There’s no doubt discrimination is real. Christians in the Western world face injustices all the time, but they pail in comparison to the violent and deadly persecution believers face around the world every single day.
For the 16th year in a row, North Korea has topped Open Doors USA’s list of the top 50 countries where Christians face severe persecution, and Islamic extremism “remains the global, dominant driver of persecution, responsible for initiating oppression and conflict in 35 of the 50 countries on the list.”
“Christians throughout the world continue to risk imprisonment, loss of home and assets, torture, beheadings, rape, and even death as a result of their faith,” the report states.
Here are the top 12 most dangerous nations for Christians:
- North Korea
- Saudi Arabia
“This year, as incidents of violence related to persecution have increased, especially those related to women, it is imperative we continue to advocate and call leaders to prioritize issues of religious freedom,” said David Curry, president and CEO of Open Doors USA.
And the situation truly is dire, according to the data. Nearly one of every 12 Christians around the world is living in an area or culture in which Christianity “is illegal, forbidden or punished.”
This latest report comes months after Vice President Mike Pence announced in October of 2017 the U.S. “will no longer rely” solely on the U.N. to assist Christians experiencing persecution in the Middle East. Money will instead go directly to faith-based organizations, he said.
Furthermore, author and humanitarian Johnnie Moore, a gatekeeper of sorts for President Donald Trump’s faith advisory board, told IJR last year that, when it comes to working toward religious freedom around the world, the White House “is already doing more by multiples than not only the immediate previous administration but the one that preceded it.”