Rising Religious Persecution: The Top 50 Countries Where Following Jesus Is Most Dangerous in 2023

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Christian persecution refers to the mistreatment, discrimination, or oppression of individuals or groups of Christians based on their religious beliefs. This can take many forms, including physical violence, imprisonment, forced conversion, social ostracism, and economic discrimination.

Christian persecution is a global problem that affects millions of people in countries around the world. It is particularly severe in countries with authoritarian governments or religious minorities, such as North Korea, Iran, and China.

Additionally, many parts of the Middle East and Africa are experiencing a rise in anti-Christian violence. The international community is responsible for addressing and condemning these abuses and supporting the victims of Christian persecution. It is also essential for Christians to speak out against persecution and advocate for the rights of their fellow believers.

Top 50 Countries where following Jesus is a Threat According to The World Watch List (WWL) for 2023

  1. North Korea

  2. Somalia

  3. Yemen

  4. Eritrea

  5. Libya

  6. Nigeria

  7. Pakistan

  8. ran

  9. Afghanistan

  10. Sudan

  11. India

  12. Syria

  13. Saudi Arabia

  14. Myanmar

  15. Maldives

  16. China

  17. Mali

  18. Iraq

  19. Algeria

  20. Mauritania

  21. Uzbekistan

  22. Colombia

  23. Burkina Faso

  24. Central African Republic

  25. Vietnam

  26. Turkmenistan

  27. Cuba

  28. Niger

  29. Morocco

  30. Bangladesh

  31. Laos

  32. Mozambique

  33. Indonesia

  34. Qatar

  35. Egypt

  36. Tunisia

  37. Congo DR (DRC)

  38. Mexico

  39. Ethiopia

  40. Bhutan

  41. Turkey

  42. Comoros

  43. Malaysia

  44. Tajikistan

  45. Cameroon

  46. Brunei

  47. Oman

  48. Kazakhstan

  49. Jordan

  50. Nicaragua

North Korea Named Worst Country for Christians in World Watch List 2023

The World Watch List (WWL) for 2023, released by Open Doors, has once again placed North Korea at the top of the list of countries where it is most dangerous and challenging to be a Christian. According to the report, last year alone, over 5,600 Christians were killed for their faith, more than 2,100 churches were attacked or closed, and over 124,000 Christians were forcibly displaced from their homes due to their religion.

The report also notes that almost 15,000 Christians became refugees due to persecution. While the figures for martyrdoms and church attacks are lower than the previous year, Open Doors stresses that these are "an absolute minimum figure," and the decline in data does not suggest real improvements in religious freedom.

In a recent story in Christianity Daily, North Korea has been named the worst country in the world for Christians to live in. The annual study, which tracks the persecution of Christians in over 50 countries, has revealed the communist nation's ongoing hostility towards the faith.

The report documented the various persecution Christians face in North Korea, including imprisonment, torture, and execution. This serves as a harsh reminder of the dire human rights conditions in the country and the need for immediate international action to address the issue. However, the report also emphasizes the unwavering courage and determination of the Christian community in North Korea, who continue to practice their faith even in the face of immense oppression.

Also Read: Mob Violence Against Christians Forces Difficult Decisions in Central India  

Reason of Persecuiton in these Countries

In an article in Christianity Today, the persecution of Christians in various countries can be attributed to several factors, which Open Doors categorized into eight groups: Islamic oppression, Dictatorial paranoia, Communist and post-communist oppression, Religious nationalism, Organized crime and corruption, Christian denominational protectionism, Secular intolerance, and clan oppression.

Understanding these reasons is crucial for praying and effectively advocating for persecuted Christians in those countries. While the motivations may differ from country to country, it is essential to recognize the specific challenges that Christians face to support them in the most effective way possible.

Related Article: North Korea Named Worst Persecutor of Christians Worldwide: Believers Sent to Labor Camps Or Killed