Almost 6,000 Christians were murdered around the globe in 2022, according to a new report from Open Doors World Watch List 2023.
The shocking statistics in the report revealed 5,621 Christians were murdered for their faith, the profanation of 2,110 Christian churches, and the 360 million Christians around the world who face untold
persecution and discrimination
The watchdog group Open Doors publishes an annual World Watch List ranking the fifty countries where it is most dangerous to be a Christian.
In the most recent list, North Korea came on top and remains “a brutally hostile place for Christians to live.” The country has banned all forms of faith and is an officially atheist communist state where the government is its god.
Christians in North Korea are either sent to labor camps as political prisoners where the conditions are atrocious, or killed on the spot,” according to the report.
It is also nearly impossible for Christians to gather or meet to worship in North Korea. The report notes that possessing a bible or even identifying as a Christian is a serious crime that warrants serious punishment.
Christian persecution is rife in North Korea because it is “seen as a particular threat to the dictatorial ideology and governance of the country’s barbaric regime,” the report says. Christians are “viewed as enemies of both the leadership and society in general.”
The second most brutal place to be a Christian is the African nation of Somalia, a majority Muslim country where Christians are violently attacked.
The report notes that in Somalia, the “violent insurgent group al-Shabaab has repeatedly expressed its desire to eradicate Christians from the country,” adding that Islamic militants have “intensified their hunt for people who are Christian and in a position of leadership.”
The report adds that Christians are forced to meet in secret in the country, as “church life” is nonexistent. The report also notes, “areas in the south and southwest that are under the control of al-Shabaab are the most dangerous.”
Yemen is the third most dangerous country for Christians, where Islamic extremism is the principal driver of Christian persecution.
Being a Christian in Yemen is extremely dangerous “due to the country’s strict Islamic laws and the presence of militant Islamic groups,” the report reveals.
It is illegal in Yemen to convert from Islam to Christianity, with Islamic terror groups such as al-Qaeda and the Islamic State threatening so-called “apostates” with death if they do not return to Islam.
According to the report, Islamic extremism is the main force behind Christian persecution in countries such as Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sudan, Libya, and Afghanistan.
In Nigeria, for instance, the report notes that Christians “suffer persecution from an ingrained agenda of enforced Islamization, which is particularly prevalent in the north of the country and has gradually been spreading south.”
“Attacks by Islamic militant groups have increased consistently since 2015, but the government has failed to prevent the rise in violence, which affects all Nigerians, but particularly Christians,” it states.