Open Doors USA is an organization based in Santa Ana, California, which has been monitoring persecution of Christians across the world since the 1970s. (To read more about its methodology and ranking, go here.)
Open Doors released its “2016 World Watch List” to reveal the world’s most dangerous countries for Christians — where Christians face threats, discrimination, kidnapping, violence and death from the government or extremist groups.
Below are the top 50 most dangerous countries for Christians (the names of officially-atheist communist or former-communist countries are colored red; those of Muslim countries are colored green; those of Christian countries are colored sky blue):
- North Korea
- Nigeria (Muslim/Christian)
- Saudi Arabia
- India (80% Hindu; 14+% Muslim)
- Ethiopia (63% Christian; 34% Muslim)
- Palestinian Territories
- Central African Republic (80% Christian; 15% Muslim)
- Tanzania (35% Muslim; 30% Christian)
- Bhutan (Buddhist)
- Mexico (93% Christian)
- Kazakhstan (70% Muslim; 26% Christian)
- United Arab Emirates
Note that 9 of the top 10, and at least 37 of the 50 most dangerous countries in the world for Christians are Muslim.
Mexico, the 40th most dangerous country in the world for Christians, really surprised me. The country is 93% Christian, good grief!
Here’s a map of the most dangerous places in the world to be a Christian:
Open Doors USA notes the following as some significant trends in the 2016 World Watch List:
- The most rapidly growing area of persecution is in the Middle East, Africa and Central Asia.
- Islamic extremist self-styled caliphates have expanded their spheres of operation across international borders.
- Governments became more fearful of Islamic extremism and responded by either (a) boosting nationalism as a counter-force or (b) tightening regulations and increasing surveillance over all religious expression.
- Muslims throughout the world are becoming more Islamic out of fear that extremists may take over their areas and that Islamic State (ISIS) sleeper cells may wake.
- More states are lawless, with minorities suffering at the hands of violent groups.
To read a more detailed report on Open Doors USA’s 2016 World Watch List, click here.
H/t FOTM reader Ken R.