2020 World Watch List

2020 World Watch List

Most dangerous places

Open Doors, a ministry that serves the persecuted church, uses data from field workers to analyze and quantify global persecution. This results in the annual World Watch List.

Countries are “ranked by the severity of persecution of Christians, calculated by analyzing the level of violent persecution plus the pressure experienced in five spheres of life.” Those are: church, community, private, national, and family life.

These are the 50 countries considered most hostile to Christians (boldface are current C4C mission fields):

Extreme Persecution

1. North Korea (#1 last year; source of persecution: communist and post-communist oppression)
2. Afghanistan (#2; ethnic antagonism)
3. Somalia (#3; Islamic oppression)
4. Libya (#4; Islamic oppression)
5. Pakistan (#5; Islamic oppression)
6. Eritrea (#7; Christian denominational protectionism)
7. Sudan (#6; Islamic oppression)
8. Yemen (#8; Islamic oppression)
9. Iran (#9; Islamic oppression)
10. India (#10; religious nationalism)
11. Syria (#11; Islamic oppression)

Very High Persecution

12. Nigeria (#12; Islamic oppression)
13. Saudi Arabia (#15; Islamic oppression)
14. Maldives (#14; Islamic oppression)
15. Iraq (#13; Islamic oppression)
16. Egypt (#16; Islamic oppression)
17. Algeria (#22; Islamic oppression)
18. Uzbekistan (#17; dictatorial paranoia)
19. Myanmar (#18; religious nationalism)
20. Laos (#19; communist and post-communist oppression)
21. Vietnam (#20; communist and post-communist oppression)
22. Turkmenistan (#23; dictatorial paranoia)
23. China (#27; communist and post-communist oppression)
24. Mauritania (#25; Islamic oppression)
25. Central Africa Republic (#21; Islamic oppression)
26. Morocco (#35; Islamic oppression)
27. Qatar (#38; Islamic oppression)
28. Burkina Faso (unranked; religious nationalism)
29. Mali (#24; Islamic oppression)
30. Sri Lanka (#46; religious nationalism)
31. Tajikistan (#29; dictatorial paranoia)
32. Nepal (#32; religious nationalism)
33. Jordan (#31; Islamic oppression)
34. Tunisia (#37; Islamic oppression)
35. Kazakhstan (#34; dictatorial paranoia)
36. Turkey (#26; Islamic oppression)
37. Brunei (#36; dictatorial paranoia)
38. Bangladesh (#48; Islamic oppression)
39. Ethiopia (#28; Islamic oppression)
40. Malaysia (#42; Islamic oppression)
41. Colombia (#47; organized crime and corruption)
42. Oman (#44; Islamic oppression)
43. Kuwait (#43; Islamic oppression)
44. Kenya (#40; Islamic oppression)
45. Bhutan (#33; religious nationalism)

High Persecution

46.  Russian Federation (#41; dictatorial paranoia)
47. United Arab Emirates (#45; Islamic oppression)
48. Cameroon (unranked; Islamic oppression)
49. Indonesia (#30; Islamic oppression)
50. Niger (unranked; Islamic oppression)

Among trends observed in global persecution:

1. In the most populated countries on earth (China and India), Christians live in a surveillance state.
2. Violent Islamic extremism spiked in sub-Saharan Africa (Burkina Faso, Mali, Central African Republic, Cameroon, and Nigeria).
3. Militant Islam spread violence and fear in Southeast and South Asia (including Sri Lanka and Pakistan).
4. Christianity is on the verge of disappearing in Iraq and Syria.

The Word

“If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.” – 1 Corinthians 12:26 (ESV)

Posted Jan. 20, 2020

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Gary FallesenGary Fallesen

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