Open Doors just released the list of the most dangerous countries for Christians in 2021.
As the number of people turning to Jesus Christ and embracing Christianity continues to progress across the globe, the danger they have to battle has also risen. Below is the list of the ten most dangerous places for Christians to live in according to Open Doors' World Watch List 2021. Please note that these are arranged according to order:
North Korea holds the number one spot in the list of the most dangerous countries for Christians. The country implements a death sentence to anyone discovered to be Christian. Others are taken to a labor camp as political criminals.
Afghanistan, which holds the second spot, imposes a harsh punishment for those leaving Islam. Converted Christians must flee the country if they do not want to face the death penalty, a threat believers choose to face in their love of Christ.
In Somalia, taking number three spot, converted Christians, as well as their families, face the risk of harassment, intimidation, or execution. They also become value targets for al-Shabaab, a violent group that advocates Islamic Sharia law.
Libya is in fourth place. With only a small number of Christians, Libya does not allow freedom of speech or freedom of religion. Aside from the risk of abduction and assault, Christians also face continued pressure from the community and even the family of converted believers to renounce their faith.
Another country from the Middle East holds the number five post. Pakistan, a nation that has been in the news and object of prayers from different groups around the world, considers Christians as second-class citizens. They are offered lowly and dishonorable jobs and are accused of forcefully converting citizens to Christianity.
Recent reports reveal that there are Christian girls in Pakistan who are forcefully converted to Islam after being abducted and raped. Some of them are minors forced to marry their assailants.
Eritrea, at number six spot, is an African country that recognizes only one Christian denomination -- the government-controlled Eritrean Orthodox Church (EOC). The government's forces can attack house churches, destroy materials, and even imprison Christian believers in inhumane cells.
In Yemen, which holds the number seven spot, Muslims are never allowed to leave Islam. Once they are caught converting to Christianity, they will face the death penalty. Also, during the COVID 19 pandemic, emergency relief was distributed through mosques making it hard for converts to acquire aid. There were also reports that under-resourced hospitals refused to assist Yemeni Christians.
Iran, at number eight, considers the entry of Christianity as the attempt of the Western community to undermine the government's Islamic rule. This is why converts face persecution both from the government and their families, according to the International Christian Concern.
Prayer groups from different parts of the world recently organized simultaneous prayers for Christians in countries such as Nigeria, which holds the number nine spot, and India, which landed in number ten. Believers in the said countries, together with those in China (which ranked at number 17 on the list despite its well-known persecution of Christians), face life-threatening persecutions and deprivation of benefits from the government, Christian Headlines reported.
Christians from these countries continue to suffer as they took the step to stand on their faith. Yet they boldly face the challenges as written in Hebrews 11 and Romans 8:18, the present sufferings are not worth comparing to what lies ahead.