Report lists countries were Christians are most persecuted

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) -
The Open Doors persecution watchdog has published its 2021 list of countries where it is most dangerous for Christians to practice their faith, Christianity Today reports. Published this month, the list is based on grassroots reports from Open Door workers between November 1, 2019, and October 31, 2020.

The 2021 Open Doors report lists, in descending order, the following countries as the top 10 offenders: North Korea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, and India. While Nigeria made the top 10 for the first time this year, the country with Africa’s largest Christian population actually ranks no.1 for the number of Christians who are murdered for their faith.

Notably, Sudan is not in the top 10 this year, after it abolished the death penalty for apostasy and claimed its new government is committed to freedom of religion, Christianity Today reports. Nevertheless, Sudan is not far behind at no. 13 on the list: Open Doors said Sudanese Christians from Muslim backgrounds have been attacked by their families and communities, and Christian women are subject to sexual violence.

Christianity Today reports that among the 50 countries on the list, “19 are in Africa (6 in North Africa), 14 are in Asia, 10 are in the Middle East, 5 are in Central Asia, and 2 are in Latin America.” Moreover, “34 have Islam as the main religion, 4 have Buddhism, 2 have Hinduism, 1 has atheism, 1 has agnosticism—and 10 have Christianity.”

Four new countries were added to the list of 50: Mexico (No. 37), Democratic Republic of Congo (No. 40), Mozambique (No. 45), and Comoros (No. 50).