TOP 10 NATIONS PERSECUTING CHRISTIANS EXPOSED BY HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP
NWV News Writer Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
January 13, 2014
© 2014 NewsWithViews.com
This week, one of the world's most active human rights groups released their annual report on religious persecution throughout the world. The report lists the top nations in 2013 in which Christians are murdered, maimed, imprisoned or forced into exile.
In the last 12-years the brutal regime in North Korea has been -- and continues to be -- world's most restrictive nation in which to practice Christianity, according to the Open Doors 2014 World Watch List (WWL).
But the Democratic People's Republic of Korea is witnessing intense competition from other nations located in the Middle East and Africa in persecuting followers of Jesus Christ, most of them so-called Muslim countries.
A major trend the WWL tracked last year was the dramatic increase in persecution of Christian communities in nations that are commonly regarded as "failed states." A failed state is defined "as a weak state where social and political structures have collapsed to the point where government has little or no control."
According to WWL's report, the top 10 countries where Christians faced the most pressure and violence in the 2013 reporting period are: North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Maldives, Pakistan, Iran and Yemen.
For the first time in the history of the Open Doors World Watch List, a sub-Saharan African country -- Somalia -- is ranked #2. Although the capital of Mogadishu is under more moderate Muslim government control, surveillance is conducted to root out converts from Islam and the church has to remain secret. Large parts of the country remain ungovernable and retreating Al-Shabaab rebels vent their anger by imposing an even more restrictive form of Sharia law.
As one Christian told an Open Doors researcher, "In Somalia, a Christian cannot trust anyone. One false confidence and you literally lose your head."
Overwhelmingly and unsurprisingly the driving force of the persecution of Christians in 36 of the top 50 countries is radical Islam, with most violence perpetrated within the states of the African Sahel belt that extends from Senegal on the Atlantic Ocean eastward to Sudan and the Red Sea.
According to Open Doors researchers, the World Watch List Top 10 contains six failed states:
"Somalia (#2), Syria (#3), Iraq (#4), Afghanistan (#5), Pakistan (#8) and Yemen (#10). Another newly failed, war-torn state -- the Central African Republic (CAR) - made the list for the first time at #16. Libya (#13) and Nigeria (#14) remain very high."
The Open Doors research report on Christian persecution was independently audited by the International Institute for Religious Freedom to help make the information gathering and calculation process more transparent.
Subscribe to the NewsWithViews Daily News Alerts!
"The 2014 WWL is the most comprehensive study of the systematic persecution of Christians ever done. Often completely unaddressed in the West is the fact that Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world," states Open Doors USA President and CEO Dr. David Curry.
"Countries on the WWL, such as North Korea, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Middle East and North Africa are targeting Christians; imprisoning, punishing, and even in some cases murdering people who choose to express privately or publicly their Christian faith. The 2014 WWL is a wake up call to Americans to become more aware of these atrocities and restrictions on religious freedom," Curry stated.
© 2014 NWV - All Rights Reserved