Even though the atheist left refuses to admit it, the most persecuted faith in the world is Christianity.
One in every 9 Christians lives in a region where practicing Christianity is a punishable offense.
Here are the 10 most dangerous countries in the world to be a Christian:
1. North Korea
The estimated 300,000 believers in North Korea suffer extreme persecution from the government. They are imprisoned, tortured, and killed for owning Bibles and meeting together.
Kim Jong-un views his position as the nation’s leader as an opportunity to be worshiped, and North Koreans see their leader as a deity. Christians “are seen as hostiles” because of their worship of Christ.
“Kim Jong-un has maintained tight control over the populace, and dissent or worshiping anything else is not tolerated,” reported Open Doors USA.
Thousands of Christians in Afghanistan face oppression from an Islamic government that does not allow conversion to any religion outside of Islam.
“Any expression of faith other than Islam is simply not permitted to exist,” reported Open Doors USA. “Additionally, to convert to a faith outside Islam is tantamount to treason, because it is seen as a betrayal of family, tribe, and country.”
Afghan Christians face pressure from their families, communities, and local government bodies, and they can be arrested and sentenced to death for publicly or privately expressing their faith in any way.
As another Muslim-majority nation, Somalia punishes Christianity by law. “Sharia law and Islam are enshrined in the country’s constitution, and the persecution of Christians almost always involves violence,” reported Open Doors USA.
Militant Islamic leaders torture and kill Christians and members of other religious minorities. There are only a few hundred known Christians in Somalia, but they continue to try to spread the message of Christ.
Anarchy and political chaos in Libya have opened the door for militant Islamic groups to take control of several areas throughout the country. Whatever organized government develops in each area is founded on Islamic law and restricts other religions.
“Converts to Christianity face abuse and violence for their decision to follow Christ,” reported Open Doors USA. Christians are attacked, kidnapped, detained, and even killed if their faith is discovered.
However, the Christian community in Libya continues to grow.
Blasphemy is an offense punishable by death in Pakistan, and “Christians continue to live in daily fear they will be accused of blasphemy,” reported Open Doors USA.
Millions of Pakistani Christians face extreme levels of violence in their communities as radical Muslims gain more political power, and many believers in the country are victims of human trafficking and bonded labor.
Christians are routinely marginalized and falsely accused of blasphemy against Islam, with no one to defend them from the government’s attacks.
There are more than a million Christians in Sudan, but their religious and societal rights are heavily restricted under the authoritarian government of President al-Bashir, who rules Sudan as an Islamic state.
“Christians face discrimination and pressure—multiple church buildings were demolished in 2017 and 2018,” reported Open Doors USA. There is no legal recourse for these believers, who often face death for converting to Christianity from Islam.
Eritrea is often called “Africa’s North Korea.” The country’s president, Isaias Afwerki, oversees “a brutal authoritarian regime that rests on massive human rights violations,” reported Open Doors USA.
Christians and other religious and social minorities are routinely arrested, imprisoned, and tortured. Christians who are arrested in church and home raids are often lost in the prison system, never to return to their families.
The continuing civil war in Yemen has contributed to a severe humanitarian crisis. Since emergency aid is distributed primarily through Islamic organizations and mosques, Christians and other religious minorities often go without relief.
In the absence of organized government, radical Islamic groups have taken over parts of the country and increased pressure on Christians. “Even private worship is risky in some parts of the country,” reported Open Doors USA.
The Iranian government views Christianity as an attempt to undermine Islamic rule in the country, so it’s illegal for believers to publicly preach and express their faith.
“Many Christian leaders (especially converts) have been prosecuted and sentenced to long terms in jail…during this time, their families face public humiliation,” reported Open Doors USA. Being a Christian in Iran means constant ostracism and the fear of arrest.
There are millions of Christians in India who are consistently targeted by Hindu nationalist extremists. “The view of the nationalists is that to be Indian is to be Hindu, so any other faith—including Christianity—is considered non-Indian,” reported Open Doors USA.
Indian Christians are attacked, raped, abducted, and killed by Hindu persecutors. India’s current government offers no help or recourse for these believers.
To find out more about our persecuted brothers and sisters in Christ and how to pray for them, read Open Doors USA’s full World Watch List.