The top 10 worst persecutors are relatively unchanged. After North Korea is Afghanistan, followed by Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Eritrea, Yemen, Iran, Nigeria, and India.
Nigeria entered the top ten for the first time when its Open Doors measure for violence reached its maximum. The country, which has the biggest Christian population in Africa, ranks ninth overall, second only to Pakistan in terms of violence, and first in terms of the number of Christians slain for religious reasons.
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According to Open Doors' World Watch List 2022, more Christians were imprisoned or murdered for their beliefs and more churches were assaulted or shut down in 2012 than in 2011.
In the last year, 360 million Christians, or one in seven believers worldwide, were persecuted severely for their beliefs. Each day in 2021, an average of more than 16 Christians were executed for their faith. Nearly 6,000 Christians were slaughtered for their beliefs in 2021, a rise of 24 percent from the previous year.
According to Open Doors, a daily average of more than 16 Christians were slain for their faith in Jesus in 2021.
On the World Watch List, which rates just the 50 worst nations, Christians in 55 nations were subjected to very high levels of persecution, a new questionable record as the list only ranks the 50 worst nations.
In 2021, it became more difficult to live as a Christian in many nations, but Afghanistan was the most challenging.
Since Open Doors started monitoring worldwide persecution of Christians in 1992, North Korea has been recognized as the greatest persecutor of Christians. Afghanistan topped the World Watch List for the first time in 2022.
"This year's data suggest tectonic shifts in the landscape of persecution," said Open Doors USA president David Curry.
As soon as they seized control, the Taliban compiled a list of famous Christians and have since been on the lookout for them. Every last Christian in Afghanistan is either on the run or in hiding, according to Curry.
Every last Christian in Afghanistan is on the run or in hiding. President David Curry of Open Doors USA
Last year, the country placed second, but since the Taliban gained power, the situation for Christians has deteriorated considerably. Thousands of Christians in Afghanistan risk incarceration and death.
North Korea slid to second place for the first time, but not because of any advancements. Curry said that the decline should not be seen as a sign that religious minorities are safer. "The situation there is really worse," he remarked. This should tell you all you need to know about how dire the situation is for Christians in Afghanistan.
Open Doors estimates that between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are now imprisoned in North Korea's prison and work camps. The study said, "Life for Christians in North Korea is a perpetual pressure cooker; capture or execution is just a mistake away."
Seven of the ten worst countries on Open Doors' 2022 World Watch List are mostly Muslim, including Afghanistan (1), Somalia (3), Libya (4), Yemen (5), Eritrea (6), Pakistan (8), and Iran (#10). (9). North Korea (2) is a primarily atheist nation. India's predominant religion is Hinduism (10). Extremist Hindu mobs routinely target Christians, whilst the government generally disregards these incidents. Christianity is the predominant religion in Nigeria (7), yet Islamic terrorist organizations in the country's northern regions persecute Christians viciously.
According to Open Doors, despite having more than 98 million Christians, Nigeria is the most dangerous country for Christians, with the most violence and the highest number of abductions.
Despite having more than 98 million Christians, Nigeria is the most dangerous country for Christians, with the highest rate of violence and the highest number of abductions. In Africa, approximately 80% of the Christians slain for their beliefs last year were located (4,650).
Despite the deteriorating situation for Christians, the U.S. Department of State removed Nigeria off its list of countries of particular concern. Curry said, "There is no plausible explanation for why it was withdrawn, save that certain State Department officials were playing politics." "Nigeria has the capacity and duty to safeguard its civil society. These are cathedrals. Year after year, whole towns and villages are overtaken by these Islamic radicals, and the Nigerian government does little or nothing to stop it."
According to Open Doors, China accounted for almost three-fifths of all church assaults or closures in the globe last year.
China (17) was the location of over three-fifths of all church assaults or closures last year, with 3,000 of 5,110 incidents. India (10) incarcerated more Christians than any other country in year, 1,310 out of 4,765 globally. Restrictions pertaining to COVID-19 have made it easier for certain regimes to target Christians and churches.
Visit OpenDoorsUSA.org for the complete Globe Watch List and further information on Christian persecution across the world, including how you and your church can pray for the persecuted church.