Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options
A child displaced by fighting between the Iraqi army and the Islamic State group rides in a truck to a camp for displaced families Jan. 27 in Mosul, Iraq. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey) 

(RNS) For the 16th year in a row, North Korea tops the list of 50 countries ranked for the worst persecution of Christians in the world, according to the Christian watchdog organization Open Doors USA.

A close second is Afghanistan, which jumped up one place since last year’s ranking. With the exception of North Korea, all the countries that cracked the top 10 are predominantly Muslim and most are in the Middle East and Africa.

“Open Doors exists to support and to advocate for persecuted Christians where ever they may be in the world,” Open Doors USA’s CEO and president, David Curry, said in announcing the list in Washington on Wednesday (Jan. 10). “We are asking that the world begin to use its power and its influence to push for justice, that we would use the list to direct us where justice is needed most in the world today.”

Curry also highlighted three trends Open Doors identifies as persecution against Christians — the rise of “rogue agencies” such as the Islamic State group and the North Korean government; “Islamic extremism”; and actions such as rape and forced marriage.

The list is compiled annually by Open Doors, whose researchers assign a point value to incidents of persecution — forced conversions, attacks on churches, arrests, etc. Open Doors has published its list for 26 years.

The group’s top 10 countries where Christians face the most persecution are:

Just below the top 10 is India, where rising Hindu nationalism has increased persecution of other religious groups.

Not on the list of the 50 countries where Christians face the worst persecution: the United States.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

The latest from america

In an exclusive interview with Gerard O’Connell, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich, one of the synod’s most influential figures, discusses the role of women, bishops and all the baptized in a synodal church.
Gerard O’ConnellJuly 12, 2024
While theatrical and beautiful, I have come to understand that the Mass is not a show. It is a miracle.
Rebecca Moon RuarkJuly 12, 2024
An image from the new Netflix adaptation of "Avatar: The Last Airbender"
The new Netflix adaptation fails to capture what made the original not only beautiful, but also of great interest for Catholics.
Reed ProctorJuly 12, 2024
“The Godfather Part III” (1990) is the most explicitly Catholic entry in the series.
John DoughertyJuly 12, 2024