Open Doors is a Netherlands based advocacy group that tracks the offenders of Christian believers. It was founded by legendary underground missionary Bible smuggler Brother Andrew during the Cold War.
Christians are the largest persecuted minority in the world for being targeted, harassed, imprisoned, and murdered notes Dr. David Curry, a top official for Open Doors.
#1-North Korea: For the 12th year in a row North Korea earns the dubious distinction of being the worst offender of religious freedom for Christians, as in many other categories. The repressive rule of Kim Jung-Un has a Christian population estimated to be 70,000 in concentration camps. “Horrific” describes the plight of a paranoid ruler who executes anyone that defies his personal will.
Disagreement with Kim can result in brutal results. Kim’s uncle along with relatives and children were executed basically by mere association with the uncle. Compassion is not in Kim’s vocabulary.
#2-Somalia: Some governments cannot control the elements within its borders and this country being dominated by warlords, extremist group al-Shabaab, and other warring tribes has earned the label “extreme persecution” from Open Doors for Christians. The violence against Christians can be deadly at any given point.
#3-Syria: For the first time in history Syria enters the top ten of worst countries for Christians. The relatively mild persecution by the totalitarian regime of President Assad has been replaced by severe persecution by Islamic rebels where half are hard line extremists. What used to be quiet Christian communities are being ravaged by violence by Jihadist groups.
#4-Iraq: Central and Southern Iraq’s persecution of Christians has expanded to the North which used to be relatively calm. A government being racked by foreign fighters and sectarian violence has spilled over to impact Christians that used to live under co-operation with Muslim neighbors. Implementation of Sharia laws is spoiling the exercise of Christianity.
#5-Afghanistan: Muslim converts to the Christian faith is the overwhelming representation of believers in Afghanistan. Heavy pressure from social and family puts converts at high risk. Muslim clerics and local authorities drive much of the persecution. It is said “when Satan fell to Earth, he fell in Kubul.”
#6-Saudi Arabia: Wahhabism, a strict and purist interpretation of Islam, dominates this oil rich country. Other religions are not allowed to practice openly. Much of the violent ideology to Islam was birthed from Saudi Arabia.
#7-Maldia Islands: Sharia laws and restrictions of Muslim converts to other faiths places enormous persecution of Christians attempting to live out their faith. There is extensive control on society to correct any deviations from Islam.
#8-Pakistan: Many Christians that can afford to leave Pakistan are doing so. Notorious blasphemy laws against Islam are liberally applied to Christians and other religious minorities. Militant groups and angry mobs routinely target Christians. Twin bombings of the Anglican All Saints Church in Peshawar killed 89 Christians.
#9-Iran: Christians are still seen as a threat and all activity must be consistent with the official interpretation of Sharia law. As long as Christians do not evangelize Muslims, religious freedom is tolerated. Minorities as Armenian and Assyrian have maintained in spite of persecution.
#10-Yemen: Evangelism is prohibited and Christians are not allowed to have their own public gatherings. Many Christians are forced to meet in secret and remain in hiding or flee the country.