Tuesday, January 13, 2015

World Watch, Christian persecution

Open Doors USA describes itself as "a non-profit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries." Last week they released their * Open Doors World Watch List, Top 50, which ranks nations of the world based on the severity of persecution of Christians. An explanation of the methodology used to compile the list is available HERE. They do not rank other types of persecution.

The top ten persecutors of Christians by country are:
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Iraq
  • Syria
  • Afghanistan
  • Sudan
  • Iran
  • Pakistan
  • Eritrea
  • Nigeria
This top 10 list provides two interesting contrasts. First, nine of the top ten are Muslim countries. David Curry, president of Open Doors, says that "Muslim extremists are the primary drivers of Christian persecution worldwide." Despite this majority of persecution, North Korea is ranked #1 and has been in that position for the last 13 years. In North Korea it is illegal to be a Christian. Juche is the political, social and economic "religious" ideology of North Korea, rooted in Marxism, which sees founder Kim Il Sung as a divine being. While there are some other underground beliefs, North Korea's concerted efforts are exerted against Christianity. This, at least in part, is due to the fear that Christianity can overcome Juche. Those discovered to be Christians are sent to labor camps or even executed.

[Note: Though from time to time we comment on issues in the U.S. that some Christians identify as "persecution", in comparison to the rest of the world nothing goes on in the U.S. that even registers on the Open Doors radar as "Sparse Persecution".]

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