A Global Calamity: 340,000,000 Christians Persecuted

A Global Calamity: 340,000,000 Christians Persecuted by Raymond Ibrahim for Gatestone Institute

  • The “extreme persecution” that Christians experience in 10 of the absolute 12 worst nations comes from “Islamic oppression” or is occurring in Muslim majority nations. These include: Afghanistan (#2), Somalia (#3), Libya (#4), Pakistan (#5), Yemen (#7), Iran (#8), Nigeria (#9), Iraq (#11), and Syria (#12).
  • “80% of Indian Christians helped by Open Doors say they were passed over for food distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic.” — Open Doors, World Watch List.
  • Considering that for the first time in over a decade, China has made it among the top 20 persecutors in the Open Doors World Watch List — up to #17 from #23 last year — this does not bode well for Christians, who are already “intensely monitored by the state.”
  • Similarly, in Turkey, which rose to #25 from #36 last year, every citizen’s “religious affiliation is recorded on the electronic chip of identity cards, making it easy to discriminate against Christians.” — Open Doors, World Watch List.
  • “More Christians are murdered for their faith in Nigeria than in any other country.” — Open Doors, World Watch List.

Every day around the world, 13 Christians are killed for their faith; 12 are illegally arrested or imprisoned; 5 are abducted; and 12 churches or other Christian buildings are attacked.

These are among some of the disturbing findings of the recently released Open Doors’ 2021 World Watch List (WWL-2021). This annual report ranks the top 50 nations in which Christians are most persecuted for their religion.

All in all, “More than 340 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith.” About 309 million of these Christians “suffer very high or extreme levels. That’s one in 8 worldwide, 1 in 6 in Africa, 2 out of 5 in Asia, and 1 in 12 in Latin America.” (Unless otherwise indicated, all quotes in this article are from the 2021 Open Doors World Watch List.)

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For the reporting period covered by WWL-2021 (October 2019 – September 2020), “4,761 Christians were killed for their faith” — a 60% increase from last year (2,983). An additional 4,277 Christians were unjustly arrested, detained, or imprisoned; 1,710 were abducted for faith-related reasons; and 4,488 churches or Christian buildings were attacked.

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