The worst places on Earth for Christians

WASHINGTON – Somewhere around the world, another Christian is martyred, on average, every three hours, according to a new report that probably not surprisingly identifies nations where radical Islamists are abundant as the worst locations on Earth for Christians to be. 

The new World Watch List research team for Open Doors International said the majority of the cases in which Christians are killed over their faith happen in Nigeria, Syria and the Central African Republic.

“The alarming increase of violence against Christians in Nigeria over the past months highlights the lack of religious freedom they have and the daily dangers they face from the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram and other violent Islamic organizations,” David Curry, president of Open Doors USA, said.

Organization CEO David Curry added, “Going to school, attending church or identifying yourself as a Christian is a very brave decision in Nigeria. It is turning into a bloodbath. Christians in the West must stand in the gap with our prayers and support.”

The report looks at the nations where there is the most violence, up to and including murder, against Christians.

It is based on attacks between Nov. 1, 2012, and March 31, 2014, and lists Nigeria, Syria, Egypt, Central African Republic, Mexico, Pakistan, Colombia, India, Kenya and Iraq, in that order.

Observers might be surprised to find North Korea, the 2014 World Watch List’s No. 1 worst persecutor of Christians, absent from the Top 10 Violence List.

“When it comes to counting the numbers of Christians martyred, it is impossible to get an accurate number for North Korea,” said Jan Vermeer, Open Doors field worker for North Korea. “This is not because there are no Christians being killed for their faith. It is a fact that thousands of Christians are starved, abused and tortured in North Korea’s extensive prison system. But due to an inability to derive sufficiently accurate figures about the reasons for killing Christians in this most secretive society, North Korea is excluded from the total number of killings.”

In all countries where Christians are persecuted, researchers recorded 3,641 churches and Christian properties destroyed and 13,120 other forms of violence against Christians such as beatings, abductions, rapes, arrests and forced marriages.

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