About 340 million Christians are persecuted worldwide

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Each year Open Doors compiles the World Watch List. It’s a list of the top 50 countries where Christians are most severely persecuted.

This year's list includes a detailed report where countries are given a score and, according to the severity of the persecution, are categorized from very high to extreme.

One of the most surprising findings of this year’s report is that the number of Christians killed for their faith is up by 60 percent compared to last year’s reporting period. This was mainly due to the increase of armed conflicts in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa.

On top of the list is North Korea. Christians living here are arrested and taken to work camps for possessing a bible or when caught praying. An estimated 50-70,000 Christians are currently imprisoned.

The rest of the top five countries are Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, and Pakistan. Open Doors director explains that Christians are asked to convert to the dominant religion or face death in these countries.

Director, Open Doors Italy
“More than surprising me, it pains me, it pains me very much because they are souls, they are people killed, they are widows, orphaned children, they are entire towns and villages displaced and sacked. In short, there is a lot of pain around this crisis.”

However, for Open Doors, not all hope has been lost. With the help of donations and resourceful Christian centers they were able to aid the persecuted faithful in certain parts of the world.

Director, Open Doors Italy
In the case of India, we helped well over 100,000 people during 2020 with basic necessities. We aided families who had become impoverished within days, within weeks, who were starving.

Open Doors is a worldwide organization supporting and providing resources to persecuted Christian in more than 60 countries. 

Their primary focus is to provide emergency relief, contextualized Christian material in minority languages, and community development in places where Christians are deprived of basic and spiritual needs.

Director, Open Doors Italy
The main focus is to go to the places where there is the most hostility towards Christians and even more hostility to the Gospel. We take care of small, large, isolated, or even hidden Christian communities.”

The heart of Open Doors is this: to tell these Christians, “you’re not alone, we come there to you and ask what you need, we don’t tell you what we think you need.” This is the basis of the way we operate.

Directors of Open Doors like Cristian are hopeful that with the help of interreligious efforts, collaborations with local governments and volunteers worldwide, the next reporting year will provide better results. 

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