245 million Christians are persecuted, Muslim countries and North Korea worst

Friday, January 18, 2019

For the past 18 years, North Korea has topped the organization’s list, followed by ten other countries that have “an extreme level of persecution,” writes newspaper Vårt Land.

Open Doors World Watch List: 100 points means “maximum” persecution.

North Korea. 94 points.
Afghanistan. 94 points.
Somalia. 91 points.
Libya. 87 points.
Pakistan. 87 points.
Sudan. 86 points.
Eritrea. 86 points.
Yemen. 86th point.
Iran. 85 points.
India. 83 points.
Syria. 82 points.

The persecution is also becoming more and more global and complex, but still possible to point out three main trends, says Stig Magne Heitmann, academic leader in Open Doors.

Islamist movements

As a result of the fall of the terrorist group IS in Syria and Iraq, several foreign warriors from sub-Saharan Africa have returned. At the same time, several groups that have been inspired by IS and Al-Qaeda have also gained a greater foothold in the region.

This is evident both through violent attacks, but also through violent pressure. In Mauritania and not least Nigeria, the groups are the Islamist group Boko Haram. But Islamic fulanomads are behind much more violence against Christians in Nigeria than Boko Haram. The same thing happens in the east, in countries such as Kenya, Ethiopia and not least Somalia, says Heitmann.

The emergence of religious nationalism

In India, religious Hindu nationalism plays a significant role in the persecution of Christians in the country. This has its origin in the emergence of Hindu nationalist groups and parties that are now in power in several states, but also the Indian government.

Authoritarian states become even more authoritarian
The world’s authoritarian states often have steel control over the religious communities in the country. But the most worrying development is in China, says Heitmann to Vårt Land.

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