“Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in [Somalia’s] country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence. Additionally, in many rural areas, Islamic militant groups like al-Shabab are de facto rulers,”
(Heather Clark – Christian News Network) A watchdog organization that releases a report each year on the global persecution of Christians has again named North Korea as the most dangerous place to live as a Christian—for the 18th year in a row, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya and Pakistan.
Open Doors USA released its “World Watch List” on Wednesday, which lists and ranks the 50 countries that are most hostile toward those who follow Jesus. It estimated that 245 million Christians in those nations faced significant persecution in 2018—an increase of 30 million more than the year prior—with 4,136 of those who professed faith in Christ being murdered during the reporting period, up from 3,066.
A tally of 2,625 Christians were arrested and imprisoned, and 1,266 churches or Christian-operated buildings suffered attacks.
“Open Doors continues to see ominous persecution trends against Christians,” David Curry, president of Open Doors USA, said in a statement. “The distressing impact of billions of people living in an environment in which the government oppresses freedom of religion is unraveling day by day as millions of Christians are being attacked, imprisoned or killed.”
The organization noted five trends during the reporting period: the mistreatment of Christian women; the rise of persecution in the world’s two most populated countries—China and India; the spread of radical Islam throughout sub-Saharan Africa; the oppression of Christians who grew up in Muslim families; and the enactment of additional laws that adversely affect religious rights.