OpenDoors recently released its 2020 World Watch List profiling nations where it is hardest—and most dangerous—to be a Christian in the world today.
Familiar offenders litter the top ten, including North Korea, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. According to the report, 260,000,000 Christians, or one out of every eight Christians, around the world live in countries where they face high levels persecution.
North Korea tops the infamous list. There, when ‘Christians are discovered, they are deported to labor camps as political criminals or even killed on the spot.’ Meanwhile, Christians face ‘Islamic oppression’ in nations such as Yemen and Iran. Hindu-dominated India rounds out the top ten. OpenDoors notes that since 2014 ‘incidents against Christians have increased, and Hindu radicals often attack Christians with little to no consequences.’
While some of the Christians in countries that appear on this list are beaten and jailed for their faith, others are driven underground because of constant state surveillance.
The statistics underlie a simple, sobering truth: Christians are the most persecuted faith group in the world today.
Yet as ADF International Executive Director Paul Coleman has noted at The Daily Signal, you will not hear this simple truth addressed by many Western politicians or by much of the Western media. Referencing last year’s Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka, Coleman says that ‘international leaders have studiously avoided calling this what it is: anti-Christian persecution.’
As history has taught us, those who oppress certain ethnic or religious groups will not cease without confrontation.
That’s why the efforts of groups like ADF International, a faith-based legal advocacy organization that protects fundamental freedoms and promotes the inherent dignity of all people, are so important. ADF International works to defend the religious freedom of persecuted people of faith around the world.
- In India and Southeast Asia, we work to free Christians imprisoned for their faith, as well as prevent the future targeting of Christians and other religious minorities.
- In Europe, we defend Christians who face being driven out their professions, or losing their children, for living out their faith.
- In the Americas, we engage with institutions like the Organization of American States and the United Nations to protect religious freedom and free speech.
Religious persecution is a global problem. It deserves a global response.
No one should have to live in fear for following their faith. No Christian should have to live in dread of the knock at the door by the government, or face the violence of a mob descending on their church.
As is so often true in life, the first step is to admit the problem. International political leaders and the Western media should take that first step and call for the global persecution of Christians to end.