The World Watch List 2020, Open Doors Global Persecution Report

The Christian persecution we read about in Scripture and history books is not a thing of the past. It still exists. Today, we are living in a time when persecution against Christian believers is the highest in modern history. According to Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List - a global Christian persecution report - persecution is increasing at an alarming rate.

Let's look at the world’s most dangerous places to be a Christian - countries where saying “yes” to following Jesus is truly a life-or-death decision.

1. North Korea

This isolated country is focused on idolizing the ruling Kim family. Christians are seen as hostile elements in society that must be eradicated. If Christians are discovered, not only are they deported to labor camps or even killed on the spot, their families to the fourth generation share their fate as well. Communal worship is non-existent. Daring to meet other Christians for worship is a risky feat that must be done in utmost secrecy. Yet the number of Christians in North Korea is reported to be 300,000 strong - believers who are defying the unjust regime and following Jesus.

2. Afghanistan

An Islamic state by constitution, the country does not permit any faith other than Islam to exist. To convert to a faith outside Islam is tantamount to treason because it’s seen as a betrayal of family, tribe and country. Very often, there is only one possible outcome for exposed and caught Christians: death. In Afghanistan converts are considered literally insane to leave Islam. As a result, some may end up in a psychiatric hospital and have their homes destroyed.

3. Somalia

Estimates suggest that 99 percent of Somalis are Muslims, and any minority religions are heavily persecuted. The Christian community is small and under constant threat of attack. In fact, persecution of Christians almost always involves violence. Additionally, in many rural areas, Islamic militant groups like al-Shabab are de facto rulers who regard Christians with a Muslim background as high-value targets - often killed on the spot when discovered.

To know more about these countries and the other countries on Open Doors’ 2020 World Watch List, WATCH the Persecuted Church programme below. Henrietta Blyth, CEO of Open Doors UK & Ireland, shares need-to-know facts, amazing testimonies of muslims encountering Christ, and prayer requests for the brave believers sharing the Gospel in a hostile world. Click here to download your copy of the World Watch List.

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08 Mar 2020

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