2013 World Watch List

2013 World Watch List

Open Doors, a ministry that serves the persecuted church, found an increase in attacks on Christianity in Africa in 2012, citing a rise in radical Muslims in politics, business and judicial power as well as increased terrorism by groups such as Boko Haram in Nigeria. As a result, 15 African nations rank among the 50 countries on the 2013 World Watch List of places where Christians face the most severe persecution for their faith. Five of the newcomers to the list are from Africa: Mali (at No. 7), Tanzania (24), Kenya (40), Uganda (47) and Niger (50).

North Korea remains No. 1 on the World Watch List, followed by Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia.

Climbing For Christ members live in at least 15 of the nations on the World Watch List, and C4C is serving in no fewer than six of these countries.

The 2013 World Watch List (with last year’s ranking in parenthesis):

Extreme persecution:

1. North Korea (1)
2. Saudi Arabia (3)
3. Afghanistan (2)
4. Iraq (9)
5. Somalia (4)
6. Maldives (6)
7. Mali (not ranked)
8. Iran (5)
9. Yemen (8)
10. Eritrea (11)
11. Syria (36)

Severe persecution

12. Sudan (16)
13. Nigeria (13)
14. Pakistan (10)
15. Ethiopia (38)
16. Uzbekistan (7)
17. Libya (26)
18. Laos (12)
19. Turkmenistan (18)
20. Qatar (22)
21. Vietnam (19)
22. Oman (27)
23. Mauritania (14)

Moderate persecution

24. Tanzania (not ranked)
25. Egypt (15)
26. United Arab Emirates (37)
27. Brunei (28)
28. Bhutan (17)
29. Algeria (23)
30. Tunisia (35)
31. India (32)
32. Myanmar (33)
33. Kuwait (30)
34. Jordan (40)
35. Bahrain (35)
36. Palestinian Territories (36)
37. China (21)
38. Azerbaijan (25)
39. Morocco (29)
40. Kenya (not ranked)
41. Comoros (24)
42. Malaysia (50)
43. Djibouti (39)
44. Tajikistan (34)
45. Indonesia (43)
46. Colombia (47)

Sparse persecution

47. Uganda (not ranked)
48. Kazakhstan (45)
49. Kyrgyzstan (48)
50. Niger (not ranked)

Open Doors measures persecution of Christians in all areas of life - private, family, community, national and church. The freedom to gather and the degree to which Christians are exposed to acts of violence are included. But monitoring also takes into account less visible acts and structural developments threatening Christians in various countries. In Africa, the increasing influence of Islam has been prominent in adding many new nations to the World Watch List.

Please pray for the persecuted. Jesus said, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 5:10). He also told us that because of Him we "will be hated by all nations" (Matthew 24:9). "In fact," the Apostle Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 3:12, "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." But those persecuted are "not abandoned" (2 Corinthians 4:9). Instead, God will build the persecuted up and His church will grow in the face of such persecution.

"We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it." - 1 Corinthians 4:12 (NIV)

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