killings jumped from 4,650 last year to 5,014 in 2022 — making up 89% of all religiously motivated killings worldwide.

Before you ask yourself, "How does this impact me?"...CHRI’s Care Baldwin interviewed Rev. Gary Stagg, Executive Director of Open Doors Canada, in 2019, and he said 6 out of 10 Christians are persecuted for our faith. The Bible says we are One Body and when one of us suffers, we all suffer. So, let’s make the connection with our persecuted brothers & sisters around the world, because they help keep us anchored in what it really means to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus.

P.S. There is reason to HOPE: There is church growth despite persecution. Lisa Pearce, interim CEO of Open Doors U.S. says “Partly, it’s extraordinary — but incredibly encouraging and challenging — that in a number of countries in the world where it is hardest to live as a Christian, where the consequences are most grave, the church is continuing to grow.”

Let’s PRAY for our brothers & sisters around the world who are being persecuted for their faith. Download the Prayer Guide here.

Open Doors works alongside the persecuted church. Learn more and check out the 2023 World Watch List that released this week, here.

Canada and The United States, notably, are not on the list, however some Christians have expressed concern about discrimination.

Open Doors is strengthening persecuted Christians in more than 70 countries. Because of your support, we are able to provide Bibles, Christian resources, church training, emergency aid, and more. In Canada, we work to raise awareness of global persecution, mobilizing prayer, support and action among Christians.


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